Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ARTICLE | Balikbayan Boxes Thoughts

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As of this writing (26 August 2015), President Aquino has stepped in and stopped BOC in opening the Balikbayan Boxes. Hence, Secretary Lina is not allowed to proceed with this random opening of boxes.

Box of Thoughts

What I find incredulous about this whole farce on “opening and checking” balikbayan boxes is that- “What are XRays invented for?” Seriously, Bureau of Customs (BOC) hasn’t it occurred to you to find alternatives ways than rummaging through private people’s stuff?
It would have been a different issue if you are trying to go after the monkey business people who you say are sending high value goods. While it is true that these businessmen should learn to pay their taxes right, it is another thing to persecute the ordinary OFWs. 

How difficult is that to understand?!

And don’t even start lecturing me on how it is impossible to classify the business people from the normal senders? You were put in that position to think of ways. I will not do your job for you. A little mental workout doesn’t exactly kill people. 

And why these spot inspections occur at a time when you know very well that as Christmas season is approaching, OFWs are of course sending their boxes to their relatives. Highly suspicious intentions isn’t it?!

And wasn’t it only last year (or so) when so many balikbayan boxes were stranded because the BOC has failed to implement an efficient system in receiving them all? Which of course delayed the simple joys that could have been brought to the eager relatives waiting.

And what about the illegal cargo companies who have duped poor OFW victims in sending their balikbayan boxes? These very small people- have they been assisted? Compensated for their loss? Or perhaps any action? I’m not clear whether any positive news has been reported on that. I doubt.

And what about the customs personnel who allegedly thieved some boxes? Have they been apprehended? But the bigger question is- HOW was that even possible to happen under the watch of their superiors?

And why can’t bigger imports e.g. luxury cars become to center of your efforts in cracking illegalities? This whole business of letting the big fish out of the water, while netting the small ones cannot get more absurd.

These balikbayan boxes are one of the things that makes OFWs happy; knowing that despite the hardships of living abroad, their families back in the Philippines will have reason to smile. Opening one’s balikbayan box is like stepping on someone’s happiness and robbing them the chance to think that all these sacrifices- being away from their families is all worth it.

PS. I also have a balikbayan box on the way, and if ever you- BOC, open it, make sure that you put back all my used underwear back to how it was folded.

Annoyingly and frustratingly yours,

One Simple OFW.

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