Tag Archives: tax exemption

Philippine Senate Approves 1,500 Percent Increase In Balikbayan Box Tax Exemption

imageMANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – We asked Siri what 1,500% of P10,000 was, and her answer was P150,000. And that’s exactly what the Philippine Senate wants in terms in an increase in the tax-exemption for Balikbayan boxes.

The Balikbayan box is part of the Philippine government’s incentive program for Filipino expatriates to encourage them to send goods to their loved ones back home, tax-free.  The current tax-free limit is P10,000.

The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill that would not only modernize the Bureau of Customs (BoC) but would also raise the tax-exempt value of balikbayan boxes from P10,000 to P150,000.

Senate Bill No. 2968, known as the Customs Modernization and Tarrif Act (CMTA), was approved by the chamber Monday.
Senator Sonny Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means and sponsor of the bill, said the measure aims to amend the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) in compliance with the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) which is a blueprint for “modern and efficient customs procedures” of the World Customs Organization.

If it becomes law, what does the bill mean for overseas Filipinos?

It means they can stop going to Walmart or Costco to buy bulk items or designer goods to pack into their Balikbayan boxes.

They will now be able to shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Macy’s, as well as buy grocery items from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.  It also means that the  high-definition, flat screen television sets they send to their families back home can now be as large as 69 inches, as opposed to the usual 29 inches.

It’s really more fun in the Philippines, especially if you have relatives in the U.S. and other countries.



Metro Manila train commuters pay more for long lines
Metro Manila train commuters pay more for long lines

MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Last January 4, base transportation fares on Metro Manila’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2, and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 were increased from P10.00 to P11.00 plus P1.00 per additional kilometer.

Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the increase, which he called “a tough decision” that had to be made in order to bring improved services on the MRT and LRT lines.

Metro Manila’s rail lines, particularly the MRT-3, have been the subject of complaints from commuters because of congestion and frequent delays caused by glitches and breakdowns.

During last week’s Adobo Tour, our our publisher, editor and star reporters personally experienced the long and winding lines to get to the ticket booths, to wait for trains to arrive and to exit the platforms. Not to mention having to wait for the next two trains because only 3 to 4 incoming passengers at a time can be accommodated in the sardine-packed train cars.

But while daily commuters have to deal with less take home pay from their already meager salaries, millionaires who own several airconditioned luxury vehicles and have so much money they could charter an entire Boeing 747, are beng granted tax exemptions by the ever-brilliant, grandstanding Philippine legislators . Manny Pacquiao, for example.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has proposed to grant a special tax exemption to Pacquiao to inspire him in his megafight with American Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2, 2015 (May 3 in Manila).

Pimentel said the special tax incentive was a “fitting tribute to the priceless package of proudly promoting the country once again in the international map.”

Pacquiao, an elected congressman from his hometown of Saranggani, has been in trouble with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in recent years for alleged failure to pay taxes on his earnings from his championship fights in the U.S.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares who has a reputation for going after celebrities for their prize winnings abroad, has not commented on the proposal by Pimentel.

So, for tax-free living in the Philippines, run for public office or take up boxing for a profession!