By Ben Rosario
A senior member of the House of Representatives on Wednesday called for a stricter monitoring of the operations of courier services in the country, saying that stringent regulations should also be imposed to protect the public, especially overseas Filipino workers.
Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza aired the call as reports reaching his office indicated that at least two major courier services have been operating in the country without the required government licenses.
Atienza has filed House Resolution NO. 481 urging the appropriate House committee to investigate the said allegations and other claims of abuses allegedly committed by certain courier services.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has records indicating that the operations of the PH Global Jet Express or J&T Express and the Ninja Tech Philippines, known as NinjaVan PH, are under close watch.
Information reaching Atienza’s office indicated that the two major courier services firms have been operating without the requisite license from the DICT postal division.
The documents also showed that several articles in numerous publications have cited couriers, such as J&T Express and Ninja Van, that are operating without the legally required courier licenses or operating outside of their scope of business.
“In view thereof, and to protect the public, the DICT, pursuant to its legal mandate, has been investigating this matter. It has been confirmed that Ninja Van and J&T, possibly among others, do not have valid courier licenses issued by DICT; and, as such, are operating illegally,” documents from the DICT stated.
Atienza had said some of the unlicensed couriers were found to be violating the 60-40 constitutional limits on foreign ownership as many of them were 100 percent owned by foreign companies.
“There is a growing problem in this industry particularly with the entry of illegal couriers which are mostly foreign-owned. There is really need to regulate it, considering that 67 percent of Filipinos are on the Internet,” he stressed.
The lawmaker said since they operate as a public service or convenience, logistics companies are supposed to be covered by the 60-40 ownership rule.
If the said companies are proven to be operating without the necessary license as well as those operating beyond their scope, the DICT will accordingly order them to immediately stop their operations.
Their officers may also be held criminally liable for knowingly operating a business illegally.