Bishop lauds new balikbayan box law

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MANILA, June 1, 2016— A new law increasing the tax-exempt value of items sent by migrant workers to their families would be advantageous to overseas Filipino workers, a Catholic bishop said.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos of the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People said it is certainly “good news” for the OFWs.

“It’s a relief and assurance for our OFW as they can pay less to send balikbayan boxes and they can send more to their loved ones,” Santos said.

President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday signed Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) which which increases the tax-exempt value of items sent by OFWs to their families back home.

Under the CMTA, the tax exemption ceiling is increased from P10,000 to P150,000 in a year, given that the goods are not in commercial quantities.

The law also raises the de minimis value, which refers to the value of tax and duty free goods and the minimum cost of goods required to undergo formal Customs entry, from P10 to P10,000.

“With increased tax exemptions custom officials don’t have to strictly inspect Balikbayan boxes, and so stealing some items or destruction of balikbayan boxes will be avoided,” Santos said. (CBCPNews)

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