Migrante International today slammed the Bureau of Customs’ (BoC) latest order Customs Memorandum Order 04-2017 saying that it is an insult, an added chore and a killjoy to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.
The group said that CMO 04-2017 also reeks of another money-making scheme aimed to justify tax impositions and other fund-generating requirements from OFWs and families.
CMO 04-2017 requires balikbayan boxes to include an itemized list of all its contents and receipts of newly-puchased items inside the box. It also requires receivers to be solely relatives and family members who have to prove that they are Filipino citizens.
“Itong mga taga-Customs, halatang walang malasakit at walang respeto sa mga OFW. Hindi ba nila alam na kasama sa sayang dulot ng balikbayan box ang surpresang dulot nito sa mga pamilya? Pati ba naman ito ay tatanggalin nila? Gusto nilang tanggalin ang saya ng OFW at pamilya sa pagpapadala at pagtanggap ng balikbayan box,” said Arman Hernando, Migrante International Spokesperson.
“Ang sabi pa ng BoC, wala raw dapat ikatakot ang mga OFW kung wala naman silang itinatago. Ang sagot dito ng mga OFW, bakit kami ang pinag-iinitan ninyo? Hindi kami mga kriminal na nagpupuslit ng kontrabando. Bakit kami ang pinagdidiskitahan ng gobyerno gayong hindi naman nila masawata ang mga malalaking iligal na smuggler at sindikato? Pawis at dugo ng mga OFW ang puhunan para mapuno ang bawat isang balikbayan box.” Hernando said.
Hernando said, “The balikbayan box is sacred to OFWs. The most of humble balikbayan boxes contains the most personalized translation of love and affection for its recipients. Sending and receiving it is a delightful event in itself. The least the government could do is to make sure that this simple vehicle of love is not burdened by unnecessary requirements and money-making schemes at the expense of OFWs and their families,” Hernando said. ###