The Bureau of Customs distributed 87 abandoned balikbayan (personal effects) boxes to 68 claimants on October 26 in Manila
The boxes were sent by overseas Filipino workers from different countries, but were abandoned by freight forwarding companies
Customs commissioner Bienvenido Rubio promised to quickly get the abandoned boxes to the right people
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has distributed 87 abandoned balikbayan (personal effects) boxes to 68 claimants on October 26 at the Port Net Logistics CFS Warehouse in Sta. Ana, Manila.
The boxes were sent by overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from different countries like the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East, but were abandoned by freight forwarding companies, including Mediacom Express Cargo, Pinoy Network Cargo WLL, RLMSR Freight Forwarding Services, and Benelux Freight Logistics Philippines, the BOC said in a statement.
According to the BOC, OFWs paid fees to foreign shipping companies to send these boxes to their families in the Philippines. But local companies that were supposed to handle the boxes once they arrived were left uncompensated. This caused the boxes to be abandoned, and the necessary taxes and charges were not paid either.
“Unscrupulous forwarders abroad took advantage of OFWs by offering lower shipping fees for balikbayan boxes, enticing them to use their services, but without a counterpart local deconsolidator that will facilitate the clearance and delivery thereof to intended beneficiaries,” the BOC said.
Customs commissioner Bienvenido Rubio promised to quickly get the abandoned balikbayan boxes to the rightful recipients. The BOC also encouraged OFWs and the public to be more careful when choosing shipping companies for their balikbayan boxes, to make sure the companies are reliable and honest.
The BOC has been distributing abandoned balikbayan boxes to their recipients in the Philippines. Last year, BOC said they plan to create policies to stop these schemes by unscrupulous foreign consolidators. In February, they proposed guidelines for registering local companies to handle the boxes.