THE Philippine Postal System for over 250 years has been efficient in the delivery of communications and goods. In its history, it established its first post office in Manila City in 1767.
During the Spanish occupation, the Philippines-overseas mail was transported by the Spanish ships in the different parts of the world, particularly Europe. It was also then that in Asia, Manila was known for being the leading center of postal services. Ordered by President Emilio Aguinaldo, Filipinos were provided with postal service during the Philippine Revolution as well. During the Japanese occupation in 1942, the Bureau of Posts was reopened; however, the letters were censored.
Issued by the former President Corazon Aquino’s Executive Order No. 125 on 1987, the Bureau of Post was renamed the Postal Service Office (PSO), and it was then under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). Moreover, issued by the former President Fidel V. Ramos in the Republic Act No.7354 or known as the Postal Service Act of 1992, PSO was renamed as the Philippine Postal Corporation or also known as the PHLPost.
“PHLPost is a government-owned and -controlled corporation. Ibig sabihin, dili mi naga-rely sa Department of Budget and Management or tax sa tao para sa among salary (This means that we neither rely on the Department of Budget and Management nor the people’s tax for our salary),” Lloyd Labanon, account manager of Postal ID, Philately, Express Mail and Logistics Service of the PHLPost, said.
Now, with the changes and advancements in the society, there are always questions like, “What happens to the PHLPost with the rise of the digital media and advanced technology?”
What really is happening with the PHLPost in the rise of the digital media?
“Para sa mga tao, wala na ang post office or PHLPost because ang post office before known for sending individual mails, unlike today na pwede na via chat or email mag-communicate,” Labanon said.
According to Marshall McLuhan, a communications theorist, “The medium is the message.” Some may say that the postal office’s job is “old-style,” and may be slowly diminishing in the society with the rise of the digital media, but it was in 2000 when PHLPost had improved through having the Central Mail Exchange System (CMEC) which is capable of using technology to computerize and modernize the sorting of the incoming and outgoing mail matters.
The medium itself, the PHLPost, has its own initiatives to deliver messages to the people.
It was on 2011 that the corporation had an increase in its net income, following a change of branding from “Philpost” to “PHLPost,” and with the tagline, “You Send. We Deliver.” They partnered with privately-owned organization in order to boost and increase their revenue streams, operations, and social inclusion, and strengthened the services through the government relations.
According to the PHLPost, it was in 2012 where they “implemented the Rationalization Plan for a sustainable, market-driven, and customer-centric organization,” and postal networks and counters were openedas major mall chains.
They have realigned themselves with the rise of the digital media as they had put forward a three-year re-fleeting program to ensure their delivery, and improved from paper-based to electronic-based means. This becomes the turning point of how they are able to cope with today’s trend brought by the internet.
With PHLPost’s duty to deliver, they have also received Comelec commendation for 100 percent efficiency in the delivery of election paraphernalia in 2013. They also had the initiative of a postal awareness campaign of making the art of letter writing bring back to life, “Sulat Mulat,” nationally to relate with the new generation. It was last October 7 that they had organized an international letter writing activity in the World Post Day in collaboration with Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The PHLPost had also introduced the Selfie Stamps in 2014. From a Postal ID laminated card, they have issued a new PVC type with various security features.
According to the PHLPost, so far based on the percentage that they have acquired, the post office is in good shape regarding on how they cope with the advent of technology.
“For so long, post office is only known for sending letters. Actually, dili lang man gud mi naga focus sa letters. Naa pud mi packages, digitalized postal IDs, and other products and services. We also have our mobile capturing act for postal ID nanagalibot mi within the city, and other places (For so long, post office is only known for sending letters. Actually, we do not focus only on letters. We also have packages, IDS, and other products. We have our mobile capturing act for postal ID where we go around within the city, and other places),” Labanon said.
In terms of the products they offer, the PHLPost said that they are proud that they also offer warehousing services before, electronic postal money order, online track and trace system for the packages, and QR code for the postal ID.
These initiatives are products of how digital media is their aid –not their foe in the industry.
“Sa advent sa technology, pasalamatpud mi naaniang social media kay ang billing statements, statement of accounts samga credit cards, banks, and internet sa amo nana gaagi (In the advent in the technology, we are thankful for the social media as a way where billing statements, statement of accounts in credit cards, banks, and internet are attained by us),” Labanon said. (Lyd Ejira C. Ducusin)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on April 16, 2017.
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