BOC hails Congress approval of CMTA
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The passage in Congress of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) is a legacy the current Bureau of Customs leadership is proud to leave behind, commissioner Alberto Lina said yesterday.

“I am very happy. This calls for a celebration… This is a legacy,” Lina said as he thanked those who worked for its passage in the bicameral conference committee.

He said he is optimistic the measure would be signed into law by President Aquino before Congress adjourns on Feb. 6.

While the President may have vetoed the P2,000 increase in Social Security System (SSS) pension for retirees, he is confident the CMTA will not suffer the same fate.

The CMTA also allows overseas Filipinos to send up to three balikbayan boxes a year, each with P150,000 worth of tax and duty free goods, provided these are not in commercial quantities or intended for barter, sale or for hire.

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the ways and means committee, earlier said a P10,000 tax exemption ceiling, as provided for under the late President Corazon Aquino’s Executive Order 206 in 1987, is now too small.

Angara said based on their research, an ordinary OFW sends to his family around P80,000 worth of items every three to four months.

On top of the tax and duty free balikbayan boxes, Filipinos who have stayed in a foreign country for at least 10 years and are returning to the Philippines will also be granted tax exemption for personal and household effects worth up to P350,000.

Filipinos who have lived overseas for at least five years would be entitled to tax and duty free personal and household effects amounting to P250,000, while those who have stayed abroad for less than five years can enjoy P150,000 tax-free ceiling.

Moreover, the proposed CMTA raises the de minimis value, which refers to the minimum cost of goods required to undergo formal Customs entry, from the present P10 to P10,000.

ALBERTO LINA ANGARA BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CONGRESS OF THE CUSTOMS MODERNIZATION AND TARIFF ACT EXECUTIVE ORDER FEB JUAN EDGARDO ANGARA PRESIDENT AQUINO PRESIDENT CORAZON AQUINO SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM WHILE THE PRESIDENT
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