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An image that shows the DOs and DONT's of sending packages to the Philippines.

How to send packages to the Philippines: A Guide for Filipino Overseas Workers

For millions of Filipino overseas workers, sending packages to the Philippines for their loved ones is a heartfelt gesture that bridges the distance between them. However, shipping packages to the Philippines can both be an exciting yet complicated process, especially if you’re new to it. 

To help you navigate the ins and outs of how to send packages to the Philippines, our team created this comprehensive guide on the dos and don’ts of shipping packages. 

We’ll cover essential tips and provide examples to ensure that your parcels arrive safely and without any issues.

An OFW comparing courier services before they send a package to the Philippines

Do: Compare Courier Services

Before choosing a courier service to ship your package, it’s essential to compare different options to find the most suitable and cost-effective solution for your needs. Take the time to research and evaluate various couriers based on factors such as price, transit time, reliability, and customer reviews. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your package arrives safely and on time.

Some things to consider are: 

  • Area coverage
  • Pricing schemes
  • Delivery time
  • Customer experiences


Ivan works in Dubai, and wants to send packages to the Philippines for his family in Cebu. He compares three different courier services, considering their rates, delivery times, and customer feedback. However, he noticed that his preferred courier does not do door-to-door delivery to their barangay in Talisay. So, he had to look for alternative couriers who can deliver directly to their house, so his mother won’t have to go and retrieve the package. 

Don’t: Overload Your Package

Avoid overloading your package to prevent damage to your items and ensure that your package is within the weight limit of your chosen courier service. Heavier packages are more challenging to handle and may be subject to additional fees. By keeping your package within the weight limit, you can save on shipping costs and minimize the risk of damage.


Liza, a caregiver in Hong Kong, wants to send a package containing various gifts and personal items to her family in Davao. She carefully packs her items to ensure that the package does not exceed the weight limit of her chosen courier service. She did this by constantly weighing the box every time she added new items into the package. This added a little time to her packing, but since she got the correct weight, she didn’t have problems and unexpected charges when she shipped her balikbayan box to her family. 

Do: Be Mindful of Customs Regulations

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of the Philippines when sending packages. Be aware of prohibited items, such as firearms, illegal drugs, and pirated materials, to avoid any complications during the customs clearance process. Make sure to declare the contents of your package accurately and provide any necessary documentation.


Carlo, an IT expert in Singapore, plans to send a package containing food items to his family in Manila. He checks the Philippine customs regulations to ensure that none of the items are prohibited and provides a detailed packing list to avoid any delays in customs clearance. Luckily, he discovered that he cannot ship fresh fruits and vegetables to his family. Instead, he replaced it with dried fruits and other allowed treats instead. 

High quality materials to be used when sending packages to the Philippines.

Don’t: Skimp on Packaging Materials

When sending packages, it’s crucial to invest in high-quality packaging materials to protect your items during transit. Use sturdy boxes, ample padding materials (like bubble wrap or packing peanuts), and strong packing tape to secure your package. This will help prevent damage and ensure that your loved ones receive their gifts in excellent condition.


Maria, works as a nurse in Canada, wants to send her family a fragile, handcrafted vase she got for her mother at a sale. Plus, she wants to send her old laptop to her brother who needs it for school. However, Maria failed to protect both items with cushions and hard covers. So when it arrived in their home, the vase was shattered and the laptop got dented and was unusable. So for her next balikbayan box, Maria made sure to wrap each fragile item individually and protect them with necessary paddings. 

Do: Be Patient

International shipping can take time, especially if your package encounters delays during customs clearance or due to unforeseen circumstances. Be patient and keep your family updated on the package’s progress. Remember that, ultimately, the goal is for your package to arrive safely and in good condition.


Raffy, an engineer working in Qatar, understands that shipping his package to his family in Cagayan de Oro may take a couple of weeks. He patiently awaits updates from the courier service and informs his family of any changes in the estimated delivery date. He also kept his family on the loop about the status of the package. And when there was a minor delay, he calmly talked to an agent of their courier company to sort out the issues. 

An OFW properly labelling the package she'll send to the Philippines.

Don’t: Forget to Label Your Package Correctly

Properly labeling your package is crucial for a smooth delivery process. Ensure that you provide accurate and complete sender and recipient information, including the recipient’s full name, address, and contact details. You also need to make sure you include essential information such as handling instructions clearly indicated. 


Before sending her package to her family in Pampanga, Rose, a cook in Japan, carefully writes the recipient’s information on the box, including her family’s complete address and contact number. Then, since she’s sending a tea set for her mother, she included warning and handling labels on her box. She also made sure to declare it to the courier office, to make sure her box is handled properly. This ensured that her package was delivered to the correct destination without any delays, and the tea set arrived in one piece.

Do: Use a Tracking Service

Most courier services offer package tracking, allowing you to monitor your shipment’s progress and provide your family with an estimated delivery date. Make sure to use this feature and share the tracking number with your family so that they can track the package and know when to expect its arrival.


After sending a package to his family in Iloilo, Angelo, who lives in the United States uses the courier’s tracking service to monitor the shipment. He shares the tracking number with his family so that they can also check the package’s status and be prepared for its arrival. This helped his dad and brothers to schedule the pick up of his balikbayan box, and borrow a car from his uncle. 

Don’t: Neglect Insurance for Valuable Items

If you’re sending valuable items, such as electronics or jewelry, it’s a good idea to purchase shipping insurance to protect against loss or damage during transit. This will give you peace of mind and provide financial coverage in case of any unfortunate incidents.


Michelle, a teacher in Australia, is sending the new PS5 to her brother in Bacolod. She decides to purchase shipping insurance to safeguard her package against potential loss or damage during transit. Fortunately, the package arrived safely to her brother right in time for his birthday. So, even if the insurance was not claimed, it would’ve replaced the broken PS5 without any more additional cost to Michelle. 

Shipping packages to your family in the Philippines can be a complicated process, but with careful planning and attention to detail, you can ensure that your loved ones receive their gifts safely and on time. By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this guide, you can make the shipping process smoother and more efficient, ultimately bringing joy to your family and bridging the distance between you.

Planning to send a package to the Philippines? Get in touch with our logistics team so that they can give you the best solutions and deals! Our Cargo Padala Express Forwarding Services (CaPEx) team is always happy to assist you!