The Bureau of Customs (BOC) was told today to stop making it easy for big-time smugglers to bring in contrabands into the country and stop burdening overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with strict requirements in the entry of Balikbayan boxes.
“Habang pinapahirapan ang mga OFWs na magpadala ng gamit sa kanilang mahal sa buhay, labas-masok naman ang kontrabando sa Super Green Lane (SGL),” said Senator Bam Aquino.
The Senate is investigating the P6.4 billion shabu shipment from China which was allowed to pass through the Super Green Lanes (SGL) of Customs.
“Ito ba ang direksiyon ng BOC para maresolba ang problema sa smuggling? Pahirapan ang mga OFWs at palagpasin ang mga big time smugglers?” asked Senator Aquino.
He added that the intention of SGL to facilitate faster transaction with exporters and importers was put in a bad light due to the incident.
He also criticized the Custom’s new rules on how overseas Filipino can send home a balikbayan box, including the pasting on the box a detailed list of contents and putting the receipts of items purchased inside.
“They leave the country to provide for their family and they keep our economy afloat. The government should allow them their privileges. They do not deserve the additional hassles and harassment,” he added.
Aquino is a co-author of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016, which allows OFWs to send up to three P150,000-worth of tax and duty free balikbayan boxes in a year, given that goods are not in commercial quantities nor intended for barter, sale or for hire.
The senator also pushed for the increase in the value of de minimis from P10 to P10,000 through his Senate Bill No. 2373.
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