‘Shopping for loved ones a Filipino tradition, makes OFWs happy’
Senators shared some light moments on Thursday while conducting a hearing on the hot issue of opening balikbayan boxes entering the Philippines.
During the hearing of the Senate committee on ways and means joint with the committee on labor, Sen. Cynthia Villar appealed to the Bureau of Customs not to make it difficult to send balikbayan boxes, saying shopping for loved ones made overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) happy.
“Isipin nyo marami kayong mga lalaki dito, kaligayahan ito ng mga babae na mag-shopping at ipauwi. Kapag hindi nakakapag-shopping, malungkot,” she said during the hearing, eliciting laughter from the session hall.
“Kaya maski itong mga asawa ng mga senador na ito, I’m sure, pag nag a-abroad ito nag sho-shopping itong mga asawa nito at pinapadala sa balikbayan boxes so might as well consider that as parang tradition of Filipinos,” Villar said.
Among the male senators present during the hearing were Senators Sonny Angara, chair of the committee, and Ferdinand “Bongbong”Marcos Jr.
“Ibigay na natin ang kaligayahan (ng mga OFWs), maliit lang naman ito at pagbutihin natin yung pagpigil natin sa agricultural smuggling. Yun ang malaki,” Villar added.
Reacting to Villar, Angara said: “Thank you Senator Villar for the comments. Pag si Senator Villar ang nagsho-shopping, bahay po ang shina-shopping po at mga building po ang binibili ni Senator Villar.”
“Just added point of information, I know that Senator Manny Villar will attest to that long standing tradition …” Marcos added, referring to Mrs. Villar’s husband, former Sen. Manny Villar.
But Villar retorted: “Matipid yata akong asawa.”
Before this, Angara also teased Villar while the latter was talking about what she estimated to be some $47 billion in remittances that OFWs were bringing into the country.
“Thank you, Senator Villar at siguro kalahati din napupunta ho sa Camella Homes at saka sa Vista Land para pambili ng bahay,” said Angara, referring to the real estate businesses owned by the Villar family. Maila Ager/RC
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