BUHAY Party List Rep. Jose Lito Atienza has called for an investigation into the proliferation of unregulated courier services in the country which he said has opened the doors to rampant smuggling.
Atienza has filed House Resolution No. 481 urging the House of Representatives to look into freight and forwarding services operating in the country which have no license and are therefore unregulated.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has recently revealed that illegal drugs being delivered via courier service saw a 775 percent increase in 2018 year compared to 2017. PDEA said there were 35 incidents of foreign express delivery and domestic courier services used as a mode of smuggling dangerous drugs into the Philippines in 2018, much higher than the four recorded in 2017.
Atienza said this is also the reason why many overseas Filipino workers are victimized by several freight and courier services because several of the freight companies do not have the required license from the Department of Information and Communications (DICT).
Atienza pointed out that courier services used to be regulated by the Department of Trade and Industry but the function was transferred to DICT under its Postal Regulations Division.
But with the advent of E-Commerce, many courier services operate unabated because of its profitability. “The growing number of internet subscribers in the country today has resulted in an increase of E-Commerce revenue from P44 trillion in 2018,l from P36 trillion in 2017, with e-couriers now worth P36 billion,” Atienza said.
Atienza said even the DICT has admitted that modern information and communications technology is being used by unscrupulous foreign couriers, that has placed legitimate freight and courier services companies in an unfair situation of competing against unregulated and fly-by-night operators.
At least two courier services had been identified by some newspaper reports as having no license to operate.
Because of this, Atienza said there is a need to craft a law in order to regulate the courier services industry in the country to curb smuggling and at the same time protect consumers, including OFWs, and legitimate players of the industry.