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Bishop: BoC chief's apology must be sincere

Dennis Carcamo (Philstar.com) - September 4, 2015 - 7:49pm
MANILA, Philippines - A Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) official said he hopes that the apology of Bureau of Customs (BoC) Commissioner Alberto Lina for the agency's policy in opening and taxing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) balikbayan boxes was sincere.
  
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People chairman, said Lina's apology is an indication that he had committed a mistake. 
 
"Una sa lahat dapat yung kanyang pagso-sorry ay galing sa pagtanggap sa kanyang pagkakamali, galing sa kanyang puso... Sana nagmumula sa puso at hindi lamang sa salita. Magkaroon sana siya ng pagpapakita at pagsasagawa ng sincerity nila. Na kung saan ipakita nila yung paggalang at pagtanggap sa ating mga OFW," Bishop Santos told Radyo Veritas.
 
Bishop Santos said the BoC should stop targetting OFWs' boxes and instead focus in addressing the issue of smuggling of goods into the country. 
 
"Ngayon ito din dapat ay makilala at matanggap na totoo tayo, na tayo ay tunay at tayo ay tama. Itong balikbayan box ay hindi dapat paghinalaan na kasangkapan sa pag-i-smuggle. Dapat nilang tanggapin na ang mga balikbayan box ay pagpapahayag ng pag-ibig, pagmamalasakit ng mga OFW sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay dito sa Pilipinas. Itutok nila ang kanilang paningin sa mga container van," the bishop said. 
 
During the Senate Committee on Ways and Means hearing, aside from apologizing to OFWs, Lina also told the panel that it is not the intention of the BoC to burden the OFWs and will push to increase the tax exemption of balikbayan box from P10,000 to P50,000.
 

A CATHOLIC BISHOPS BALANGA BISHOP RUPERTO SANTOS BISHOP SANTOS BUREAU OF CUSTOMS COMMISSIONER ALBERTO LINA CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES DIV DURING THE SENATE COMMITTEE EPISCOPAL COMMISSION MIGRANTS AND ITINERANT PEOPLE NBSP
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