MANILA – Filipinos abroad are once again reminded to never entrust their balikbayan boxes to just any forwarding companies.
“The Department reminds the public particularly the OFWs and other Filipinos living overseas to use only the services of reputable and reliable freight forwarders abroad and whose Philippine counterparts/agents are accredited with DTI-PSB in sending their balikbayan boxes to the Philippines,” said DTI Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Group Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya.
Maglaya encourages Filipinos to regularly check the DTI website for updates and advisories on delinquent freight forwarders.
The reminder comes after more complaints surfaced against companies that fail to deliver balikbayan boxes to its respective consignees.
Just recently, the DTI endorsed to the Department of Justice four more other affidavits of complaint on undelivered balikbayan boxes against Pacific Logistics International Cargo, The Filipino Cargo International and a certain Ludebar Jakosalem for appropriate investigation.
The affidavits point to Jakosalem as a known contact person of both companies which consolidates balikbayan boxes in Kuwait for shipment and delivery to consignees in the Philippines.
Pacific Logistics International Cargo and The Filipino Cargo International, with same known office address at No. 567 General Luna Street, Guinayang, San Mateo Rizal, were issued formal charges by the DTI-Philippine Shippers Bureau (DTI-PSB) for engaging in freight forwarding business without the required PSB-accreditation and for failing to deliver balikbayan boxes to their rightful owners.
But despite the formal charge, summons, notice of hearings and order to deliver the cargo, the respondents neither filed an answer nor appeared during the hearings.
As a result, the DTI-Consumer Arbitration Officer in its decisions dated April 23 and 26, 2013, declared both companies in default and found to be liable for the charges against them. They were ordered to permanently cease and desist operation, submit a written voluntary assurance of compliance with the said decision and pay an administrative penalty of P70,000.
“After imposing the administrative sanctions, we are seeking DOJ’s assistance to conduct an appropriate preliminary investigation on these freight forwarders so they can be criminally charged for swindling or estafa,” DTI-PSB Director-in-Charge Atty. Victorio Mario Dimagiba said.
Meanwhile, the earlier complaints endorsed by DTI to the DOJ against Al Rodah Marine Services (UAE); Rodah Cargo Services-Phil.; and D’ Winner Logistics Philippines, Inc., for swindling/ estafa have been forwarded to the City Prosecutor of Parañaque City last April 18, 2013. The DOJ directed the Office of the City Prosecutor to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecution in court if the evidence warrants.