In line with the Philippine Government active efforts to protect the rights of Filipinos, particularly those overseas, stronger measures are being taken to eliminate the incidence of abandoned and/or undelivered balikbayan boxes.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Association of International Shipping Lines, Inc.(AISL) was recently signed to collaborate and exchange information to ensure that the balikbayan boxes sent by overseas Filipinos to their families and relatives in the Philippines will be delivered to rightful consignees.
According to the DTI, in 2011, a total of 208 undelivered balikbayan boxes were reported. In 2012, complaints reached a total of 150. From 2008 up to present, 550 complaints have been received, processed, acted upon, monitored, and referred.
The DTI-AISL agreement specifies that the DTI regularly provides its Philippine Shippers’ Bureau (PSB) advisory that includes the lists of accredited sea freight forwarders; foreign consolidators and its local counterparts; and freight forwarders with pending administrative cases and complaints.
With the proper information from DTI, shipping lines may refuse carriage of consolidated balikbayan box shipments if the foreign consolidator is in DTI’s Advisory of those companies and/or the Philippine agent/freight forwarder with complaints at DTI or has no DTI accreditation to engage in freight forwarding business. Also, shipments of foreign consolidators whose Philippine agents are not DTI-accredited may also be denied.
For the list of accredited sea freight forwarders, visit http://www.dti.gov.ph or call DTI-PSB at (+ 63-2) 751-3304.