Plenty of OFWs are protesting the Bureau of Customs’ new regulations that give the agency the right to open balikbayan boxes to check whether the contents match the value declared [is not supposed to exceed P23,000] by the shipper. If the content of the box exceeds the declared value, then corresponding taxes will be collected. And if these taxes could not be paid, then the agency reserves the right to seize the boxes!
Moreover, OFWs are restricted to sending just one balikbayan box every six months.
Considering how these balikbayan boxes contain items that are products of the “sweat and blood”, the hard work, of the OFWs in the foreign country where they are working, many believe this new regulation is a violation of their rights.
If you are among the OFWs protesting the Bureau of Customs’ new regulation, you are invited by PEBA Inc. to use this banners as your profile pic. Please use the hashtag #notoBBB No to Bukas-Balikbayan Box.
What is a Balikbayan Box?
The balikbayan box is a box filled with various items sent by an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) to his/her family or friends back in the Philippines. It is often shipped by sea for cheaper rates; though it is also common practice for OFWs returning home to also bring a box or two by air.
Because it takes several months for the box to reach the Philippines, it is important that the box contains non-perishable items or stuff that are, at least, several months away from their expiry dates. Thus, most balikbayan boxes contain items like toiletries, clothes, household items, tools, toys, and various stuffs that might be difficult to find in the Philippines.
To learn more about balikbayan boxes and the Bureau of Customs’ new regulations, click this link.