Unite, all Overseas Filipinos!


NOW this I don’t get. Taxing and opening Balikbayan Boxes (BB)? At the start of the ghost month, the Aquino administration is playing a joke on us, both to the sender and the receiver. Oh Mar, the joke is also on you!

Per the Commission on Overseas Filipinos, there are 10,460,327 to 13,500,000 Filipinos abroad as of FY2012. Of this, 2.3 million are Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs based on the 2014 Survey of Overseas Filipinos. Now, here comes the Bureau of Customs (BOC) plan to open balikbayan boxes at random and impose tax on the personal effects of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Imagine just 20% of the total Overseas Filipinos sending BBs. Have you actually done a cost benefit analysis? Have you studied the impact of that? Just like your plate numbers and license cards, simple things not delayed before but are now the symbol of Tuwid na Daan. Unintended consequences? What if 10 million send BBs? The BOC can randomly check for a representative sample? Wouldn’t that cause bottlenecks? Nearing Yuletide Season, the busiest month at the ports?

The BB is what? Just in case the caciques in you do not understand. It represents connection to family. It is an emotional symbol of love and care for family. It is a magical box when opened the father or mother are able to fulfill the wishes and dreams of their parents and their kids back home. And you have the gall to rummage through it and further tax it? For what? To fight smuggling? And you think wholesale smuggling is in BBs more than in container vans. Oh and by the way, have you closed the lid on the “nearly 2,000 container vans disappeared in broad daylight while these were being transshipped from Manila to the Port of Batangas between May and June this year? Within 61 days, the vans went missing at the rate of 32 vans a day.”

The Overseas Filipinos have the numbers and they have the financial muscle. There is no debate that the remittances from the OFW has continued to buoy our economy, whether you recognize that or not. The Aquino government may thump their chests and shout to the whole world, we made it because of Tuwid na Daan and all but one group they consistently set aside, for the past five years. You consistently belittle their contributions. Remember, Mr. President, we called them modern day heroes, or you just don’t like them? Look at the immigration lines and see how you treat them compared to foreign visitors.

Now, would continuity of the Aquino administration beyond 2016 mean giving the same treatment to OFWs? Most politicians are saying, absentee voting is a failure (same as ARMM, remember?) since the turnout is so low. Originally, the thinking was with 10 mkillion overseas Filipinos and with economic means, they can certainly change the norm in Manila. If only OFWs and OFs could rally their families back home to cast their votes to candidates they support, there could be a deeper change in the political terrain.

The OFWs have economic power. Overseas Filipino workers “sent $2.18 billion in June 2015 bringing total remittances in the first half of the year to $12.18 billion or 5.6 percent higher than the same period last year.”

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) “attributed the increase in remittance to the steady demand for Filipino workers, particularly in the Middle East, and the growing network of local bank’s money transfer agents overseas.” BSP explained the “money are banked as cash remittances and are captured by branch networks monitored by the central bank. It is different from ‘personal remittances’ because these are personal and capital transfers between households and is the sum of overseas Filipinos’ net compensation.”

Numbers and economic power, two things politicos understand anywhere in the globe. Unfortunately, the local ones dismiss and diss them. So here it goes: To all OFWs and OF, unite and show to this administration your power to say no. The three to six months you spend putting things inside the BB is just a single day decision on May 2016. Reject them. Hold them accountable for their decisions now. Register your opposition. Roar so they don’t step on you. Get your representatives to raise the roof and let that thunder from all corners of the world register your opposition. Enough is enough. Defend your BB because that is your right under Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code on tax free privileges to OFWs. Go to social media wherever you are and join the campaign #NotoBBTax #StopCustomsCorruption. Tell your story like what Mike Magat, an employee (kitchen staff) of at Chungli Touyuon County in Taiwan has done. Rise and rage!


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  1. It’s just another form of stealing. Nuon pa iyan kapag hindi ang custom iyon delivery carrier naman at ituturo sa custom. Pero, there’s no record that the box has been subjected for inspection or marked basta na lang gutay-gutay at nahimalay ang canned goods at rubber shoes ni utoy. Samantalang sa Greenhills, Quiapo and other high class places tuloy pa rin ang pagbenta ng pirated and fake items as a means to defray to cost of stealing the real mccoy. You should leave those alone and focused on the most grandiose like cars/trucks. Small items would help our fellow kababayan in the livelihood para lang meroon silang mai-hain. Hindi ikayayaman ng mamayan iyan dahil ang yumaman eh iyong kawatan dahil dukot ng kaunti dito at duon by the time natapos siya meroon na siyang department store. Crime does pay…only in the Philippines!

