3 cargo forwarding companies charged for missing ‘balikbayan’ boxes


MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Monday it was recommending criminal charges against three cargo forwarding companies over complaints of undelivered “balikbayan” (returning countryman) boxes.

The DTI has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the complaints of 38 individuals about undelivered balikbayan boxes against Al Rodah Marine Services, Rodah Cargo Services and D’Winner Logistics Philippines Inc.

“The DTI is seeking the DOJ’s assistance to conduct a proper investigation of these foreign and local freight forwarders for swindling or estafa,” said DTI-Philippine Shippers Bureau (PSB) director in charge Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba.

From May to October last year, the DTI-PSB said, it received 38 complaints from shippers in Dubai and recipients in Manila, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Davao del Sur, La Union, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Rizal and Sorsogon.

“The department has meted out administrative sanctions on them but we aim to stop them from deceiving more consumers so we’re recommending to the DOJ that they be criminally charged for their wrongdoing,” said Dimagiba.

The DTI-PSB said each complaint was heard and carefully studied.

“These companies, by abuse of confidence, misappropriated the funds supposedly for customs release and delivery, to the prejudice of the senders and recipients of the balikbayan boxes which resulted in failure of delivery of the boxes to the rightful consignees,” Dimagiba said.

He said the balikbayan boxes were shipped by Al Rodah Marine Services in Dubai to D’Winner Logistics Philippines Inc. and Rodah Cargo Services in the Philippines for delivery to the recipients.

The recipients, however, never received the boxes.

The DTI-PSB estimated the total losses to the complainants at $11,200 or P459,200 based on the insurance payment of $200 per box.

“The DTI-PSB may hold the foreign principal/consolidator and its Philippine agent/freight forwarder jointly and severally liable for the delivery of cargo to the consignees. Since D’Winner failed to fulfill its obligation to deliver the cargo to the rightful owners, DTI-PSB has also revoked its accreditation, notwithstanding that a motion for reconsideration is pending with DTI-PSB’s consumer arbitration officer,” Dimagiba said.

A cease and desist order has been served on Rodah Cargo Services for operating without an accreditation certificate while Al Rodah Marine Cargo Services has been placed on the DTI-PSB’s advisory on foreign freight forwarders that are under investigation, Dimagiba said.

Complaints of pilferage or lost items and nondelivery of balikbayan boxes may be filed at the Philippine Shippers Bureau, second floor, Trade and Industry Building, 361 Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, or through fax (02)7513305 or e-mail

Parties needing further assistance may call DTI direct (02)7513330.

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  • opinyonlangpo

    Too bad. Usually they just open the balikbayan box and take little stuffs like baseball caps, soap bars, toothpaste and others small items. Now they are becoming greedy. Investigation done on my complaints lead to conclusions that the items were lost from between the Philippine office to its final recipient, its done by the delivery boys with the truck. The only way to avoid this is to change freight forwarding company.

  • paraluman paraluman

    as always only in the Philippines…

    dapat ikulong yan mga owner at employee ng mga forwarding companies na yan, na sobrang gawapal nag pagnanakaw at pakikialam, kawawa ang mga ofw na nagpapaka hirap para magpadala sa Pilipinas tapos hindi makakarating…

  • Zyril

    Ako nagpa-airfreight dito sa Kuwait sa isang forwarder nung December 5, 2012 ng isang box containing grocery items plus chocolates na panghanda  for Christmas bago ako umuwi to spend holiday seasons sa Pinas. As usual it will take 7 to 10 days daw para ma-deliver sa bahay ang airfreight cargo. Ang masama nag-Christmas na at New Year wala parin yung pinadala ko at ang shipper dito sa Kuwait don’t even bother to inform us kung ano na nangyari. My three follow-up overseas call sa office ng forwarder sa Kuwait did not do any good to my complaint. Para lang wala sa kanila at hindi sila naperwisyo. May branch din sa Dubai ang forwarder na to. Finally, dumating din ang box ko ng January 3, 2013 na mukhang pinagulong-gulong ng ilang ulit o pinaghahagis dahil nalamog ng husto ang heavy duty carton na ginamit ko. Lahat ng lata ng Danish biscuits nagkayupi-yupi at ang chocolates natunaw din ang iba sa kabila nang heavily supported at cushioned ang lahat ng laman ng box. Well known ang forwarder na ito sa Dubai at newly established lang sila dito sa Kuwait. Unfortunately, the branch here in Kuwait City seems manned by unprofessional people who relaxedly ignore their obligation sa mga nagpapadala sa kanila and don’t care kahit you paid for air-freight service instead of sea-freight na mas mura. 

    • mr

      Pangalanan mo para di na makapanloko at sumbong mo rin sa DTI at sabihan mo rin mga Pinoy dyan sa Kuwait at gamitin mo FB at Tweeter para makaganti ka sa pangit nilang serbisyo. Binabayaran mo ng husto pero di ginagawa trabaho.

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