How Philpost is surviving despite death of snail mail

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Feb 09 2014 08:41 AM | Updated as of Feb 10 2014 05:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines – With the continuing decline of “snail mail,” government-owned Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) is looking at new ways to deliver postal services in a more efficient manner.

“There is a continuing decline in regular mails. In fact, there’s something like 10 percent decline every year. In the Philippines, it’s about 7.7 percent. Because of that, you need to re-invent yourself to continue to survive,” Josefina dela Cruz, CEO and postmaster general of Philpost told ANC’s “On The Money.”

Dela Cruz said Philpost has ventured into logistics and financial services while trying to keep rates lower than its private counterparts.

For a 500 gram mail, Philpost charges P50 compared to around P90 to P100 charged by private courier services.

Philpost is also setting up a new portal, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, to help deliver products of Filipino small and medium enterprises to foreign countries.

Dela Cruz believes that Philpost has an advantage over private couriers because of its large network of 1,500 post offices in the country.

“Give us a chance. I know that people have had unusual stories in the past about the service of the post, but that’s why we are reinventing ourselves and that is the challenge. This is now a deregulated industry and we must be able to perform as good as the next private courier,” she said.

Philpost is also offering new services through its website, including a Track and Trace service that allows customers to check the status of their package in real time.

Dela Cruz said Philpost is in talks with the Bureau of Customs to facilitate the entry of goods into the country.

Instant money remittance and electronic money order services are also being offered at the government website.

Philpost said its door-to-door cash delivery service is now being supported by an “electronic proof of delivery.”

“For the remittance, you get a text message that the money you sent has been delivered, because we do door-to-door cash delivery as well,” dela Cruz said.

Dela Cruz admitted that one of Philpost's biggest challenges is restoring public trust, and she hopes the new services will help the cause.

"What we are trying to do is to be competitive in the [courier] industry. I understand that there have been sad experiences in the past, but this time I assure you Philpost is different," she said.