ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga (BOC-POZ) has organized a team to deliver unclaimed “balikbayan” boxes door-to-door free of charge to the right recipients in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Sigmunfreud Segundo Barte Jr., the BOC-Zamboanga district collector, said Friday they have already delivered 33 of the 84 balikbayan boxes to verified recipients as of Jan. 4.

“I organized a team to personally deliver the balikbayan boxes to the identified recipients based on the instruction of the commissioner,” Barte said in an interview.

Barte said the delivery of the balikbayan boxes is in line with the order of Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz to alleviate the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) victimized by unscrupulous consolidators abroad.

He said the move is consistent with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s commitment to improve the welfare and address the needs of the OFWs.

The BOC-POZ received from BOC central office 84 balikbayan boxes on Dec. 24 last year. Most of the boxes originated from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

The boxes were addressed to the families of OFWs mainly residing in Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte provinces.

Barte said they expect to receive more shipments of balikbayan boxes from the BOC central office in the coming days.

At least 16 containers of balikbayan boxes arrived at the Manila International Container Port from a consolidator in June and July last year, and were abandoned on Aug. 11 of the same year.

The BOC has vowed to prosecute erring consolidators who failed to fulfill their obligations to the OFWs. (PNA)