Cost-cutting PHLPost leaving iconic Manila building



CHANGE OF ADDRESS One of Manila’s landmark buildings housing the main office of the country’s postal service will soon be vacated by its longtime occupant.

The administrative office of the Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost) will soon move to Quezon City and leave its 86-year-old home in Manila, a neoclassical building that has become one of the most enduring landmarks of the metropolis, to reduce operational cost.

Postmaster General Josefina de la Cruz said her office was still awaiting Malacañang’s plan for the building, but the transfer of PHLPost’s Mega Manila and central administrative offices will push through within the second quarter of the year.

“Much as we hate to leave this beautiful building that we are so proud of, we feel it should go to another department or company who has the money to preserve it at its best. Unlike us who have to earn every cent for the overhead cost,” De la Cruz said in an interview earlier this week.

She said electricity and water bills at the central post office amount to P4 million a month, which could be used instead to pay for the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) contributions of the employees.

Converting the post office into a luxury building as part of a public-private partnership scheme to redevelop the area is one of the options being explored. The group behind Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, which used to be a postal office, reportedly expressed interest in the PHLPost building last year.

In the meantime, the mail-sorting operation of the Manila Central Post Office— which services the host city—will remain in the building, which was built in 1926 and restored in 1946 after World War II.

“This is a heritage building. It cannot be sold. It can go for joint venture and lease, but it’s not up to us. It will be decided by a committee that will be created by Malacañang which will involve this entire quadrant, including Intramuros and Metropolitan Theater,” De la Cruz said.

The redevelopment project is also expected to have a spillover effect in Binondo and Escolta, she added.

“As far as this is concerned, the Department of Finance is on top of it. We are waiting because we are just a member in the committee. Meanwhile, we found a way to solve our dilemma because we can’t always run to them like children every time we have a problem,” De la Cruz said.

Empire East Land Holdings Inc. will provide PHLPost with a temporary building while it develops the latter’s 1.4-hectare property in Quezon City. As part of the joint venture, Empire East will construct a 5,000-square meter office building for PHLPost and will also build another for its own use.

“Given that arrangement, we solved our problem on where to transfer and we earned some money because (Empire East) will give us guaranteed income in an eight-year spread. This year, they will give us P31 million which we can also use to move out,” De la Cruz said.

“Since we will move out, and it’s provided for by our joint venture partner with no expense to us, we might as well do it before the rainy season to avoid a repeat of damaged mails and parcels,” De la Cruz said.

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  • batangpaslit

    poignant and nostalgic. i missed the birthland.

  • basilionisisa

    PLEASE, please never plan anything drastic that would spoil the beauty and elegance of this building, especially the facade. Preserve it, it is worth every cent you will spend, for our progeny.

  • Placido_Penitente

    Iyan na lang sana ang gawing SENATE BUILDING.  Tamang-tama iyan, makasaysayan ang gusali, nasa sentro ng Maynila, malapit sa Malakanyang, at mas lalo pang mapagaganda ang lugar na iyan at buong paligid kapag ginawa iyang SENATE BUILDING.  Makakatipid pa ng malaki ang gobyerno kung hindi magpapatayo ng bagong buiding at sa halip, iyan na lang gusaling iyan ang sinupin.  Sana’y mangyari ang naisip kong ito.

  • kilabot

    gawin na lang yan one-stop-shop para sa mga kukuha ng govt e-certifications; 
    tulad ng nbi, nso, dfa, pta, pnp, gsis, sss, etc.

  • Taiko_Kauna

    Philpost is a useless agency of gov’t. If it delivers mail which are sent 2 weeks in advance, it will not reach its destination on time even if  addressee are within the same island. It’s really a very bad agency. Close it down so that their personnel will learn to work honestly in other livelihood programs.

  • Jack

    where is this 1.4 hectare property in qc that philpost is talking about? ms erika baka pwedeng kumpletuhin ang istorya mo.

  • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

    we should take better care of our heritage buildings, sa manila nga there are wonderful architectural ruins in the middle of slum areas. sayang talaga. turn this into a center for arts and culture, or a museum. if it must be a luxury location, then make it a dining and entertainment area, but DONT MESS WITH THE ORIGINAL ARCHITECTURE. Restore, not reimagine. 

    • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      ang ganda ng mga ideas dito…sige eto pa isa..make it a movie house where you only show the best of the best filipino and foreign films. there can be a video store where original copies of rare films can be sold. add to it fine dining, classical music, museums and art galleries.

  • ed_nique

    use savings to pay for GSIS EMPLOYEE’S share? did the writer get this correctly?

    there is no reason for an agency not to remit the EMPLOYEE’S share to the GSIS because this amount is deducted by the employer from the salary of the employee! did she just admit that the amount supposedly for the EMPLOYEE’S premium was used pay for their water and electricity bills?

    if she meant EMPLOYER’S share they shouldn’t have any problem remitting this because in the budget preparation for personnel services, statutory contributions such as GSIS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig are part of the budget. therefore, there is no reason for a government agency to say that they do not have funds for this.

    water and electiricity expenses are also part of their administrative budget.

    whether it’s employee’s share or employer’s share, the employer has no right to divert this money to pay for an expense other than what it was intended for, specially the employee’s share which is not public funds but money of the employee’s.

    and when the employee complains about GSIS service, it is the GSIS that gets blamed!

  • Rovingmoron

    PhilPost must introduce innovations in order to be competitive in the markets. In this computer age, sending of emails is much appreciated rather than through the tradidional mailings.

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