Philippines' manpower export is known all over the world. In fact, it's what helps our sunken economy. Wherever you go, there would always be a Filipino working there. Entertainers, architects, engineers, nurses, domestic helpers, waiters, IT staff in companies, etc. Filipinos are known for being hard-working and dedicated to our jobs.
Most Filipinos are working hard overseas for their families back home. Our remittances are the ones helping the Philippines. And often times, we couldn't resist buying things for them and having it sent back through Balikbayan boxes, or if there are no Balikbayan boxes service just like in most cities here in China, through China post.
And just before Christmas, I sent a 53x20x37 (cm) box of my used stuff and a little something for my family back home. I paid a little over US$60 for the postal charge. And on Christmas eve, my mom received a notice from the Philippine postal office that she has a parcel to claim. And today, she indeed went there with much excitement. But to her dismay, the officer-in-charge at the post office in Lawton was charging her Php 5,000 for my parcel of used stuff! WTF?!?!
And how about the stuff that Marl ordered through the internet earlier this month and had them sent to Manila via the very reliable but expensive UPS? When they delivered it to my mom's house, the guy was charging my mom customs tax of Php 2,700 (a little over US$50). Of course, my mom didn't pay for it, why would she? Marl paid US$ 50 just for the shipping fee using UPS and now that the package reached Manila, the Philippines' custom is charging another US$60?!! Since the UPS guy didn't leave the package because my mom wouldn't want to pay for it, my mom had to go to the UPS office in Paranaque City to complain and to haggle for the US$60 charge. But they were not really releasing it. No money, no parcel. Mom had no choice but to pay for it. WHY ARE THEY SO BLOODY GREEDY?!?!
As for box that is still in the Philippine post office because my mom refused to pay Php 5,000, it will stay there until I get back home. My mom complained to the immigration officer (I don't know why he's there, instead of being in the immigration office?) that was present there and she learned that if I'll be the one to claim it, there's no charge at all. All I would need is to show my passport and visa. What the hell?!?! How about those other OFWs who cannot go back for a year or so? So they are expecting us OFWs to go back to the Philippines and claim the boxes of used stuff that we have sent from overseas by ourselves? WHERE'S THE SENSE IN THAT?!! What's next? Charging our families in the Philippines claiming for our remitted money before they can get their share of our fruits of labor?
I guess this issue has to be brought forward to other OFWs and hopefully, we can reach the ears - and hearts - of those who are in charged for this. This is an issue between Filipinos who are in the Philippines being the greedy suspects vs. Filipinos who are working overseas being poor victims. It is surely giving Philippines a bad reputation to its already-tattered reputation. I hope we can do something about this before it gets categorized under the shameful list of "Only in the Philippines".