DICT urged to toughen supervision of courier service providers

Published August 23, 2020, 12:08 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Cebu 1st District Rep. Eduardo Gullas called on the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Sunday (Aug. 22) to keep a tight watch on the country’s courier service providers after authorities seized 12 kilos of shabu from the regional warehouse of J&T Express in Central Visayas.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)

He said the seizure of the P81.6-million worth of shabu stashed in three boxes at J&T Express’ distribution hub in Mandaue City last August 15 should prod the DICT to strictly supervise the 110 courier firms in the country.  
“We strongly suspect that traffickers might be moving illegal drugs increasingly through established courier firms, rather than via individual smugglers or mules, on account of foreign and domestic travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gullas said in a statement.
The veteran lawmaker reminded the DICT that under the law,  the regulation of the postal delivery services industry, or those engaged in domestic postal commerce, including those in the business of letter and parcel messengerial services, door-to-door delivery, or the transporting of the property of others that are similar to mail or parcel is within the agency’s “exclusive power and authority.”
Quoting the DICT records, Gullas said as of Dec.31, 2019,  PH Global Jet Express Inc., doing business as J&T Express, is among the 110 courier service providers that are allowed to operate in the country, either nationwide or in certain regions.
“It remains unclear whether the cartons came from overseas, or from another part of the country, but the PDEA has said it is already running after both the shipper and the consignee. If the shipment came from abroad, then the contraband slipped through the Bureau of Customs again,” he said.
He noted that no less than President Duterte during his State-of-the-Nation Address lashed at the five year-old J&T Express, and even threatened to shut it down after a viral video on social media showed some of its personnel mishandling packages.
The embattled courier firm, which was founded in Indonesia in 2015, provides express delivery across Southeast Asia.