Solons urged to scrutinize unregistered courier firms

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    A RESOLUTION has been filed at the House of Representatives seeking an inquiry on the proliferation of unregulated couriers in the country amid reports that some courier and freight forwarding companies are operating without the required licenses and are not paying taxes to the detriment of the public.

    Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza filed House Resolution No. 481 and urged his colleagues to look into the operations of unregistered couriers, which he said “pose dangers to the public.”

    The measure seeks to look into small players like those catering to on-demand delivery, like Grab Delivery and Grab Food, Transportify, Angkas Delivery and Lalamove which can be availed by simply downloading their Apps on smartphones.

    Big-time players will also be investigated to find out if they have the licenses to operate, such as the Ninja Express Tech Philippines, or Ninja Van; the PH Global Jet Express, Inc or J&T Express and the AAI Logistics Cargo Express Inc. or Black Arrow Express.

    Ninja van reportedly has no accreditation from the Department of Trade and Industry-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB) as a domestic or international freight forwarder, and has no authority to operate as a domestic or international freight forwarder from Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) even if it uses airlines as mode of transportation in delivering packages.

    Atienza said that apart from consumer safety, some of these services are found to be violating constitutional limits on foreign ownership.

    Since they operate as a public service, logistics companies are supposed to be covered by the 60-40 ownership rule, the lawmaker said.

    Atienza warned that such courier companies can be used by unscrupulous individuals, including drug traffickers and even terrorists.

    Atienza cited the Quiapo explosion in May 2017 which was traced to a package sent and carried by a Grab driver to its consignee.

    In another instance, a TNVS driver was arrested while delivering another drug package to a consignee.

    There was also a recent news report detailing how a package delivered by J&T Express to an online customer was pilfered, taking her months before she was reimbursed by the courier company for her loss.

    “There is a need to craft a law in order to regulate courier services in the country to protect the consumers and the legitimate players of the industry,” Atienza said.