Senate holds joint committee hearing on BoC, balikbayan box issue
Despite the President’s order to stop the opening of balikbayan boxes, the Senate still pushed through on Thursday its inquiry on the issue with officials of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and other agencies concerned invited to attend the proceeding.
Among those invited in the hearing of the Senate committee on ways and means, joint with the committee on labor, employment and human resources development, were Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina, former Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Budget and Management, and various OFW groups led by OFW Family Party List Representative Roy Señeres.
The BoC’s plan to open the balikbayan boxes on suspicion that these are being used as a smuggling channel were met with strong opposition from OFWs, who expressed their sentiments on social media.
This prompted President Benigno Aquino III to immediately order a stop to the BoC’s plan.
Aside from the issue on balikbayan boxes, the joint hearing will also tackle on the proposed Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, which aims to introduce reforms to the BoC. Maila Ager/CDG
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