Palace ‘respects’ more protests from OFWs


MALACAÑANG on Saturday said it respects the decision of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to hold more mass actions against the Bureau of Customs’ (BoC) plans to tighten rules on balikbayan boxes.

On Friday, the militant labor group Migrante said OFWs would turn the “Zero Remittance Day” into a “Zero Vote” campaign against administration candidates in the coming 2016 elections in response to the bureau’s policy on balikbayan boxes.

In a radio interview, Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said it is up to the OFWs to choose the candidates they want in the next election.

“Ang inaasahan lang po natin ay, siyempre, mababase po ito sa plataporma; mababase po ito doon sa ano po ba ‘yung ikagaganda pa ng ating bansa, at ‘yung ikabubuti pa ng buhay ng ating mga pamilya [The administration hopes their (OFWs) votes would be based on the politician’s platform for the country’s welfare and their families],” she added.

The new policy on balikbayan boxes infuriated OFWs worldwide. The BoC said balikbayan boxes are being used as a means to smuggle goods or ship illegal narcotics.

Valte said OFWs are free to express their sentiments on any issue like the one on balikbayan boxes.

“At ang lagi ko pong sinasabi sa kanila ay malaya silang ipahayag ang kanilang mga saloobin, whether they join a ‘no remittance day’ or they may send [the]government a message on Facebook or they can post their sentiments online or magpa-interview sila sa media [I would like to constantly remind (OFWs) them that they are free to express their opinions, whether they join a ‘no remittance day,’ or send the government a message on Facebook, or they can post their sentiments online or be interviewed by the media],” she said.

Malacañang earlier downplayed the no-remittance day, saying it will have no effect on the economy. However, cash sent home by overseas Filipinos help fuel the country’s consumption-induced economic growth.

Following a series of protests, the BoC announced it would come up next week with the revised regulations on how they would handle balikbayan boxes.


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  1. I can’t blame too much this lady gaga valte, coloma and lasierda for the hogwash they spew every time like the palace respects the right of ofw to express their disgust as if this will mean anything at all. Of course they will respect this right can they do anything otherwise! These people are in the payroll of malacanang and will continue to do and say what they are paid to do and say. In fact I have some pity for them too because it is probably already taxing too much their minds to try saying anything original and worse brilliant. Keep it there you d&d gang it won’t be long now and you will be roaming streets aimlessly but at least able to breath easier will less pressure from the idiots that are your bosses.

    • It’s simple, no-brainer decision… if you’re not happy with what you do and if what you do runs against your valued principle… then resign because doing the exact opposite of what you stand for lessen your value as a person… and doing it for the money makes one no different from those who’s only lusts are for greed and power…. this admin is in a sinking stage right now and going down no amount of deodorant can prevent it from plunging to the depths of the abyss….

  2. The Crooks are inside these government agencies. They have been exploiting the system too long. It’s about time the people and OFW speak out too.
    Oh Yes , come election day we look forward to Change the Leadership in the government.
    BS Aquino and his appointed & anointed ones are the worst ever in the Philippine history.

  3. Catch the big time smugglers. If BoC don’t know how to do it with mouth closed by secret operation then kick out Lina the incompetent big mouth.

    • I believe that the only credential lina brought in to merit ABNOY’s approval to hire him was his successful tenure during GMAs time…ang dami nilang nanakaw and going down in Philippines history as the biggest thief on record… with lina at the forefront