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Countdown to the Last Mailman

in Naga
By Loen May Gonzales
My father took the bar exams last year. Unfortunately, he wasnt able to push the luck
to be a lawyer. The news came to us by the internet and the daily newspaper. For a
more personal validation of results, we were expecting for a letter from the Office of
the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court. It was not to feel so hopeless, but we waited.
But up until today, no letter came. My father even joked the possibility that maybe his
name was just hopped upon the encoding of the names of the passers and maybe the
letter would tell us a different result. Just as we silly hoped, the letter may still be stuck
in one of the boxes left unopened in the Post Office.
Same story goes for hundreds and even thousands of spectators for their letters. The
new world may see the post office as an obsolete place, but it still serves a wide array
of people, specially in governmental transactions. Letter checks, return copies and other
documents are still sent through snail mails. The importance of the post office is still
The last mailman is a tale told that is yet to come true, if Naga would permit.
Naga City is composed of 27 barangays which should have at least 16 mailmen. But
currently, the city has only four. This scenario evidently proves the cause for the delays
of mails stuck between the transactions in the city post office.
Employees from other government offices and even individual letter spectators would
often and most likely go to the post office to pick up mails and letter checks, sometimes
still found in sealed boxes, instead of waiting for its delivery.
The lack of mailmen in the city is yet another story skipped by the limelight.

The lack of mailmen was rumored to be caused by the blocking of benefits to the post
offices staffs. With this, people did neither want to be employed nor transferred in the
post office.
It was also rumored that the post office was into privatization. Thus, the reason why
they are reducing labor costs. In effect, shortage on the number of employees.
An interview with Mr. Roger S. Ablao, Postmaster IV, of the Naga City Post Office,
revealed that the post office indeed lacked budget to be able to employ more mailmen.
We had requested budget for the wages of additional postmen here. Our request was
sent to the Philippine Postal Corporation Central Office (PhilPost) in Manila last April but
up until now, there have been no progress upon our request , said Mr. Ablao. He also
falsified the hearsays on the privatization of the post office. Its still a government
Budgetary constraints keep the local Post Office in a difficult ordeal. We cannot employ
additional postmen because we lack budget. We cannot hire and not be able to pay.,
added Mr. Ablao.
With the problems laid, the Naga City Post Office made efforts so as to improve their
services through asking for aid from the local government.
One measure was to ask for the help of the Liga ng mga Barangay in the clearance of
their back clogs. The Liga extended their hands upon the Post Office for one time. That
one time was such a big help, but obviously, it was not enough. With the daily arrival of
letters and other documents to be delivered, it was impossible for a one-time help to
empty the weight in the mailmans boxes of letters.
Another help asked by the local Post Office from the local government is a job order
from the City Hall. They asked for additional manpower to be aided by the city
government. The employees to be sent to them will work for them but will be waged by
the city government since they lack funds. According to Mr. Ablao, the city hall has not
refused of extending the help but no employee wanted to be transferred to the Post
Office for an unknown reason.
Their most reliable resort is to do bayanihan. Their employees serve as postmen in their
places whenever they can. But of course, since these employees are not required of
doing such because it is outside their job descriptions, they can just be too good to do
The Post Office admits that as of today, its employees are a bit of low moral because
out of all the government agencies, they may be the sole office not enjoying the salary
increase due as of these times. They are still stuck with just 50% of the 1
transition of
the increase.
When asked as why such problems thrive in their office, Mr. Ablao said that they have
an on-going rationalization. But they are hoping for their graces to come by January of
next year.
Looking for the meaning of rationalization, it could mean two things: 1) reorganization
of a company to achieve a more efficient outcome; and 2) making excuses as to see
something wrong to be right. The Post Office could be sailing on both of these two
boats. They may have admitted their deficiencies but is promising for a better service
ahead, which we all hope for.

Naga is one of the most promising cities in the country. Despite the innovations, let it
not kill a hub that still serves. If the PhilPost would not be able to do better, the local
government may. Naga thrives by intelligent individuals. Let the intelligence be true
both in the hearts and minds of Naguenos. I bet Naga will not let the tale of the last
mailman come true.