More than being a bulky package, balikbayan boxes signify the OFWs’ hard work and immeasurable commitment to their families and friends back home. According to the Bureau of Customs, there are approximately 5.5 million balikbayan boxes that are being sent to the Philippines by overseas Filipinos every year. 40% of the freights are sent during the last quarter of the year, in time for the Christmas season.
Ensure that this box filled with thoughts and generosity will be delivered to your loved one’s doorstep safe within the expected time. Consider these important things when packing:
- • Wrap all fragile/breakable items in a piece of cloth or bubble wrap.
- • Place all heavy items at the bottom and the fragile/breakable materials on top to prevent breakage.
- • Place liquid items on an upright position and cover it with a packing tape.
- • Secure powdered goods like coffee and sugar by wrapping it in a paper or an additional packing tape.
When filling up your box with gifts and other goods, avoid sending items that cargo companies and the Bureau of Customs prohibit. These items include:
- • Alcoholic drinks
- • Prohibited drugs and other related substances
- • Medication (unless supported with prescription)
- • Defense articles like firearms, ammunition and explosives (either whole or parts)
- • Automotive/motorcycle parts
- • Cash and checks
- • Animals (including cat and dog furs), plants and soil
- • Fresh meat/foods
- • Pornographic materials
- • Pirated DVDs and CDs
- • Cultural artifacts and properties
- • Ceramic kitchenware
Follow the cargo company’s shipping policy to assure that your balikbayan box will be easily forwarded. Approach their personnel if you need to clarify things. Take note of these significant information:
- • Transact only with PSB-accredited cargo companies. Visit the Philippine Shippers’ Bureau’s website or contact them during working hours at (632)751-3304 or (632)751-3307.
- • Per the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), one OFW sender is allowed to send one box in a span of six-month period.
- • Write legibly the complete name, updated address and contact details of both sender and recipient on the package and on the agreement form.
- • Remember that your package may be opened by the Philippine Customs for security and legal purposes.
- • Declare all of your box’s contents on the packing list to avoid delay or non-delivery of your package.
- • After shipping, notify your loved ones about the upcoming package together with the box’s tracking reference numbers. Advise the recipient to prepare at least two valid IDs when claiming the balikbayan box.
Balikbayan boxes may contain items that may be found and bought in the Philippines, but their real value is priceless. Sending a parcel is like sending a part of the sender’s presence back home. For this reason, it is vital that this will be delivered carefully and hassle-free – to make the OFW’s family’s Christmas merrier.
It’s time to give our sincerest appreciation to overseas Filipino workers around the globe. This Yuletide Season, let us make them feel that they are valued by sending the WorkAbroad.ph’s Christmas Greeting on Facebook.