The Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) new rules on balikbayan boxes could hamper cargo of donated aid items to evacuees coursed by this most popular supply system of abroad Filipino employees.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Monday urged the BOC to overview Section 120 of the Customs Modernization and Tariffs Act (CMTA) which might restrict consignees or recipients of balikbayan boxes solely to kin of senders as a result of it could affect donations for calamity victims.
“What is the rule to be followed if kind-hearted OFW (overseas Filipino worker) sends a package to a non-relative in Marawi?” he requested.
“These shipments must be cleared beyond the designated office and shall be waived of corresponding charges. The examination of goods are allowed only in exceptional circumstances,” Recto emphasised.
The senator has known as for the activation and convening of the Congressional Customs and Tariff Oversight Committee to overview the BOC’s implementation of RA 10893 or the CMTA.
Under the mentioned regulation, clearance of aid consignment shall be a matter of precedence and topic to a simplified customs process and the Departments of Finance (DOF) and social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall problem the rules and laws on aid consignment.
“Hopefully meron na (rules) so that when governments and citizens of predominantly Muslim nations will send aid to Marawi, either by barges or by boxes, the rules are already in place,” Recto mentioned.