DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 April) — The traditional means of sending mail is not going to die anytime soon. It’s not going to die ever. Snail mail remains integral in moving goods, and technology not going to put it to halt.
That’s what Ma. Josefina Dela Cruz, postmaster general and CEO of the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) said during the Davao celebrations of the 23rd corporate anniversary of the postal system last weekend.
Dela Cruz said that the post moves an average of three to four million mails and packages per month. This number has increased by 44.56 percent from 2013 to 2014, earning a net income of P640.43 million last year. Philpost delivered 133.25 million mails nationwide in 2014.
The bulk of this income is from Philpost’s thriving “snail mail.” Dela Cruz said that 80% of this amount is from the traditional mail operations, which, in her words, many people thought was long dead because of digital communication (text messaging services, email, and social media).
The postmaster attributed the growth of the post’s operations to e-commerce. She said that mail volumes are going up because e-commerce and online shopping spur logistics.
“The post is here to stay and is never redundant,” she emphasized, pointing out that there is no other way to move and to deliver products but by mail. She said that 30-33 percent of the packages that they move are imports and exports.
Dela Cruz dispelled the common notions of bad delivery services (opened packages, undelivered mail, etc.) when she mentioned a five-billion peso budget for the development of the post’s services this year. This will cover improvements on the corporation’s connectivity and infrastructure.
She said technology is not, in any way, going to kill the country’s postal system but will, instead, improve their services.
This development includes reinventing Philpost’s vehicles and employing global positioning system (GPS) devices to monitor deliveries and to efficiently find routes in the process. She said this will ensure the safe and successful delivery of mails to people. About 400 of these new van-type vehicles will be deployed all over the country; there are 30 vans in Davao.
Dela Cruz also said that very soon, their mail men will be carrying Android smartphones to track them and to provide better delivery services.
There are currently 200 mailmen (which others refer to as letter carriers) in Area 7, covering region 11, region 12, and Surigao del Sur. Mailmen remain to be integral components of Philpost’s services. That’s why, Dela Cruz said, the corporation is investing on them and looking after their welfare.
The Philpost has over 9,000 employees in the country; 4,000 of these are letter carriers.
Dela Cruz said that Philpost, unlike private courier companies, literally goes the extra mile to extend their services to what she refers to as “missionary areas.” These are locations that may appear to be off the radar.
She said private courier companies only go to where it’s commercially viable but Philpost provides services to areas because of a public service mandate. “We have to be there.”
About 60 percent of these “missionary areas” include locations in Mindanao.
A part of Philpost’s revenue goes to subsidize these missionary operations, said Dela Cruz.
Snail mail goes express
During the anniversary celebrations, Philpost also announced improved express products and services.
Philpost is now pushing for express domestic delivery of mails and parcels, ensuring next day deliveries, with tracking systems.
For international destinations, Philpost is banking on its membership with the Universal Postal Union and the presence of bilateral agreement with 45 countries for the reciprocal exchange of EMS (express mail service) items.
A special rate on their electronic money transfer service will also be available until May 15. This will allow customers to send and receive money real time for only one peso in the 400 post offices nationwide.
Philpost was created as a government-owned and -controlled corporation in April 2, 1992 by virtue of Republic Act No. 7354, otherwise known as the Postal Service Act of 1992. It was created with the objective to provide postal services in the country and to that manages the country’s postal system. (Jesse Pizarro Boga/MindaNews)