BOC eyes info drive with NTC, DTI to curb abandoned balikbayan boxes

By Ferdinand Patinio

April 22, 2024, 5:37 pm

<p>Customs Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla <em>(Screengrab from PTV)</em></p>

Customs Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla (Screengrab from PTV)

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is coordinating with relevant government agencies to raise awareness among overseas Filipinos on the proper procedure for sending balikbayan boxes into the country.

In a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing Monday, Customs Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla said they are closely working with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for an extensive information campaign to address complaints of abandoned balikbayan boxes.

“Kadalasan, ang problema dito are issues on information. Ibig sabihin hindi alam ng ating mga kababayan kung ano yun mga requirements na kinakailangan pag magpapadala sila dito (Oftentimes, the problems here are issued on information. It means our kababayan are unaware of the requirements if they want to send balikbayan boxes here),” the BOC official added.

He added that part of the information campaign was providing a list of consolidators and de-consolidators who have a good record with the bureau.

"Baka pwedeng tingnan itong mga consolidators at de-consolidators na ito. Ngayon kung gusto nila maghanap ng iba dahil mas mura, magkakaroon ng information drive ang Bureau of Customs, DTI at NTC para malaman nila ano ba mga criteria dapat tinitingnan nila hindi lang presyo (They might want to check these consolidators at de-consolidators na ito. Now, if they want to look for others because they want cheaper one, the Bureau of Customs, DTI and NTC for them to determine the criteria that they need to look at, not just the price),” he explained.

Maronilla also advised the OFWs to always check the background and track record of the company that will handle their packages.

He added that OFWs who would want to avail of cheaper services by fly-by-night consolidators might encounter problems with their packages later on.

“These consolidators, without the necessary reputation and track records, hindi maasikaso ang kanilang shipment (they cannot take care of their shipments. Pagdating, inabandona, dito na mamroblema ang ating kababayan kung paano kunin ang kanilang balikbayan box. (When it arrives, our kababayans will now have problems as to the claiming of their balikbayan box)," he added.

In January, the BOC identified 16 local and foreign forwarders/consolidators/de-consolidators that have been reported as having cases of abandoned balikbayan boxes.

In October last year, the bureau released hundreds of abandoned balikbayan boxes that were stuck in several warehouses for seven months up to two years. (PNA)