President Aquino ordered the Bureau of Customs to stop random or arbitrary physical inspections of Balikbayan Boxes. According to Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte, the President gave the order after meeting with Finance Secretary Purisima and Bureau of Customs Commissioner Lina.
President Aquino’s solution for solving the Balikbayan Box issue was to instruct the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Customs to do the following:
1) No Random or arbitrary physical inspection of balikbayan boxes.
2) Mandatory X-Ray or K-9 inspection at no cost to Sender or Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
3) Should there be *derogatory finding* (meaning they found something amiss) from the X-Ray or K-9 examination, only then will the goods be physically examined. Provided that the Bureau of Customs will request an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) officer or designated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Association officer present during the inspection. The area where the inspection will be held must have CCTV monitoring.
Photo Courtesy: Government of Thailand.