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Customs chief responds to OFW’s plea not open balikbayan boxes

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reacted to the Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW’s) petition to stop opening the balikbayan boxes or packages they are sending to the country.

BOC Chief Bert Lina said OFWs should not be worried if their agency is opening the boxes being brought to the country if they have nothing to hide. He reiterated that the random inspection is only part of the process to reinforce the drive to stop smuggling.

“Kung hindi prohibited bakit ka matatakot? Kung iyan ay hindi dutiable, bakit ka matatakot?" Lina said in an interview with DZMM.

Lina stressed that he is only fulfilling his duties and implementing the law through strict inspection of balikbayan boxes that could help in protecting the country from smuggled goods such as illegal drugs and unlicensed firearms.

“I have my duty to protect this country... Kung dumami ang droga dito, dumami ang mga baril, sisihin mo ako, 'di ba? 'Yun ang aking gagawin, I have to implement the law," Lina added.

Through spot check operations, BOC earlier discovered that traders use balikbayan boxes to ship smuggled goods into the country which were identified as “undervalued items” and “undeclared contents.”

Aside from OFWs, solons Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Rep. Lito Atienza also asked the BOC to stop imposing rules on opening of balikbayan boxes as it shows threat to the OFWs.

ACIRC

BALIKBAYAN

BOC

BOXES

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS

CHIEF BERT LINA

COUNTRY

LITO ATIENZA

OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS

YUN

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