Philippine Congress Urged To Probe Random Balikbayan Box Check Policy

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Despite the decision of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to stop its policy on randomly inspecting balikbayan boxes sent home by overseas Filipino works (OFW), the Philippine Congress said it will continue to investigate the order.

Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo filed House Resolution 2311 that urges the House ways and means committee to investigate the policy of the BOC that orders random opening of balikbayan boxes.

Romulo told reporters that the BOC should refrain from implementing policies that are disadvantageous to the OFWs, who have long been considered as the country’s new heroes because of their remittances that continue to stir the economy.

He stressed that the BOC can still randomly check the content of balikbayan boxes but it must be done through high-tech x-ray machines and not by human hands.

Romulo described the random inspection as “invasive and discriminatory” for the OFWs who are sacrificing abroad to earn a living for their families in the Philippines.

Earlier, Bayan Muna partylist filed a resolution that also urges the House committee on overseas workers affairs to also check the balikbayan box inspection policy of the BOC. –