OFWs' Balikbayan Boxes stuck in Warehouses for Months


OFWs' balikbayan boxes stuck in warehouses for months


The first investigation conducted by the authorities reveals that "deconsolidators" in the Philippines abandon the shipments after "consolidators" received payment from OFWs.


Manila— Thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East packed balikbayan boxes to send to their families in the Philippines, but months and even a year later, recipients are still waiting for their presents.


On Saturday, November 5, OFW relatives went to the Hobart Warehouse in Balagtas, Bulacan, where Win Balikbayan Cargo LLC, better known as All Win, stored 4,625 balikbayan boxes.


The Bureau of Customs (BOC) confirmed that they were abandoned by consolidators meant to handle their shipments.


Dubai-based OFW Marjorie Laine Ilagan delivered two cartons in May and June. Marjorie claimed she had been in the Philippines since June and would return to Dubai shortly, but none of her boxes had arrived on Thursday, November 10.


Marjorie said, "All Win has not contacted us to give updates…. Wasted money. I just hope the boxes arrive before Christmas."


In January, Abu Dhabi OFW Ericson Baldeviso sent his nephew a shipment of food, home necessities, and toys through All Win. It hasn't arrived yet. Ericson reported no freight firm updates, like Marjorie.


Ericson alleged, "Many of us have lost our cargo because the owners of All Win have gone into hiding, so we don’t know where our boxes are now"


Facebook groups like "Balikbayan Cargo Boxes Complaints Page" and "All Win Cargo Updates" share accounts of customers' experiences that are similar to those of Marjorie and Ericson. Overseas Filipino workers and their families come here to seek guidance and exchange information on a problem that they all face.


Some others are disappointed because the food they ordered months ago definitely expired by now.  A post shows one user asking if anyone has received boxes from Dubai shipped via All Win, followed by a long string of comments saying variations of, “Nothing yet” and “Waiting lang”


(credits to Rappler)