MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto is set to file a proposed Balikbayan Box Law, which seeks to raise the tax-exempt value of the contents of a balikbayan box to $2,000.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Memorandum Circular Number 7990 pegs a maximum value of $500 per balikbayan box shipped by a Filipino national to the Philippines.
Recto said the amount is antiquated.
“If the Bureau of Customs is insisting that it is just implementing existing rules on the matter, then we might as well change the rules,” Recto said.
Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina said on Monday that balikbayan boxes are those brought to the country by Filipinos who are returning home, and that based on a presidential decree issued by President Fidel Ramos, they are tax exempt if their value is equivalent to up to P10,000 ($213.50).