Balikbayan box blacklist: 14 firms cited for boxes that failed to arrive
It feels like a blue Christmas when a balikbayan box full of imported goodies fails to arrive.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants to save families waiting at home from this fate by warning them about 14 freight companies that didn't deliver. Many of the boxes were held at Customs because of customs duties issues.
“Ang hindi tumutupad sa tungkulin 'yung mga freight forwarders. Kasi ang tungkulin nila, dalhin 'yung mga Balikbayan boxes dito sa Pilipinas. Pagdating sa Pilipinas i-clear nila sa Customs at pag-sinabing clear sa Customs dapat magbabayad sila ng mga kaukulang fees, charges, duties and tax,” Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said in an interview on GMA News TV.
From January to September, the DTI’s Philippine Shippers Bureau received about 500 complaints of non-delivery of balikbayan boxes.
The 14 freight forwarders on the DTI blacklist:
United Arab Emirates
- Al Rodah Marine Cargo
- Cityline Cargo
- Dagupan Cargo Packaging Services
- Smooth Express
- Express Link Cargo Services
United States of America
- Associated Consolidation Express
- Alas Cargo
- AAA Cargo Express Inc.
- Shipping Express in Chicago
- ABS-CBN Star cargo
- RJM Freight Cargo Forwarders
- WRJ Freight Forwarders
- SCRL Cargo
- Maharlika Enterprise Cargo Services
'It is so unfair'
Alas Cargo Philippines’ general manager Glorina Marzo told GMA News Online that DTI has not formally informed them that they were on the blacklist.
“It is so unfair. Nalaman ko lang na kasma kami sa blacklist nung tumawag ‘yung sister ko from the States na may report nga raw sa TV na blacklisted kami,” said Marzo.
“Prior to the allegations, wala kaming na-re-receive na formal letter or call man lang,” Marzo noted.
Some of their customers, reacting to the report, even wanted to attest that all balikbayan boxes have been delivered to their recipients in the Philippines, the Alas Cargo official said.
“Baka black propaganda lang itong ibang cargoes in time for peak season,” she added. “We are just trying to improve our growing business.”
Director Vic Dimagiba of the DTI Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection said: , "We always decide cases in favor of the consumer. So we file formal charges. We impose fines. And we can revoke accreditation.”
Some freight forwarders supposedly failed to pay the right duties to the Bureau of Customs so their shipments were held.
To report similar cases, call the DTI Hotline at 751-3330 or the Philippine Shippers Bureau at 751-3304. — Rouchelle R. Dinglasan/ VS/HS, GMA News