A welcome news and fitting gift to the country’s Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) this holiday season: Starting December 25, balikbayan boxes with values not exceeding P150,000 will be exempted from paying duties and taxes.
The good news was announced by Bureau of Customs spokesperson Col. Neil Anthony Estrella at a press briefing in Malacañan Tuesday, Dec. 20.
Bureau of Customs Administrative Order 05-2016 lifts taxes on balikbayan boxes for qualified Filipinos while abroad, including Filipino citizens who are residing abroad and Filipinos who are holders of student, investors, and tourist visas.
To be covered by this ruling, balikbayan boxes shall contain personal and household effects only, and content should not be in commercial quantities or intended for sale.
Also, the availment of this privilege is limited to a maximum of three times per calendar year.
At the same press briefing, Estrella also announced the Bureau’s heightened alert against the smuggling of goods in the country.
“Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has issued a memorandum to remind all officials and personnel to keep a tight watch on the entry of illegal finished firecrackers, fireworks, and other pyrotechnic devices in the country,” said Estrella.
The only exemption which is allowed by law is the importation of ingredients used in manufacturing fireworks.
Menwhile, Estrella announced that the Bureau of Customs has already collected P19.947 billion which is 57% of the P35.116 billion assessed target for the last month of the year.
The Bureau expects to achieve a good revenue collection performance this month similar to November, when BOC exceeded its target revenue collection by more than P3 billion.
“Given this improvement, BOC is already at 93.3% of the P409 billion assessed target for the whole year,” said Estrella.
At the same press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President is very transparent when it comes to the state of his health.
“The President’s health is very transparent. You know, like people ask should we have a medical bulletin? But I think he’s so transparent about himself,” Abella said.
The President’s Spokesperson also said that despite his hectic schedule and long working hours, the President is in good health.###PND