The Philippine government has urged Filipino migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates to send care packages to their families through legally accredited cargo companies.

Charmaine Mignon Yalong, Commercial Attaché of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the Middle East and Africa, said that Filipinos should choose from a list of accredited Filipino companies and their foreign agents to ensure that they are legitimate, Gulf News reported.

“We always warn the public that these are your love boxes. They contain items that you bought with your hard-earned money. The last hurdle is really getting them to your families,” Yalong said.

Yalong said around 50 cargo companies are currently in the process of forming an alliance under the Philippine Business Council to ensure that all concerns in the sector are resolved.

“It will be easier to distinguish fly-by-night operators if the legitimate ones are under one group that is being monitored not only by the UAE government, but by the Philippine Business Council and also Manila’s Department of Trade and Industry,” she said.

Ahead of Christmas, many Filipino migrant workers send care packages, commonly known in the Philippines as “balikbayan” boxes, that usually contain household appliances, chocolates, toys and clothes for their families. Such packages are often sent as early as September because of delivery times of between one and two months, depending on the destination in the Philippines.