I'm not sure if the Philippines is the lone country that maintains a manual system of handling letters, parcels and packages. While some parts of the process may be automated, most still require manual procedures. As proof, the logbooks still serve as their trusted companion.

On those times I claim a parcel or a registered mail from the Manila Post Office, I took the opportunity to inquire and hear the sentiments of the employees. Our short dialogue often meant hearing explanations on why parcels are always delayed. A staff told me that most Post Offices are undermanned. They don't have enough personnel to deliver the parcel / package notice. Same goes with the people involved in sorting items that arrive. Manual inventory and checking of items from the delivery sheets, compiling  and writing items in a logbook, writing down information in the parcel notice form and attending to the bulk of clients about to claim their packages.

There was a time when my expected package has been delayed for several months. I took the initiative to follow up. I was accommodated by the Post Office personnel even in the absence of the "white card" (parcel notification form). I was given series of folders containing tracking numbers and names of recipients. It was a tedious task, but way better than worrying and waiting for my package. After browsing several folders, I found my tracking number and name. Alleluia. :p I was told that I can always proceed and follow up the status of my package, as long as I have a tracking number. 

While I can always make advanced visits to the Post Office, I wasn't comfortable with this approach. I wanted to ensure that my package has indeed arrive at the local Post Office. Some countries have their own online tracking system. For instance, UK Royal Mail can track packages originating from their area to the Philippines. (provided that the item was sent under a tracking system) In the Philippines, I was wondering if we have the same facility. I searched for local tracking system and I was led to this.  

For the longest time, I didn't know that the Philippine Postal Corporation has this useful online facility. I was initially in denial. :p I don't have much expectations. But anyway, I tried the and was surprised that everything worked.  

I felt that my package has been most likely forwarded to the Manila Post Office weeks ago. I printed and brought this status page and sure enough, my package has been sitting in the Post Office for weeks. 

The tracking page can be accessed here

For those who are expecting parcels and packages via the local post office , here are a few tips I can provide based from my experience.

1. Always ensure you have a tracking number for your registered mails, parcels and packages. It will be almost impossible to trace items without the tracking number. Most tracking numbers en route in the Philippines usually have codes of RS-0000000, RF-00000 SP-00000 and the like.

2. Once the status page declared that your package is en route to the local delivery office, there's a high chance that your item has been sitting in the Post Office. Just print the tracking records above for reference. You might not need to wait for the parcel notification form. 

3. Don't forget to bring a valid ID. Parcels and packages will not be issued in the absence of this document.

For now, I'm quite satisfied with this facility that Phlpost provides. In the future, I hope more automation and faster processes will be rolled out.