BOC vows all abandoned ‘balikbayan’ boxes to be delivered before Christmas
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday said all of the abandoned balikbayan boxes will be delivered before Christmas.
“The instruction for us is, before Christmas, all of the boxes should be with the recipients,” Michael Fermin, Director of BOC Admin Office, said in a mix of English and Filipino at a press briefing.
The abandoned packages shipped by consolidators Island Kabayan Express Cargo LLC and Win Balikbayan Cargo LLC would be delivered within one to four weeks, depending on the location of the recipient, according to BOC Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz.
Ruiz said the delivery would take one week for Metro Manila, one to two weeks for Luzon, and two to four weeks for Visayas and Mindanao, according to BOC.
The BOC will not collect any fee for the delivery of balikbayan boxes and claimants only need to present any government ID, copy of the receipt and/or authorization letter if boxes will be received by a representative, Ruiz also said.
BOC said the balikbayan boxes remained unclaimed for seven months in warehouses in Manila and Bulacan.
This was due to the fact that while said consolidators agreed to deliver the packages to the consignees’ addresses in the Philippines, no payment was made to local deconsolidators, resulting in the non-settlement of duties, taxes, and other charges due to the Customs, the BOC said in a previous statement.
Meanwhile, the BOC said they met with the Department of Trade and Industry-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB) to discuss collaborative measures.
The BOC also recommended DTI-FTEB to review and amend the Philippine Shippers’ Bureau-Administrative Order No. 06 series of 2005, reinstitute the accreditation of deconsolidators with BOC, and file appropriate cases against errant freight forwarders.