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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) suffered a net loss of P432.995 million in 2022 amid a decline in the number of letter senders while free postal service to certain government agencies continues.
During the finance committee budget deliberations on Monday, September 11, PHLPost disclosed an income of P3.112 million against total expenses amounting to P3.545 million.
A subsidy of P515 million from the national government helped mitigate PHLPost’s losses.
Addressing the issue of free postal services, Senator Francis Tolentino proposed the drafting of a bill to limit the franking privilege.
This privilege allows select government offices to send mail and parcels without charge.
The senator said that the fees for sending mail should be part of the maintenance and other operating expenses of other agencies.
PHLPost data show that the judiciary again leads in utilizing free postage, with 85.32% of exempt mail and parcels originating from this branch.
He also proposed shifting the burden of postal fees directly to litigants.
In 1992, under the Postal Service Act, the judiciary was not included in the public offices granted franking privileges. The Philippine Justices Association, however, filed a petition to question this move, an official from PHLPost said.
PHLPost Master General Luis Carlos said they have already written the Supreme Court asking for a “little leeway” and a portion of its budget to cover the corporation’s operational expenses. The High Court, however, has yet to reply to their appeal, Carlos said.
Besides financial challenges, PHLPost also needs funding for the restoration of the Manila Central Post Office, which was damaged by fire last May.
Asked how much is needed for the historic building, the postmaster general said that the cost has yet to be determined as a structural test was still being conducted by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.
In a previous interview, Carlos said that the P600-million insurance claim from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) was insufficient. Last August, GSIS provided PHLPost with P100 million for the insurance claim. – Rappler.com