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Marcos welcomes passage of bill increasing tax exemption for OFW balikbayan boxes

Press Releases
19 January 2016

Bersyon sa Filipino.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today welcomed the passage in the Senate of a bill that, among others, increases the tax exemption for balikbayan boxes of Overseas Filipino Workers as he expressed hope that the bicameral conference committee will meet soon to speed up the process of the bill's signing into law.

On Monday the Senate approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 2968 that would not only modernize the Bureau of Customs but also raise the tax-exempt value of balikbayan boxes from P10,000 to P150,000.

“Finally we have given back our OFWs a concrete manifestation that we recognize them as modern day heroes for their sacrifices and significant contributions to our economy, instead of merely paying them lip-service,” said Marcos.

It could be recalled that Marcos opposed the random inspection policy implemented last year by the Bureau of Customs, which included opening of balikbayan boxes of OFW’s suspected of containing smuggled goods.

As a result of the Senate probe of the controversial BOC policy Marcos filed Senate Bill 3033, or the “Duty Free/Pasalubong Act of 2015”, which sought exemption from custom duties the reasonable importation of OFWs as “pasalubong” or “padala” to their families.

Marcos said that while the measure approved by the Senate did not actually incorporate his proposal it gave similar benefits for OFWs that his bill sought to achieve.

With the counterpart measure approved by the House of Representatives earlier, Marcos finds no reason to hamper the bill’s enactment into law.

“If the bicameral conference committee can work fast to harmonize the House and the Senate version our OFWs will enjoy the benefits of this law very soon. I just hope the President won’t veto the tax exemption for balikbayan boxes as he did with the increase in SSS (Social Security System) pension,” said Marcos.