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BoC’s rules on ‘balikbayan’ boxes not singling out OFWs–Valte

/ 12:45 AM August 23, 2015
Bureau of Customs. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Bureau of Customs. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Bureau of Customs’ tighter rules on the use of balikbayan boxes is not meant to single out overseas Filipino workers, Malacañang said on Saturday.

“Well, unang-una, hindi naman po rin sa ‘napag-iinitan. Ang Bureau of Customs ay hinahabol din naman po ‘yung mga malalaking smuggler,” deputy Presidential spokesperon Abigail Valte told state-run DZRB radio.

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(First, we are not singling out the OFWs. The BoC is after the big-time smugglers.)

The BOC earlier announced it would randomly open balikbayan boxes for inspection after reports that taxable goods have made their way to the country through smugglers.

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Valte said balikbayan boxes, a parcel sent usually by Filipino overseas workers to their loved ones back home, were supposedly used as a method to ship unauthorized goods and then reassemble them here.

“Hindi po tina-target ‘yung ating mga OFWs and ang atas lang naman po natin sa BOC ay siguradong malinis, mabilis po ‘yung proseso na hindi po siya… That it will not… The process will not cause any hold up in the release of the balikbayan boxes and that the property inside should be respected as well,” Valte said.

(We are not targeting the OFWs. Our task for the BoC is to ensure the cleanliness and swift processes.)

She said Filipino overseas workers should not take this as a sign of disrespect and urged they should reach out to BOC if they have concerns with their balikbayan boxes.

“It is quite the contrary, but if you do… To our OFWs, kung magkaroon po kayo ng ganitong experience, please give us feedback and then we can work with BOC on how it can be addressed,” she said. TVJ

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TAGS: Abigail Valte, Bureau of Customs, ofws, Smugglers, Smuggling
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