To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.
How do you like your job as chief mail man?
This was my first question to the 5l-years-old post master general, Norman Fulgencio, PMG and CEO of the Philippine Postal Corporation for only three months. He was chairman since 2016 and assumed the position he is occupying now when the former general manager passed away. He has turned the postal office toward being a digital-efficient agency.
“I was in the industry of shipping and logistics by profession. so running the business of the post office is not too complicated for me. We process almost 250,000 letters, parcels, notices daily and our crew and mail men do get very busy.”
He was never interested in philately before his appointment in 2016 as chairman of the board of the Philippine postal office, and admits that he was only introduced to the wonderful world of stamps then.
“Honestly, no, I only became interested in philately when I joined the post office in November 2016 as chairman of the board,” he says. “But I saw how huge the problems we are facing but with God’s grace we were able to resolve them slowly, the financial and operational aspects.”
Stamps are a classic art so it is timeless. They are collectible and they will always have value. They record and immortalize crucial people and moments in our history. They are incomparable to anything in our digital age.”
Fulgencio brought with him a culture of cleanliness and neatness to the main postal office. To those who remember how dingy the classical building of the old postal office was, you will be surprised at the fresh clean look of the high-ceilinged entrance lobby, the disappearance of the ugly tarps, the trash and clutter around the five-story building. He opened three huge locked rooms in the building that were closed for years and, lo and behold, needed 80 garbage trucks to haul the mess out. The rehabilitated rooms are now functioning as their central communications office.
“I’m not comfortable working in a dirty and messy environment,” says Norman. “That’s a very basic part of my management. We are trying our best to keep our national heritage’s dignity intact. We have been continuously cleaning and putting things in order for the past three months and we will keep doing it until we achieve back the beauty and decency that our great ancestors left for us. I am inspired by the cleanup and beautification of the Liwasang Bonifacio in front of us, thanks to Mayor Isko.”
Fulgencio’s vision is to apply the best postal practices in the world to our own postal office. He is sure that a technology-driven operations, which will be done starting this month, will inspire the people.
How do you choose what stamps to print? Who helps you choose? These are some of the questions we asked, thinking of former president Noy Aquino, whose 40th day it is tomorrow, and Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz.
“We follow the basic guidelines for stamp issuances based on UPU standards. Generally, we issue stamps with the goal of honoring people, events, and things that played an important role for the Filipinos. The stamp committee, of which I am the chairman, is composed of representatives from different agencies, such as the undersecretary of the Department of Education, the chief of heraldry division of the National Historical Commission, the chair of the committee on visual arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the president of the Philippine Philatelic Federation–or their representatives—and an independent collector. This committee approves the stamp design to be issued after carefully evaluating the technical aspects and protocols involved, if any.”
So yes, he has also done away with the cumbersome notification process of olden years when you would get a notice you had a parcel or letter, which you could claim at the post office, so you would need to go there and show your paper notice to the teller in a huge room and he would search for it and hand it to you.
“Why not just deliver the parcel or letter from abroad or here right away?” Norman asks. So that is what will happen, in three days, you get your parcel delivered to your home or office.
The post master graduated from Letran (Arriba!). He has five children with his wife Cherry. He is from Malabon.