How to Ensure your Balikbayan Boxes Arrive Safely


MANILA – Around 50 members of the Filipino community attended a public forum on safe practices in sending balikbayan boxes organized by the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok last month.

The forum held in cooperation with the Philippine Trade and Investment Counselor (PTIC), the Business Licensing and Accreditation Division of the Fair Trade Investment Bureau (FTB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), addressed several complaints from Filipinos in Thailand on the loss, pilferage/damage, non-delivery, or unreasonable delay of balikbayan boxes to the Philippines using freight forwarding companies.

The resource speakers’ number one advice was to use only freight forwarding companies with DTI-accredited Philippine counterparts.

FTB officials shared the following tips to ensure that balikbayan boxes reach its intended destination:

  1. Check the list of DTI-accredited Philippine counterparts/agents here.
    Be wary of exceptionally very low rates;
    3. Declare all the contents of your shipment in the packing list;
    4. Keep and secure transport documents such as cargo or official receipt and Bill of Lading;
    5. Know the name and contact details of the Philippine counterparts/agents;
    6. Monitor the movement of your cargo from origin to destination to make sure it is being shipped and delivered; and
    7. Immediately file a complaint for any loss, non-delivery, pilferage or damaged cargo to the Business Licensing and Accreditation Division, Fair Trade Investment Bureau, of DTI located at the 2nd Floor, DTI Bldg., 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City or through fax at +63 2 751-3305, or email [email protected]

FTB officials clarified that the delay in the delivery of some balikbayan boxes is also partly due to congestion at the Manila Port. They added that the Philippine government and port authorities are already taking steps to address port congestion.


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