Aquino Orders BOC to Stop Physical Inspection of Balikbayan Boxes

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to stop conducting random physical examinations of balikbayan boxes immediately after a meeting with BOC Commissioner Bert Lina and Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima on Monday night, August 24. Stricter guidance over BOC inspection process Aquino emphasized that physical inspections should only be done if the BOC sees any derogatory findings after an x-ray and K-9 inspection. A physical inspection will also require the presence of a representative from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) or any designated officer from an authorized OFW association. Other measures to ensure that BOC officials do not violate the rights of the owners of balikbayan boxes include stricter CCTV monitoring on all inspection areas. As for BOC employees found in violation of protocols, Aquino has also instructed that they be prosecuted and punished as fit. Aquino also called upon the public to do their part by submitting videos and photos in case of abuse and illegal acts done by BOC employees. A move against smuggling This statement comes after Aquino’s appeal to the public just a few hours before to support the BOC and let them do their job as they move against rampant smuggling in the country. The President added that there have been reports of firearms, ammunition, illegal drugs, and dismantled motorcycle parts being shipped into the country illegally using balikbayan boxes, which triggered the BOC’s move to start stricter implementation of their inspection guidelines. Lina says that the President had a change of heart because he cared for the OFWs. However, he stresses that the BOC will still continue doing everything they can to apprehend smugglers abusing the exemptions given to balikbayan boxes. The BOC reports that they lose up to 50M pesos in revenues every month as a result of technical smuggling using balikbayan boxes. President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to stop conducting random physical examinations of balikbayan boxes immediately after a meeting with BOC Commissioner Bert Lina and Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima on Monday night, August 24. Stricter guidance over BOC inspection process Aquino emphasized that physical inspections should only be done if the BOC sees any derogatory findings after an x-ray and K-9 inspection. A physical inspection will also require the presence of a representative from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) or any designated officer from an authorized OFW association. Other measures to ensure that BOC officials do not violate the rights of the owners of balikbayan boxes include stricter CCTV monitoring on all inspection areas. As for BOC employees found in violation of protocols, Aquino has also instructed that they be prosecuted and punished as fit. Aquino also called upon the public to do their part by submitting videos and photos in case of abuse and illegal acts done by BOC employees. A move against smuggling This statement comes after Aquino’s appeal to the public just a few hours before to support the BOC and let them do their job as they move against rampant smuggling in the country. The President added that there have been reports of firearms, ammunition, illegal drugs, and dismantled motorcycle parts being shipped into the country illegally using balikbayan boxes, which triggered the BOC’s move to start stricter implementation of their inspection guidelines. Lina says that the President had a change of heart because he cared for the OFWs. However, he stresses that the BOC will still continue doing everything they can to apprehend smugglers abusing the exemptions given to balikbayan boxes. The BOC reports that they lose up to 50M pesos in revenues every month as a result of technical smuggling using balikbayan boxes.
Rica J

I am a mother, a wife and a technology loving Filipina who loves reading hi-fiction books (dragons!) , good stories, dancing, laughter, lying on the grass and eating balut. I am born and raised in the Philippines and now resides in Australia but finds myself in the Philippines for at least 3 months a year. I am part of the Filipino Australian Community and have been living between Australia and the Philippines since 2007.

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