Chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, AGAP Party-list Representative Nicanor M. Briones wants seeking to raise the tax and customs duties exemption of balikbayan boxes from US$500 to US$2,000, and the personal effects of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and other returning Filipino migrants or residents abroad whose value does not exceed P100,000.
“These boxes, symbolic of their love, do not contain gold, guns and riches. They are packed with clothes, simple household items, books, soap, toothpaste and other things the OFWs have lovingly collected in the course of the year,” Briones said.
He also said that his proposal is in recognition of the immense contribution of OFWs to the country’s economy through their remittances which last year alone reached US$24.3 billion.
If enacted, House Bill 6156 or “OFW Balikbayan Box Law” provides that the values stated shall be adjusted to their present values using the Consumer Price Index as published by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).