The House Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda approved the substitute bill to House Bills (HB) 374 and 3254, which seeks to penalize the smuggling of foreign currency and other monetary instruments in bulk into or out of the Philippines.
Salceda underscored that the measure would help ease customs declaration for passengers, including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
The bill provides that inbound persons bringing foreign currencies or foreign currency-denominated bearer monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 or its equivalent could seek assistance from a Customs Officer in filling out the Currencies Declaration Form and Customs Baggage Declaration Form.
“Individuals physically transporting foreign currencies in an amount exceeding $200,000 or its equivalent would be penalized.”
Also under the bill, individuals physically transporting foreign currencies in an amount exceeding $200,000 or its equivalent would be penalized with seven to 14 years of imprisonment and a fine equivalent to twice the amount of the smuggled bulk currency.
The measure would also impose penalties on individuals who would evade the currency declaration requirement.
An inter-agency committee on anti-bulk cash smuggling will be composed of the Bureau of Customs, Anti-Money Laundering Council, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bureau of Immigration, and the country’s airport authorities.
Lawmakers also concurred to institutionalize an inter-agency committee on anti-bulk cash smuggling, to be composed of the Bureau of Customs, Anti-Money Laundering Council, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bureau of Immigration, and the country’s airport authorities.
The panel also approved the tax provision of the substitute bill to HBs 4462, 1300, 3216, 7335, and 7444, which would strengthen the governance and management of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) System.
The bill would exempt the PSHS System from donor’s tax, as well as tax, duty, and custom fees for the importation of scientific and research equipment for education purposes.
The panel likewise approved the tax provisions of eight measures converting and strengthening various state universities and colleges in the country.
Under the bill, importation of books or publications for economic, technical-vocational, scientific, philosophical, historical, legal, or cultural purposes would be exempted from tax and customs duties.