Just two weeks before the “ber” months season starts, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday, Aug. 16, reminded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to choose accredited forwarders to ensure smooth delivery of balikbayan boxes to their loved ones.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, BOC Assistant Commissioner and spokesperson Vincent Philip Maronilla recalled that “troubles’ in delivery were typically encountered by some OFWs due to issues with forwarders.

Nagri-remind lang po kami na pakitingnan po iyong DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) website o kaya po mag-exercise po ng extraordinary diligence sa pagpili po ng deconsolidator o mga forwarders na kung saan po ninyo pinagpapadalhan ito (We are reminding OFWs to kindly check the DTI website or exercise extraordinary diligence in choosing deconsolidator or forwarders where you will send these [balikbayan boxes]),” he said.

Maronilla said the DTI website has the official list of its accredited deconsolidators.

However, he said it is better to choose forwarders with competitive ratings and reviews.

Maaari po kayong mag-coordinate sa [Door-To-Door] Consolidators Association of the Philippines or iyong DDCAP para po sa listahan ng kanilang miyembro kung saan mayroon po silang rating (You can coordinate with the [Door-To-Door] Consolidators Association of the Philippines or DDCAP for the list of their members with ratings),” Maronilla said.

Mayroon po silang pagbabantay sa kani-kanilang miyembro, para maiwasan po natin iyong mga issues again sa pagpapadala ng balikbayan boxes na maloloko at hindi po maipapadala sa ating mga mahal sa buhay (They have their monitoring on their members so we can avoid similar issues in sending balikbayan boxes like scams and it cannot be sent to our loved ones),” he added.

Besides measures for sending deliveries in the upcoming holiday season, the BOC also warned the public to be vigilant against the trending love scams.

Maronilla said this scheme typically works through online transactions using Gcash or Palawan Padala, among others.

Ang pagbabayad po ng buwis sa Bureau of Customs is only to your accredited bank at may corresponding resibo pong ibinibigay diyan. So huwag po tayong magpapaloko sa mga love scam na kunwari magpapadala ang iyong mahal sa buhay ng package, hinarang at kailangan ninyong magpadala through GCash para mapalabas ng Bureau of Customs (The tax payment to BOC is only through your accredited bank with corresponding receipt. So let’s not be deceived into a love scam. Example, your loved one will send a package [but was] flagged or held [by the BOC], then you’re asked to send [money] through Gcash for BOC’s release),” he said.

Maronilla said that instead of falling prey to such schemes, potential victims should immediately report similar incidents to the BOC.

He said the public may reach out to BOC via the hotline at 8484 or via the customer care system at www.customs.gov.ph.PNA