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Honasan underscores need to regulate freight services

FORMER senator now Information and Communications Secretary Gringo Honasan yesterday underscored the need for the government to regulate the freight services in order to protect consumers.

Honasan made the reaction in response to reports about colorum couriers and forwarders.

During a budget deliberation, Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza called on the attention of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to address the proliferation of illegal foreign couriers that are affecting the income of the legitimate freight companies.

Honasan, who defended the proposed 2020 budget of the DICT amounting to P5.1 billion, agreed with Atienza that there is a growing problem on the industry that is  putting the Filipino consumers and their cargoes at risk plus the unpaid taxes.

“Naunahan n’yo lang po kami mag-reveal sa public, but we already noticed this complicated situation. Hindi lang courier and forwarding ang tinitignan natin dito, nandiyan pa ang Angkas at iba pang nauuso,” Honasan told the House Committee on Appropriations.

Atienza informed the DICT that  the House will conduct legislative inquiry on the matter to unmask groups behind the unlicensed courier companies, which mostly are foreign-owned.

Atienza is set to file a resolution calling for an in-depth investigation into the syndicate because of its effect to the legitimate courier and forwarding companies that are paying the right taxes to the government.

Earlier, Atienza called on government agencies to look into the companies that are reportedly operating without proper license.

Among the largest of such companies is Ninja Express, which is reportedly owned by Ninja Logistics PTE, LTD – a Singaporean corporation.

Another company, J&T, is a forwarder licensed by the DTI, and the CAB reportedy has no DICT approval to render domestic courier services.

A company called Black Arrow Express is licensed to operate in Metro Manila  but has apparently extended its operations to Cebu and Leyte.

The veteran solon also said there are instances that these couriers are being used illegally.

Just recently,  drug packages were found being delivered through courier services.

In another instance, a TNVS driver was arrested while delivering another drug package to a consignee.