  2. Herman P. Hondojare on

    Wake up OFW,

    Oras na pagkaisa, mag sakriprisyo huwagmag remit for two months at pag padala ng package ng madama ng kasalukuyang gobyerno ating galit sa mag pagnanakaw nila at tayo ang ginagatasan.

    mabuhay tayong lahat.


  3. This hare brained idea of Lina will cost a lot to the candidacy of Roxas and to other administration candidates. Kiss your ambitions to be president and first lady Mr. Roxas and Ms. Korina, goodbye!

  4. Aquino (Buhay ka naman)Abaya(not Fatal, MRT), Mar(Bahala kau sa buhay nyo-Rumualdez ka di ka aquino, DOTC Sec gumawa ng problema sa MRT), Lina (balikbayan Boxes), De Lima (Selective filing of PDAP case, Banana Republic), Abad( PDAP, DAP) and those LP politicians not included in PDAP case.To conclude, self destruction sila dahil inept/actions nila to the Pilipino people.
    Ang sigaw ng OFW, no to LP candidates on 2016

  5. Uniting against the oppressive Pnoy gov’t is something…let me take this opportunity to tell all OFWs that OUR BELOVED RP IS NOT 100% ECONOMICALLY BENEFITTED BY OUR REMITTANCES…time and time again when article about OFW come about like this, I try to squeeze this “outside the box brainstorming” debacle of magnitude proportion and try to tell our Gov’t to do something about it. We OFWs our sweat and blood that we exchange to earn foreign currencies, our efforts to help our motherland benefit from these foreign currencies (FC) we remit is not 100% transfused to the lifeblood of our economy. Why you may ask……because some if not most of us remit our hard earned FC through some unscrupulous firms masquerading as legit. When remitting through these firms our relatives recieved STALE CASH already in circulation (recycled money) while the FRESH CASH is deposited by these firms in their foreign banks. RP needs FRESH CASH to make robust its economy in order for us to shorten our stay abroad and live with our families, robust economy means jobs for us OFWs in RP.

    Taking the numbers in this column $12.18/3.5MOFW/6mos = $580/OFW monthly remittance. Isn’t this strapolation looks shievering, the mean average is low ( seems like all OFWs are MAIDS with this)..and where is the rest? There is my point, some amount we sent home do not reach as FRESH CASH in our banking system.

    And our gov’t Finance Dept full with CPAs, CFMs, MBAs, PHDs ( pretty hard d–k) are not looking into this? BOI devise incentives for foreign investors, BSP pays interests on sovereign bonds floated because they need money to service RP debts. OFW remittances are the cheapest source of Funds for RP gov’t, why not device an incentive for OFW remittances? Only the OFWs need to remit through RP gov’t recognized remittance centers abroad, which RP can create by using diplomatic means. There I have given the idea…let the RP gov’t draw the INCENTIVES and OFWs will remit to these remittance centers. OFWs must be INCENTIVIZED not ROBBED and being called HERO for nothing. rll6358@hotmail.com

  6. But Clement Camposano, a migration anthropologist at the University of Asia and the Pacific in Manila, called the process of filling up the box, sealing it, and sending it an important ritual—a form of “diasporic intimacy.”

    As one balikbayan box is sent off, the process of filling another one starts. It is also the process of filling a migrant mother’s need to make up for all the years she missed with her children, and all the years she will continue to miss while she is away.

    – Long Distance Parenting
    Ana P. Santos

    • yan nga ang true meaning ng mag balikbayan boxes. love given to the love ones despite one’s absence. ang ogag na si lina ay ginagamit yung batas na P10K limit sa tax exemption which was given way back. ano ang mailalagay mo sa box na worth P10K?? ni hindi ka makapuno ng sabon at chocolate at di lata sa P10K. galit ba si lina at boy sisi pag nakitaan nila ng nakasuot ng la coste shirt o walking shoes yung mga kamaganak ng OFWs at OF?? bakit?? ang isang balikbayan box at today’s prices could easily be worth at least $200.00 and that is almost P100K. so sa plano ni lina at boy sisi, lahat ng balikbayan boxes are liable to pay tax. ang cheap ng mga @#!%$$ na ito. samantalang katakuttakot ang smuggling ng bigas, onions, garlic, fruits etc na hindi nila mahuli. ang kaya lang nila ay yung ordinaryong tao. WARNING NGA PALA SA MGA OF AND OFW – DO NOT SEND GIFTS VIA MAIL. DADALIHIN KAYO NG TAXES SA CUSTOMS NA NASA POST OFFICE.

