PNP scraps gun license courier deal
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has terminated a multimillion-peso contract it awarded to a startup courier service firm amid controversies hounding the company’s legal personality.
The PNP’s decision to annul the memorandum of agreement it signed with Werfast Documentation Agency Inc. came after the company itself sent a letter to the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) on March 17, ending its commitment to deliver gun licenses of firearms owners nationwide.
Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP public information office chief, said the PNP Civil Security Group (CSG) was already finalizing the terms of reference for the awarding of the contract to a new courier service firm.
“The accreditation of a courier service provider precludes exclusivity and gives the PNP the discretion to accredit other companies as may be necessary to ensure service efficiency,” Sindac said in a statement.
“Despite the withdrawal of Werfast, the company clarified that it will honor all pending commitments and deliveries to (gun owners),” he said.
He said the PNP-FEO entered into an agreement with Werfast to ensure the door-to-door delivery of gun licenses as part of the reforms in the process of gun ownership.
“(This is a) measure adopted by the PNP to verify authenticity of addresses given by gun license applicants,” Sindac said.
Documents obtained by the Inquirer showed Werfast signed the agreement with the PNP-FEO on May 25, 2011, or nearly three months before it was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 10, 2011.
A source earlier disclosed that Werfast had been collecting P190 from gun owners in delivering their gun permits within Metro Manila. This despite the fact that the company was only using the services of the LBC forwarding company, which charges its clients P90 for the same service.
In his letter to Werfast in July 2013, then FEO director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta cited numerous reports he had been receiving regarding the company’s failure to deliver gun licenses within the required 30-day period.
Petrasanta said gun owners had also been complaining about “the uncompetitive price of (your) delivery service as compared to existing nationwide courier services.”
Still, PNP Director General Alan Purisima said the allegations of irregularities in the FEO’s gun licensing system could be the handiwork of “fixers” involved in the bogus registration of firearms.
He said a number of brokers, who offer speedy registration of firearms for a fee, “lost their income” when he ordered the closure of FEO satellite offices in the provinces last year.