The Philippines’ Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently launched the Parcel and Balikbayan Box Tracking System (PBTS) as part of the Bureau’s drive to promote transparency and ease of doing business.
According to a recent press release, the Parcel and Balikbayan Box Tracking System aims to render a more efficient means of tracking parcels and balikbayan boxes.
The Parcel and Balikbayan Box Tracking System
- The tracker can be accessed via the Bureau’s website. The system is capable of providing updates about the parcel or balikbayan box as it goes through the different stages of customs clearance.
- This will reportedly enable Filipinos to check on the status of parcels and balikbayan boxes sent to them by their families and friends abroad.
- This also allows the Bureau to monitor the efficiency of BOC officials and personnel.
- The system will aim to lessen instances of scams being perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals. At the same time, claimants can verify the status of parcels and packages being processed by Customs.
- During his opening remarks at the launch, BOC Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip C. Maronilla explained the timeliness of the launch as the Christmas season draws closer.
- Several Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are expected to send balikbayan boxes and packages to their loved ones in the Philippines during this time.
- BOC Commissioner Rey Guerrero formally closed the event after conducting a live demonstration of the system.
- The Commissioner explained during this time that the success of the system relies on the support of the various stakeholders of the Bureau.
- In addition, he also reminded the public to be cautious in sending their packages and parcels.
- OFWs and claimants are advised to support only legitimate and accredited forwarders in order to avoid the possibility of being scammed by fly-by-night operators.
As reported, Customs is required to do the following under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) signed by former President Benigno Aquino III:
- Make an innovative processing of shipments
- Streamline export and import procedures
- Simplify the process of seizure and disposition of illegal goods
According to the Bureau’s Statistical Analysis Division (SAD), their collection in September 2019 was PHP 7 billion (US$ 138.7 million) higher than the PHP 52.42 billion (US$ 1.038 billion) collected in the same period last year.
The growth in revenue was traced to the increase in the volume of importation, higher collection as a result of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, Rice Tariffication Law, and the National Food Authority tax expenditure collection.
The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program seeks to correct a number of deficiencies in the tax system to make it simpler, fairer, and more efficient.
The Rice Tariffication Law essentially allows for the liberalisation of rice imports and will remove the previously placed quota on rice imports, permitting traders to import a near-unlimited quantity of rice.