MANILA, Aug. 25 (PNA) – Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. thanked President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday for stopping the Bureau of Customs (BOC) from implementing its new regulation to open the balikbayan boxes of Filipinos working or living abroad.
”I’m thanking that they stopped this new regulation to open the balikbayan boxes,” Marcos said upon learning of the President’s order to stop the controversial BOC policy.
The BOC’s new regulation drew flak from the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be primarily affected by the policy.
”I really feel pity to our OFWs. They have sacrificed a lot to be away from their families just to have work that they cannot find here in the Philippines,” Marcos said.
He noted that the tax-exemption on balikbayan boxes with the value of USD500 is too small as compared to what the OFWs have contributed to the economy in the form of their remittances.
”If they want to increase their collection, the BOC should run first after the syndicates and the corrupt employees of the BOC,” Marcos said.
Last Monday, Marcos joined his Senate colleagues in questioning the BOC’s directive which, he said, is oppressive treatment to the OFWs.
Instead of opening the balikbayan boxes, the senators urged the BOC to use properly its budget in acquiring X-ray machines to monitor the contents of the balikbayan boxes “if they feel these are being used to smuggle goods.”
“Opening the balikbayan boxes for inspection is not necessary because we have given the Bureau of Customs a big budget to buy X-ray machines and these machines can be used to inspect the balikbayan boxes,” Marcos said. (PNA)