by Ofelia C. Empian
A newly-crowned boxing champion and mixed martial arts fighter expressed her dismay over the Bureau of Customs’ imposition of about P6,000 on the championship belt she won in her fight in Macau, China.
Women’s International Boxing Association International (WIBA) light flyweight champion Jujeath Nagaowa of the Highland Boxing Stable won the event last June but the belt was delivered only in July.
“The belt was not given after the fight because it was coming from Florida where the WIBA is based,” she said.
Nagaowa earlier won against Luo Yu Jie via unanimous decision in a 10-round intense fight.
The BOC taxed the belt for P5,819 basing on its cost of $400, freight, insurance, customs duty, and value added tax.
Netizens expressed their sympathies to Nagaowa after the report made rounds on social media sites. The BOC has been getting flak over the policy on stricter checking of balikbayan boxes.
Many of the netizens claim she won the championship belt not only for herself but for the country’s name as well.
“I have to pay for it than losing the only evidence I could have that once in my existence, I gambled my life for (this) lifetime treasure,” Nagaowa said.
With her experience going viral in social media and picked up by national media outlets, Nagaowa might get a refund from the BOC according to an agency official who was recently interviewed by the national media.
Nagaowa is also an MMA fighter who debuted at the ONE Fighting Championship stage last year, winning via TKO against Jeet Toshi (ONE FC 15) and Tharoth Sam (One FC 23).