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The Philippines Balikbayan Boxes Saga!

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You guys probably seen the Philippine news lately regarding the shipment of the balikbayan boxes problems. It’s been really a big controversy here in the Philippines and all through out the world wherever the Filipino community lives. Really at first when I saw the picture of a guy on the thread on FB with a guy’s half body with a snake or a crocodile, I though it’s a big joke or another movie/comedy here in the PI. Ha ha ha, I was just so naive that I didn’t know it’s already been a serious topics with the OFW and the Filipino living abroad.

Balikbayan Boxes waiting for inspection

Balikbayan Boxes waiting for inspection

Tagalog Buddy

I guess the head of the customs here wants to tax more on the balikbayan shipments. Also they want a thorough inspection. The problems and complaints of the OFW and the Filipinos with the “thorough inspections” the inspector will not put back the items that they’re inspecting into the boxes. The accusation of the people now is that the inspectors pocket a lot of the good items that the inspector saw in the box. I’ve seen one FB thread “that some of the customs officers opens the balikbayan box and if those customs officers saw some goodies that they liked inside the box, they will take it”. They showed on the thread the good and nice gadgets and electronics stuff that were taken out from the boxes by people from the customs.

Here some link to the news: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/116428/video–boc-raises-hackles-with-balikbayan-box-inspection-rule

Seeing those post of the OFW that saying that they’re boxes were open and the stuff inside were stolen. It’s heartbreaking. Some of my friends that’s OFW and some that were living abroad, they’re joking about their boxes that they’re sending and on the way to their families here in the PI, they’re just really hoping that their boxes will arrived here in the Philippines and the boxes still intact. They said they are hoping that those customs officers will leave their boxes alone, because they paid big money for the content of the boxes and they already paid the shipment and they did declare the proper content of the box.

Bureau of Customs

Bureau of Customs

To be honest some people really made fun of it, and some are really very funny. Even the local TV shows here made fun on it. I’m pretty sure that the customs people were not laughing about it. If I were them they should solve this problem soon because it’s really damaging to them. I can’t blamed the people that really complained about their boxes my gosh they were saving to buy those stuff for their families here and some people will just get it co’z they liked it. So everyone are just hoping that the boxes should be deliver to the address that were name in the boxes and it should be remain sealed as it is.

Some more news about the balikbayan box: http://philnews.ph/2015/09/03/boc-chief-bert-lina-apologized-to-ofw-for-the-balikbayan-box-controversy/

I was talking to Aaron about the brouhaha here with the balikbayan boxes. Now he seems a bit worried I think. Aaron will be coming home soon and before he leaves the USA, he is intending to send his stuff through balikbayan boxes. How he’s a bit hesitant of sending his boxes but I told him that I think it’s okay to send. Crossing my fingers. He will be sending boxes for sure because we are going to get some stuff that we want from there and he will send that through balikbayan box. I will definitely post here for update with the boxes. LOL

If your boxes were open and stuff was stolen or if your boxes arrived safely feel free to share your thoughts here.

Take care!

Feyma

Feyma Martin is a Columnist here on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine, she is the wife of site Publisher, Bob Martin. Feyma is originally from the Philippines, but went to the USA for 10 years after marrying Bob in 1990. Bob & Feyma moved to the Philippines to live permanently in 2000.

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yuri sincero
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My friend sent a balikbayan box just a few months ago through LBC ($70 for a huge box). It arrived safely. Nothing was missing. I also sent a package last May 2015 through USPS. It was more expensive but the gadgets arrived safely. I paid $ 98.00 for a box that weighed 16 pounds.

ScottD
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ScottD

Hi Feyma,
My wife also read some stuff about this and is concerned with it. We sent some boxes the last of July and are now scheduled for delivery withing the next week. Since we are getting ready to move there and are slowly sending our thing there via balikbayan boxes. I will let you know if it has been tampered with.

John Browning
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I was really upset when I first heard that customs was getting nosy opening all balikbayan boxes as they arrived in Manila. Prying into the personal things that the workers abroad send to their family’s here as well as even goods I purchase and have shipped here because I can’t get many things here I need or enjoy as is the case with so many here. Well here’s a link you can read and how it got stopped;

PNoy stops Customs inspections of balikbayan boxes; http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/534185/news/nation/pnoy-stops-customs-inspections-of-balikbayan-boxes

Dirk
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Dirk

In 2012, I sent a package via FedEx to Manila, several items were missing once the package arrived including a camera. Since then, we have shipped 12 balikbayan boxes via atlas and rdr cargo, all but 1 arrived with no issues. The 1 that had issues was missing 3 pairs of Nike shoes.

While we were dissappointed that items were missing, these boxes change so many hands it is hard to prove who took it. This will not stop us from sending boxes, we are now selective on what we send in each box

Mike Henebry
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Mike Henebry

Over 25 years, we have sent dozens of balikbayan boxes with no issues of loss or theft. Sometimes it has taken four months for a box to arrive, but generally only two months from our door in Illinois, USA to theirs in Libmanan, Cam Sur.

leonard
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leonard

i arrived from usa on aug 28 and my first shipment arrived on sept 7th, having never been opened. the owner of the philippine grocery store in de moines ia on aug 26, when i shipped 8 “macho” boxes, he said the boxes would not be opened at all because there had been so much items stolen from the boxes, that it was now a prison sentance if you got cought opening thre boxes. he uses atlas shipping out of kansas city and there were 4 bar coded lables for 4 boxes to go with just 1 consolidated inventory sheet,… Read more »

Ken
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Ken

I heard the president ordered that the boxes not be opened unless there is an issue.

Also, does anyone know a cargo company in Dallas that is trustworthy? Thanks.

Tom Popp
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Tom Popp

LBC Express has an office just over the river from Aaron, and they seem to have a good reputation. When I sent stuff to Leyte, I bagged everything by itself and bagged everything in the box in one large bag and included a Large printed list of contents, inside the box, with a note, Copy emailed to recipients. Nothing missing when it got there.
Though my Fiancee’s Aunt in Sidney, mails shoes to her one at a time, figuring no one is going to steal one half a pair in the mail. GRIN

David
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David

Hi Feyma, I’m Australian & we have very rare problems here regarding delivery of boxes , parcels or mail & anyone caught cheating the system is punished by dismissal or jail .I think we are like USA, government is proud of their Postal System, been going since day one , Pony Express there & Cob & Co here Eg : Christmas time or birthdays I just send money with card by mail to Gran kids, never lost a letter or a cent with the eldest being 21years . Oh my god —— could you ever imagine that happening in Philippines… Read more »

David
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David

I have been informed that the major companies XRAY their boxes to see if any illegal products are inside the box . When delivery takes place ( door to door ) , the delivery person takes photo of every box that is delivered to have evidence that box has not been tampered with . This information was just told to me by my friend who just had some boxes delivered to Angles City from Australia via FOR EX.
So it looks like the LOOTERS are not touching these

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