(repost from GMA news)
Overseas Filipino workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were warned this week against patronizing three cargo firms when sending Christmas goodies to their families back home.
The warning from the Trade Department’s Philippine Shippers’ Bureau stemmed from complaints of hundreds of UAE-based OFWs that their BB (Balikbayan) boxes remain undelivered for over a year now.
News site Khaleej Times cited an advisory released through the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai indicating two of the three cargo firms are based in Dubai and one in Sharjah.
The freight-forwarding firms are Smooth Express and Express Link Cargo Services in Dubai and Dagupan Cargo Packaging Services in Sharjah.
These companies allegedly send the cargo through Urgent Cargo Express International Forwarder and Brokerage Inc. in Sucat, Parañaque [in southern Metro Manila], the Khaleej Times report said.
According to the report, OFWs in the Middle East send a large number of BB boxes containing valuables for their loved ones during the Christmas season.
Philippine Consulate General in Dubai Vice-Consul Gerry Suliguin urged victims of freight-forwarding companies, which have failed to deliver their parcels to their families, to come forward and submit their affidavits.
He said the affidavits would be forwarded to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for lodging complaints formally.
“They have to bring with them the proof of transactions when they come to the consulate to file their complaints,” Suliguin said.
For its part, the DTI said shippers can contact it for assistance at 751-3330.
The Philippine Shipper’s Bureau (PSB) is now coordinating with the Legal Department of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine agents for the release of the undelivered BB boxes on humanitarian consideration.
On the other hand, it noted the largest number of complaints came from OFWs in the Middle East, specifically from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, followed by those in the USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Italy, the UK and Korea.
The common complaints received by the DTI-PSB included non-delivery or failure to deliver Balikbayan Boxes, pilferage of the boxes, overcharging and damaged cargo.
Investigation by the DTI-PSB showed the companies stopped remitting funds to their Philippine agents resulting in the abandonment of cargo at the BOC. — LBG, GMA News