PH to offer Pope Francis stamps

Paterno Esmaquel II
Through these stamps, the Philippines aims to promote electronic remittance

JOINT ISSUE. The Philippines will offer these Pope Francis stamps, along with Vatican City, starting March 21. Photo courtesy of Philpost

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Vatican City will jointly issue a stamp that features Pope Francis, the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) announced Wednesday, March 19.

Postmaster General Josie dela Cruz said Philpost will release the stamps on Friday, March 21, in time for its marketing campaign in Rome in April.

In an e-mail, Philpost’s Corporate Communications Division told Rappler that the marketing campaign will promote electronic money remittance. This “is the cheapest way to send money to the Philippines via the post office outside the Philippines,” Philpost said.

Philpost has a bilateral agreement with Poste Italiane, a top postal services operator in Italy, on electronic remittance, according to Philpost business lines department head Eric Tagle.

Philpost said the Vatican Post Office will release similar stamps on Friday.

The “Pope Francis Year II” stamps will be sold at P40 each, at Philpost shops and post offices around the Philippines.

Filipino cardinals on Francis

The stamps come a year after Francis, the first Latin American and Jesuit pontiff, assumed office on March 13, 2013.

The Philippines’ two active cardinals, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, said Filipinos can learn from the humble Pope. (READ: Lessons from the Pope who is ‘able to laugh’)

Quevedo told Rappler: “If the Pope is simple, and lives a simple lifestyle even though he is the Pope – the number one in the Church – why should I be acting like a king and dress up like a king, with all my regalia? Why? The Pope himself does not do it.” (READ: Cardinal Quevedo: Priests should dress like Francis)

Tagle said he sees consistency in Francis, whose real name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

“Much of the Francis effect, or even the revolution of Francis, I think, comes also from the person,” Tagle said. “What I’m seeing is Bergoglio through and through.”

Filipinos hope Francis will visit the Philippines as he himself suggested in 2013. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.