  7. no use going to court for TRO,
    use your vote on16 may 2016 to kickout these heartless KKK gang!!!

  8. ibagsak lahat ng lp, all of them are a bunch of conniving alligators and they should be in swamps not in congress or government positions, senate, or presidential group. tayong mga ofw and mag tuwid ng daan na binaluktot nila. tayo ang gagawa ng paraan na mawala sila s puesto, tama na! sobra na!

  9. The current administration has no idea about the hornet’s nest of emotions and antagonism they have stirred in their announcements of taxing and opening balikbayan boxes. This goes to the heart of the people’s feelings, PNoy’s alleged “bosses” the majority who vote. Nearly Every potential candidate, all opinion leaders have spoken against it. Mar Roxas silence on the matter is eloquent enough in showing his elitism, his indifference to the people’s feelings. . Change your slogan from Da-an matuwid to da-an manhid

  10. The current administration has no idea about the hornet’s nest of emotions and antagonism they have stirred in their announcements of taxing and opening balikbayan boxes. This goes to the heart of the people’s feelings, PNoy’s alleged “bosses” the majority who vote. Nearly Every potential candidate, all opinion leaders have spoken against it. Mar Roxas silence on the matter is eloquent enough in showing his elitism, his indifference to the people’s feelings. Change your slogan from Da-an matuwid to da-an manhid

  11. Ang mga padala natin pera para sa ating mga family baka gusto din nila e tax, no problem di na tau magpadala ng boxes Pati pera hindi na rin…it’s all because of this only pinoy government. ..kaya segi iboto nyu pa, ayan tuloy ginawa na taong brainless voters, ,, pinagtatawanan tau sa buong mundo…

  12. Noynoy and his cohorts do not understand the sentiments on “balikbayan box” because they never had been OFW, they don’t have family members who are OFWs. They are just a bunch of Ateneo classmates and LP businessmen and those that belong to the same socio-economic class.
    However, the OFWs in miliions and their families back home belong to a socio-economic strata that are shallow and short-minded, to easily forget one issue that affects them until another issue crops up. They are a bunch of not knowing, if not accepting their real identity, class and strength. They pretend to be apart of a society but they are not. As they are not accepted by the ruling class as mere “slaves/workhorses” without much rights. We are still in a state of “masters and slaves” society blurred by pseudo concept of “democracy” of equality.

  13. Someone take this to court and get a TRO to prevent customs from opening OFW boxes from being opened without the owner being present. We know they are only going to open the boxes to steal something from inside.

  14. Tayong mga OFW ay depat magkaisa……Huwag nating tangkilikn ang mga taga LP.
    Parepareho silang walang pakialam sa kapakanan nating mga OFW at ating mga familia. Wala silang inisip kundi ang makukurakot, Pati ba naman barya-barya ay papatulan pa nila. Bakit hindi nila habulin ang mga big time smugglers na kapanalig nila, mga kasama nilang tulisan sa BOC ganoon din a mga KKK.

  15. The president himself said that OFWs should allow the opening of the Balikbayan Boxes. I say this Mr Landlord president those goods inside those boxes were already taxed in the countries where they originated! This is double taxation! Shame on you! Wala kang kaya kundi ang mga babae, may sakit at maliliit na OFW! No to liberal party and its friends like Chiz, Grace Poe and Binay!

  16. Excellent! Well stated….I hope all OFWs like me will voice out their sentiments and feelings to awaken this very callous government. Certainly, there are lots of “Mandurugas” in BOC….thanks

    • Kadami mandurugas talaga dun Ampil. Di lang nman mga examiners at appraisers ang kalaban dun. Maguumpisa ka sa messengers at Section Clerks na kung wala kng “Ipit” o promise eh di agad maipapasa sa tamang section ang entry mo. Pag nasa tamang sections na ng examiners’ o apprisers’ group ung entry need mo na ayusin mo muna ung ‘clerk’ para makarating agad dun sa examiner o appraiser concerned. kung hindi wait ka kung kailan gusto ng clerk na ipasa ito sa examiner o appraiser. Ganun din sistema sa lahat ng ruta ng mga import entries. Huhuhu