Senate bill seeks monthly tax-free balikbayan box from OFWs
Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has filed a bill seeking to give every OFW the right to send a tax-free balikbayan box every month, according to a report on Unang Balita on Tuesday.
If passed into law, Senate Bill No. 1168 will allow OFWs to send a single 24 x 24 x 30 per month without taxes and duties.
SB 1168, filed Monday, will also create stricter guidelines for the inspection of balikbayan boxes by Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel.
BOC will only be allowed to use non-intrusive methods of inspecting boxes, which may only be opened if they are determined to have contraband items or lack export declaration from the consignor and a list of the box's contents.
"The value of the contents of the balikbayan boxes is not the concern of the Bureau of Customs. What is important is that each OFW is entitled to one balikbayan box per month for his or her family," Pimentel said in a statement.