Tips on Safeguarding Your Balikbayan Box Shipment from Dubai to the Philippines

According to data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Dubai has recorded the highest number of complaints about balikbayan box shipments a few years ago. Cases of late deliveries, damage to shipments, pilferage, and lost packages have plagued OFWs working in the country. Dubai is one of the many countries where OFWs suffer from this issue.

As an OFW working several miles away from your family, we understand how difficult it is to endure the loneliness of working abroad. Cases of late, damaged, and missing packages can only make the experience worse. With that said, here are some tips to protect your balikbayan box from these shipment mishaps.

  • Book only with accredited forwarders. Click the following links for a list of DTI-accredited sea freight and Civil Aeronautics Board-accredited air freight
  • Declare a detailed list of contents complete with their corresponding prices and attach it to the box. This makes it easier for checking both for the Bureau of Customs and for the package’s recipients.
  • Print the complete name, full address, and contact details of the recipient on white paper and place it on the box in case the courier can’t find the location.
  • Keep and secure important documents such as the shipment’s invoice, official receipt, and Bill of Lading.
  • Secure your balikbayan box Sending your package from Dubai to the Philippines is a long journey and the contents inside may be damaged in the process. Make sure you use bubble wraps or clothing cushions for fragile items, tap the cap for shampoo and lotion bottles to avoid spilling, as well as seal the opening and sides of the box properly.
  • Be wary of very low shipping rates. These might be too good to be safe.
  • Follow DTI’s social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) or visit their website at for regular advisories and alerts.
  • Track your shipment from its origin to its destination. Ask your forwarding company about how you can monitor your cargo.
  • Inquire about important shipment details like the name of the shipping line & the vessel, the container number, and the voyage number. Also get the name and contact details of the agent in the Philippines. Make sure such details are specified in the transport document or official receipt.
  • Ask your consignee to check your package with the Philippine forwarder’s counterpart even before the shipment arrives.
  • Avoid sending prohibited items such as pirated products and jewelries as they can cause delays and issues for the entire cargo. For the full list of prohibited items, click here.
  • If you encounter pilferage, lost item, or non-delivery, file an immediate complaint with the shipping company’s customer service. You may also coordinate with the DTI thru the following number: 751-3330 or 0917-834-3330.

Shipping a balikbayan box from Dubai soon? Don’t stress out and take note of these tips to safeguard your package the next time you pack and send your parcel. Save balikbayan box from late deliveries, damage items, pilferage, and getting lost in transit; make it reach your family safely and soundly.


5 Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a Home Health Care Provider in the Philippines

Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a Home Health Care Provider in the Philippines

There is a myriad of reasons why you should invest in home health care. Home care supports activities of daily living (ADLs), diet & nutrition, medication management, caring companionship, one-on-one focus and support, and it’s an affordable alternative to facility or hospital care.

When choosing among a variety of providers, always ask these first:

Q: How long has the agency been in business? 

First things first: you need an agency that’s been around the market for a long time. Health is not something to be taken lightly. Ask them how long they’ve been providing home care services. In addition to this, make sure that the agency is certified and licensed by the state.

Q: What kind of services do the agency provide?

Do they offer the services that the patient needs? Does the patient need physical therapy? Speech-language pathology services? Blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing monitoring? Make a list of all the services that the patient needs and coordinate them well with your chosen home health care provider here in the Philippines.

Q: What is the cost of their services?

Home health care cost is varied. It depends on the type of care, the place provided, and the region where you receive your care.

Also, does the agency offer discounts or free service to people with limited means? Do they provide a summary of benefits explaining all of the costs and payment plan options? These vital details are some of the reasons that make or break your choosing decision.

Q: How do they select and train their home care employees?

Always, always do a background check especially when it comes to credentials. Putting your loved ones’ life into the hands of another person can be scary. Determine whether the agency’s staff undergo a thorough, professional testing and screening process. The patient and family members should discuss the kind of care needed with a home care representative. This will help you decide whether the agency’s staff can meet the patient’s needs.

Q: How do they handle emergencies?

Are their home care providers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Not all agencies can provide this kind of service so better start with this if the patient’s condition is emergency-sensitive.

Inquire about how they follow up on and resolve problems. This helps ensure that the home health service provider is performing the services correctly and responding to the patient’s changing needs.


The most important thing to do before you settle on a home health care provider here in the Philippines is to check their reference. Request for a list of references like PCPs (Primary Care Physicians) who are affiliated with the service provider. Don’t forget to ask for feedbacks!

