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Customs launches online tracking system for ‘balikbayan’ boxes as Christmas nears

FILIPINOS may now track their parcels and balikbayan boxes online as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has launched a tracking system, which promotes transparency and ease of doing business.

The Parcel and Balikbayan Box Tracking System (PBTS) seeks to render a more efficient way of tracking parcels and balikbayan boxes as the tracker can be accessed through BOC’s web site, authorities said, as the volume of holiday parcels and boxes is expected to increase with the nation just seven weeks away from Christmas.

It was officially launched on October 30, 2019, by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, Deputy Commissioner Donato B. San Juan, Deputy Commissioner Raniel T. Ramiro, Deputy Commissioner Vener S. Baquiran, Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip C. Maronilla, POM Collector Arsenia C. Ilagan, and Naia Collector Carmelita M. Talusan.

The bureau said the system can provide timely updates on the parcels as it goes through various stages of Customs clearance.

“A lot of [overseas Filipino workers] are expected to send balikbayan boxes and packages to their loved ones here in the Philippines during this time. The system will aim to lessen instances of scams being perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals. Claimants can verify the status of parcels and packages being processed by customs,” said Assistant Customs Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla at the PBTS launch.

BOC chief Guerrero reminded the public to be cautious in sending their packages and parcels. “Support legitimate and accredited forwarders to avoid the possibility of being scammed by fly-by-fly night operators,” he warned.

Under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) signed by former President Benigno Aquino III in May 2016, Customs is required to make an innovative processing of shipments, streamlining of export and import procedures, and simplify the process of seizure and disposition of illegal goods.

According to BOC’s Statistical Analysis Division (SAD), the bureau’s collection in September 2019 was P7 billion higher than the P52.42 billion collected in the same period last year.

The BOC traced the growth in revenue collection to the increase in the volume of importation, higher collection as a result of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law, rice tariffication law, and the National Food Authority tax expenditure collection.

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