Palace: OFWs' concerns about BoC's handling of balikbayan boxes will reach President Aquino

Malacañang assured overseas Filipino workers (OFW) Sunday that their issues regarding the Bureau of Customs' (BOC) handling of their balikbayan boxes would be brought to the attention of President Benigno S. Aquino III.


Malacañang assured overseas Filipino workers (OFW) Sunday that their issues regarding the Bureau of Customs' (BOC) handling of their balikbayan boxes would be brought to the attention of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said they have gathered all feedback they received from OFWs through various communication channels on the new BOC rules and are currently assessing them.

“Marami na ho tayong mga nakuhang open letter, marami na po tayong nakuhang mga Facebook messages, mga email at binubuo po naming lahat ito at sinisigurado po naming makakarating ito sa Pangulong Aquino,” Valte told Radyo ng Bayan.


Among the concerns raised by the OFWs in their complaints is the impression that the BOC might be infringing on their tax and duty free privileges.

Valte took note of this, saying the BOC should really look into it, as she expressed understanding on where these particular sentiments of OFWs are coming from.

“Naiintindihan po natin ang damdamin ng mga nagpadala po sa atin ng feedback, dahil alam niyo na ang nilalaman ng mga balikbayan b po na ito ay matagal pong iniipon. Tuwing sumusuweldo po sila ay nagtatabi nang kaunti para makabili po nang kaunting maipapadala dito sa mga kamag-anak sa Pilipinas,” Valte said.

“Kaya naiintindihan po natin ang damdamin ng ating mga kababayan at kailangan makarating din naman po sa Customs ‘yung nagiging epekto ng kanilang regulasyon,” she added.

Valte earlier said the BOC’s new process in handling balikbayan boxes serves merely as a deterrent to potential smuggling cases and is not meant to single out OFWs.

“Hindi po tina-target ang ating mga OFWs. Ang atas lang naman po sa BOC ay siguraduhing malinis at mabilis ang proseso… The process will not cause any hold up in the release of the balikbayan boxes and that the property inside should be respected as well,” she said in an interview Saturday.

Valte, nonetheless, thanked OFWs for their feedback and encouraged them to keep them coming as they continue to work with BOC to address their concerns.

"Ituloy lang po natin ang ating pagpapadala ng feedback para malaman din po ng Customs at sinisigurado ko po sa inyo, ako po, personal ko pong ginagarantiya sa inyo na makakarating po ito kay Pangulong Aquino," she said.