Road Accidents in The Philippines

Convincing someone to get to talk about life insurance in the Philippines setting could be really hard. And let’s be honest, this isn’t something that we can just casually discuss as it throws in the topic of death, separation, responsibilities, and money to the conversation.

If you really think about it, getting life insurance can be strategic.  Of course, no one can really tell when a person will really die. But that what life insurance is for. Its ultimate purpose is that in case untimely death of the holder, the dependents that will be left behind will not have to carry the burden of worrying for the expense of the death care service.

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Now, there are many cause of an untimely death. According to the World Health Organization, road injuries ranks number 10 as the main cause of untimely death. Road injuries kill more than HIV/AIDS which only ranks at the 13th spot.  This data seems to reflect well in the Philippine setting as the Road Crash Statistics Report of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System reported that in the National Capital Region alone in 2015, there are a total of 95,615 road accidents. In this data, 517 were considered as fatal accidents.

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In Tanay Rizal, 15 people, mostly consisting of students of Bestlink College of the Philippines, met an untimely death when the tour bus they were on lost its brake and rammed an electric post while they were on their way into a camping trip.

Ten of the victims died on the spot while the five others died in the hospital. Included in the casualties are the driver of the said bus and a teacher.

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Just after the Lenten break, April 18, 2017, an over-loaded mini bus fell into a 100 feet deep ravine along a winding road near the boundary of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya on their way back to Manila and Ilocos. The said accident has claimed 29 dead passengers, including a six-month infant and 7 other children.  Many are still critically wounded and 38 were injured.

According to a survivor, the accident occurred when the said bus tried to overtake another bus but then its engine stopped. The driver lost control of the vehicle when he was trying to restart the engine on a sloping part of the road.

Many factors may have contributed to these accidents like human error and the condition of the roadways in the Philippines but we cannot deny that these two cases show how unpredictable death can really be. One moment they were just taking a vacation, camping, having a laugh with their friends and family, enjoying their Lenten break—the next moment, they are gone. Families are left grieving. Dreams are shattered. A million conversations will be left unsaid.

With all this accidents occurring in the roads of the Philippines, it leads us back to our previous discussion about life insurance. Will we be ready when death takes us?

The Call Centre Culture: The Breakdown of the Success of the BPO Industry in the Philippines

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The Philippines over the course of the years of being a niche for outsourcing technical support services and customer support has quite build a reputation in the international market. In such a short period time, we have overthrown India as the call center capital of the world. It has been both beneficial for the economy as it has provided job opportunities for many Filipinos and the revenues have been very significant.  And with the tension going in the Middle East, the BPO industry revenue might exceed the remittances from OFWs.

Quality labor at a reasonable price has been the selling point of BPOs in the Philippines and makes it a more preferable location for outsourcing. Add in the Filipinos’ world renowned natural courteousness and patience and they will be getting the most of their investments.

But what if we will look closely in the BPO companies here in the Philippines, you will notice that the culture that has been developed with it plays a big role in their success.  Gone are the days where call centers play by the numbers or metrics to measure their efficiency.  Nowadays, BPOs put a lot more weight on measuring the customer’s satisfaction ratings through feedbacks and surveys. While this eliminates robot-like/transactional tone in customer service, it also removes the pressure among the employees to hit almost impossible numbers. It has transitioned a statistical objective into a more customer-centered approach. At the same time, this promotes a lighter atmosphere among the production floor which can also uplift the quality of service and the morale of the employees.

BPO company policies and facilities are also a contributor in building a culture. In most companies, employees have the liberty to look how they want as long as they dress reasonably presentable.  Facilities like sleeping quarters, game rooms, and gyms help in relieving stress. This might not seem like much but it shows how BPO companies cares for the wellness and comfort of their employees.

Another factor that has contributed to the success of the call center industry in the country is that business processing outsourcing companies are able to meet the international demand despite the fact that it has become more dynamic and now requires to go beyond what usually asked. And this has helped us to gain advantages among other outsourcing countries. As BPOs that provide technical support service recognizes that clients nowadays look at their partnership as a relationship that should go beyond their short-term objectives, they have also been more strategic in providing value-added services that will give them an edge over other competitors. In today’s competition, more and more BPO companies are now looking at the possibilities of incorporating aspects of free cash flow, market penetration, and customer satisfaction in their usual technical support services.

If we will break these points carefully, we can narrow down that the keen observation of what matters and being open to what is not conventional have been the keys to the success of BPO in the Philippines. And with this kind of mindset, no matter how much demanding the market could turn, we can all see through that the culture of call center will be able to take it in and turn it into another opportunity to excel further.