By Bingo P. Dejaresco III
The Filipino Postman or Kartero to become bankers?
This might not be farfetched as the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) has finalized plans to add basic banking services to its mail delivery business.
By January, 2013 Post Offices all over the country will now serve the banking needs of municipalities even as reforms are now set in place to regain the trust and confidence of the people in the postal system.
This was revealed by Philippine Postal Corporation Chairman Cesar N. Sarino in an interview with the Bohol media Friday.
Sarino, concurrent President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank, Inc. said “By next week, will be submitting to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas all the documents for the approval of this ambitious plan”.
Post offices will serve as extension banks of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank and will initially accept deposits and extend withdrawal services, according to Sarino.
“After 3 to 4 years all the 1,800 post offices will serve as bank extensions”, a confident Sarino said.With 32% of municipalities that have no access to basic banking services, Sarino’s bold program to convert existing postal offices into extension banks would provide banking facilities at relatively lower costs.
The plan to convert post offices performing quasi banking services will help boost local economies that are in dire need of the services of banks
Sarino also bared an aggressive program to cash in on the more than Php22B foreign remittances of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) using the facilities of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank.
Fighting to remain relevant amids the onslaught of newer modes of mail delivery, PhilPost has embarked on a slew of programs to stay competitive not only domestically but worldwide.
With only a year at the helm of the Philippine Postal Corporation and the Philippine Postal Savings Bank, Sarino grudgingly admitted that the poor quality of the postal service has eroded the trust and confidence of the public.
Sarino vowed to strictly implement the “zero pilferage” program under his watch while the fast and efficient delivery of mail is now under the watchful eyes of a private company hired to monitor and fast track every movement of mail from the post office to the recipient.
Post Office thieves which has given the postal service a bad reputation will be a thing of the past with Sarino implementing sweeping reforms that includes the reshuffling of personnel every six months.
Sarino also disclosed that under a new procedure of parcel handling, incoming parcels subject for taxation will be under the custody of Bureau of Customs (BoC) personel while PhilPost will notify recipient regarding the parcel.
Sarino also promised to look into reports regarding the lack of BoC personnel in the local post office that has contributed to the delay in the delivery of parcels to recipient.