Senate Bill Proposes One Tax-Exempt Balikbayan Box Per Month For Every OFW

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III has filed a bill that seeks to give every overseas Filipino worker the right to send a tax-free balikbayan box every month, a GMA News report said on Tuesday.

If passed into law, Senate Bill No. 1168 will allow OFWs to send one balikbayan box with specific dimension of 24 x 24 x 30 inches per month without being subjected to taxes and duties.

In addition to the tax-free provision, SB 1168 will also impose more stringent guidelines regarding inspection of balikbayan boxes by Bureau of Customs personnel.

BOC will only be allowed to use non-intrusive methods of inspecting boxes, which may only be opened if they are determined to have contraband items or lack export declaration from the consignor and a list of the box’s contents.

“The value of the contents of the balikbayan boxes is not the concern of the Bureau of Customs. What is important is that each OFW is entitled to one balikbayan box per month for his or her family,” Pimentel said in a statement.