PNoy on balikbayan box inspection: Let Customs do its job
Louis Bacani (Philstar.com) - August 23, 2015 - 11:17pm

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Monday urged the public to let the Bureau of Customs (BOC) do its job of inspecting balikbayan boxes.

However, Aquino also asked the BOC officials and personnel not to abuse their authority.

"Tulungan natin 'yung Customs na gawin 'yung kanilang trabaho at dapat naman siguraduhin ng gobyerno na wala namang karapatan ng taumbayan na mapipinsala dito sa paghahabol ng pangangalaga ng kapakanan ng lahat," Aquino said in a media interview in Cebu.

UPDATE: PNoy orders Customs: Stop physical inspection of balikbayan boxes

The BOC has drawn flak for its stricter inspection of balikbayan boxes sent by overseas Filipino workers.

The president said he will meet later this afternoon with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BOC Commissioner Albert Lina to review the agency's move.

"Pipilitan nating ilagay lahat ng safeguards para walang abuso," Aquino said.

"Pero palagay ko wala naman sigurong magmumungkahi na huwag na nating tignan dahil trabaho ng Customs 'yung pangalagaan yung inaangkat dito sa ating bansa," he added.

Aquino said he was initially told by Purisima and Lina that the stricter balikbayan box inspection aims to strengthen the government efforts against smuggling.

"Ang pangunahing layunin nito ay makatulong doon sa kampanya natin laban sa mga ilegal na droga," Aquino said.

The president said he has received reports that even firearms, ammunition and dismantled motorcycle parts are being smuggled into the country through balikbayan boxes.

Aquino said it was explained to him that x-ray machines will be used to inspect balikbayan boxes and only the suspicious ones will be physically opened.

He said independent observers were supposed to be deployed to the BOC to ensure that the contents of the boxes will not be stolen by inspectors.

ANG AQUINO BALIKBAYAN BOXES BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CEBU COMMISSIONER ALBERT LINA FINANCE SECRETARY CESAR PURISIMA PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PURISIMA AND LINA QUOT
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