Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) send balikbayan boxes to their families and loved ones back home to the Philippines as one way of giving happiness and as providing for them. From the moment they go shopping and buy items for the box content, OFWs are aware not to send certain things not approved by cargo forwarders.
Recently, many OFWs complain of their boxes being tampered – opened, packed loosely and differently and worse, some items either missing or damaged beyond use. But that’s not all, the Bureau of Customs in the Philippines is lamenting about thousands of pesos affecting the government due to undeclared, taxable and expensive things being shipped thru balikbayan boxes.
Worst, Customs want to legalize the opening of balikbayan boxes to see which contents must be taxable, but according to them, under CCTV to ensure honest implementation. A few days ago, Customs released some points about what to tax and not.
We are saying NO to bukas balikbayan box because this is an OFW’s right to privacy. When we send boxes to the Philippines, we are aware of what is allowed to ship and not allowed. We spend every single centavo wisely when buying our box’s contents. We send mostly necessities to our families and loved ones to the Philippines.
We work very hard, endure difficulties, battle homesickness just to be able to earn honest living and let our families and loved ones enjoy our earning by sending balikbayan boxes to them. We demand our right to privacy. We say NO!