MANILA, Philippines—To welcome the year of the Wooden Horse, the Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) has released specially designed stamps and souvenir sheets ahead of Chinese New Year.
The horse-designed stamps and collector’s items were first issued on Dec. 2 and are now available at all PhilPost Post Shops and Post Offices nationwide, PhilPost information officer Alvin Fidelson said in a statement.
The stamps showing the head of a horse are sold at P10 each while those with a full horse design are priced at P30. Souvenir sheets, on the other hand, are being sold at P80 each.
“The designs were made by PhilPost artists and were approved by our Stamps Committee and the National Historical Commission,” Fidelson told the Inquirer.
According to Fidelson, the agency printed 55,000 stamps measuring 40mm x 30mm and 7,000 souvenir sheets measuring 130mm x 75mm dimension.
He said PhilPost annually releases special stamps using the year’s Chinese zodiac sign.
The PhilPost information officer noted in the statement that people born in the year of the horse are extremely animated, active and energetic. The horse is a symbol of strength and speed, energy and optimism. The horse sees the good in people and in the world.
Stamp sales are a source of revenue for PhilPost, which also earns from corporate accounts, financial services, rentals of its properties and postal ID fees.
Postmaster General Josefina de la Cruz had said in an interview last year that stamp sales from individual mail has declined but are increasing for commercial establishments.
She added that PhilPost made a profit of P110 million in 2011, which tripled the following year.
The gains, however, are still not enough to erase the postal agency’s P1.2-billion debt accumulated through years of losses.
Postmen claimed that they did not feel the tripled income of the agency in 2012 as their clothing and transportation allowances were delayed earlier this year. Reportedly, postmen used to deliver an average of 600 letter a day per area, but now it is down to about 200. A rationalization plan implemented in 2013 cut down the number of PhilPost employees. According to De la Cruz, the plan, which aimed to reduce redundancy, brought down the number of plantilla positions from about 12,000 to 7,043.
De la Cruz is hoping that stamp sales plus the incremental savings from the reorganization will help PhilPost start over.
She noted that the agency has started “making up with its obligations,” an act that she claimed will clear most, if not all debts of the corporation in a span of three years.