The Bureau of Customs (BoC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Saturday warned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be cautious in sending balikbayan boxes, saying criminals have devised a new modus operandi to defraud them.
Based on reports received by the BoC, there are consolidators or international freight forwarders abroad charging processing fees at a low rate and promising to deliver the balikbayan boxes to the consignees in the Philippines.
“But in fact, their partner-consolidators or local freight forwarders in the Philippines received no money to process and release from the BoC the balikbayan boxes,” the Port of NAIA stated in its official Facebook page.
Port officials said in accordance with the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the bureau continues to communicate with the Door-to-Door Consolidators Association of the Philippines or DDCAP to ensure that the families of the OFWs receive their balikbayan boxes that have been affected by this modus.
The Port of NAIA recently conducted coordination meetings with Customs Facility and Warehouse operators to prepare for the influx of balikbayan boxes, inbound parcels and packages this coming holiday season.
“As the Yuletide season approaches, the bureau, together with the local couriers intends to ensure no delays in the sending of parcels by the public,” said District Collector Carmelita Talusan.
Talusan and other Customs personnel also met with officials of DHL Express Philippines and discussed arrangements for the expeditious release of high volumes of small parcels.
DHL Country Manager Nigel Lockett assured they are reviewing their roster to add more personnel and will continuously coordinate with the bureau for the prompt and immediate processing and release of gift imports from abroad.
The bureau also assured the public that there will be no delays on the release of balikbayan boxes this Christmas season.
Collector Talusan said her port is prepared and had already placed proactive measures to address anticipated issues and concerns, including but not limited to implementing extended working hours, 24/7
x-ray examinations, regular K9 sweeping, and expedited clearances to avoid delays.