The Bureau of Customs will now inspect balikbayan boxes to prevent some unscrupulous individuals from using the balikbayan boxes as a way of smuggling goods for business purposes. By law they are allowed to inspect the balikbayan boxes to see whether there are irregularities. Sending this balikbayan boxes has its limitation that the sender should remember.
Balikbayan boxes should not contain more than 10,000 pesos worth of goods.
Balikbayan should not contain any home appliances unless the cosigned is a returning filipino resident or Overseas contract worker.
Canned goods , groceries and other household should not exceed 12 per item. so it means you can also send 12 corned beefs, 12 soaps etc….
Guns, ammunition, porn ,gambling materials are prohibited.
And only one box per consignment per sender per month is allowed.
To be honest it is not really the inspection that the OFW is mad at but it is more on the mistrust they have against the Bureau of Customs. We hear the horror stories of the balikbayan boxes reaching their families with missing items inside the balikbayan box and they believe the personnel of the BOC are the culprit. So, in the minds of the OFW opening the balik bayan box is like telling BOC personnel to get what ever they want on the box.
We cannot blame the OFW most of them are working abroad because they are fed-up with the corruption and lack of opportunity in our country. The balikbayan box is the “holy grail” for the family of the OFW and by touching it they (BOC) disrespecting the OFW’s family.
I hope BOC could find other means of stopping the illegal smuggling without offending the fragile emotion of our OFW.