In time for the expected rush in holiday shipments of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) officially rolled out on October 30 an online system that allows monitoring of parcels and balikbayan (personal effects) boxes.
The Parcel and Balikbayan Box Tracking System (PBTS) provides updates on the parcel or balikbayan box as “it goes through the different stages of customs clearance which also enables the Bureau to monitor the efficiency of BOC officials and personnel.”
In a statement, BOC said PBTS “aims to render a more efficient means of tracking parcels and balikbayan boxes as the tracker can be accessed through the BOC website (www.customs.gov.ph).”
BOC assistant commissioner and spokesperson Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla said the launch of the system is timely as the yuletide season draws closer and many OFWs are expected to send balikbayan boxes and packages to their loved ones in the Philippines.
BOC said the system also aims to lessen instances of scams as claimants can verify the status of their parcels and packages being processed by Customs.
Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, meanwhile, reminded the public to be cautious in sending their packages and parcels and advised OFWs and claimants to support legitimate and accredited freight forwarders to avoid being scammed by fly-by-night operators.
BOC in 2014 also launched a balibayan box tracker to help OFWs, other Filipinos based abroad, and their families in the Philippines to track and trace their balikbayan boxes.