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US vet scores mail service

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A former United States Navy deep sea diver now residing in Dumaguete City has slammed the local Philippine Postal Corporation, a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC), for the delayed delivery of important mails that rendered him unable to comply with additional requirements for his application for disability pension with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. {{more}}

Bruce Allan Partlow, husband of journalist Judy Flores Partlow, bureau chief of the Philippines News Agency-Dumaguete bureau, said on Thursday he will be filing a letter complaint to the Philippine Postal Corporation in Manila in the coming days seeking an explanation for the delay.

Partlow said that due to the delayed delivery of two important letters from the VA at the US Embassy in Manila, he missed his chance to prepare and gather additional information and requirements within a specified period to support his claim for disability pension.

The first letter, dated March 09, 2010 and signed by Kenneth J. Mcquown, Veterans Service Center Manager at the US Embassy in Manila, said that the USVA “was ready to make a decision on your compensation claim.”

Partlow, without going into personal details on the background of the compensation claim, said that he was given 10 days from the date of the letter to submit additional relevant records if he could obtain these.

The envelope that contained the said letter, with a header that said “IMPORTANT — reply needed”, was stamped March 17, 2010 by the Manila Post Office and was received and stamped at the Dumaguete Post Office on May 19, 2010.

Partlow was unable to reply to the said letter because it did not reach him on time.

A second letter from the VA Office of the US Embassy in Manila, also signed by Mcquown and dated March 29, 2010, rendered a decision disapproving Partlow’s claim for compensation.

The letter was stamped April 4, 2010 at the Manila Post office and arrived at the Dumaguete Post Office and stamped April 23, 2010.

Both letters were not delivered to Partlow until Thursday afternoon, July 1st, by postman Joseph Ojales, whose assignment covers the Bajumpandan-Cantil-e areas.

Ojales explained that the letters were apparently sorted out by mistake and given to another postman, Dennis Catalan, whose assigned area is the adjacent village of Banilad.

The letters bore the Partlows’ address as Lot 1, Bajumpandan-Banilad Loop Road, Dumaguete City, the same address used by the couple in other types of mails from private couriers that were and are being delivered on time.

Catalan admitted that he did not bother to ask Ojales if he knew the Partlows, and instead continued to hold on to the letters for several weeks until Thursday morning when he decided to leave them instead in the pigeon hole assigned to Bajumpandan.

He said he attempted to locate the Partlow residence and after three tries, with notes written down on both letters, finally marked them as “unlocated”.

This is not the first time that the Partlows had experienced delay in the delivery of mails since they moved to their house in Bajumpandan in 2006.

In fact, Partlow’s wife, Judy Flores, had already earlier made arrangements with post office personnel to ensure that they knew where to deliver the mail, and even gave contact numbers to them.

Postmaster Francisco Mapili of the Dumaguete Post Office told reporters that he will investigate the incident and make a report to their head office in Manila.

He admitted that unrecorded mails, such as the two letters that were intended for Partlow, are among the least of their priority.

Mapili said topping the priority list were express mail, followed by recorded/registered mail, and at the bottom are the unrecorded or ordinary mails, costing P9.00 each within the country and to include notices from pawnshops, magazines, postcards and the like.

The US Embassy in Manila has been normally sending their mail to Partlow via the Philippine Postal Corporation’s ordinary mailing services.

Mapili said that ideally, undelivered mail, especially if these have insufficient address or cannot be located such as through the barangay captain, must be returned to the sender within a month.

In fact, a mailman can even “hide” undelivered mail and these could not be verified considering that postmen are required to submit a delivery sheet at the end of the day for registered mail only.

The local postmaster also admitted that he could not ascertain the volume of undelivered mail currently sitting at their office.

Mapili said that he will submit a report for a possible administrative complaint against those responsible for the delayed delivery to Postal Inspector Joseph Guido Pagaran of the Philippine Postal Corporation in Manila. (PNA) jfp/Maricar Aranas






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