Balikbayan Program Case Study

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Background of the Study Article XIII, Section 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that the State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.[ Article XIII, Section 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution] In recognition of this policy, Congress has enacted laws that promote, protect and ensure full protection to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). To recognize the significant contributions of OFWs in aiding the Philippine economy through their foreign exchange remittances, the Government set out benefits and privileges to them such as those provided under the Republic Act No. 6768, as amended by Republic Act No. 9174, otherwise known as the "Balikbayan Program."[ An Act Instituting A Balikbayan Program [Balikbayan Program], Republic Act No. 6768 (1989).] Under the program, the "balikbayans" and their families shall be entitled to tax- exempt maximum purchase in the amount of One Thousand Five Hundred United States dollars (US$1,500.00) or its equivalent in Philippine peso and in other foreign currencies at all government-owned
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Consequently, Senator Ralph G. Recto introduced Senate Bill No. 2913 or the Balikbayan Box Law (BBL) on August 15, 2015 which increases the tax-exempt value of balikbayan boxes sent by OFWs. The tax-exempt value is proposed to be increased to US$2,000.00. Moreover, the value shall be adjusted every six (6) years to its present value using the Consumer Price Index (CPl).[ An Act Exempting from Duties and Taxes "Balikbayan Boxes" containing Personal and Household Effects of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), other Filipinos Residing Abroad and Residents of the Philippines returning from Abroad [Balikbayan Box Law], Senate Bill No. 2913

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