MAIL DELIVERY - The Official Word!

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MAIL DELIVERY - The Official Word!


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Old 6th January 2014, 12:17 AM
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Default MAIL DELIVERY - The Official Word!

Although there were already several threads regarding bits and pieces of this information, none of the threads that I read had all of this information in one concise post and most of the threads begin to wander in topic after a while.

Because of this, I chose to repost this official information direct from the proverbial horses mouths! Should anyone disagree with anything listed in this post, please contact the individual departments listed below as they are the ones who provided me with this current and updated official information regarding these mail services.

This all started because I wanted to know how to regularly, effectively and efficiently receive important US mail after relocating to the Philippines. I received a lot of great information from members of this forum, (thanks to all), although some info was not completely accurate.
__________________________________________________ __________________
HERE IS WHAT I FOUND OUT:
__________________________________________________ __________________


#1 - VFW - I received personal letters from both the main Philippine VFW Headquarters Quartermaster/Adjutant as well as the VFW Quartermaster/Adjutant in Cebu and both told me the exact same thing...the VFW does not have access to the FPO Mail system and they "DO NOT" provide any mail services for any expat located in the Philippines, no exceptions.


#2 - RAO - This office "DOES" provide official FPO Mail Services but "ONLY" for "Retired Military" personnel or "100% Disabled Veterans" who are currently drawing a full 100% disability rating! IF YOU ARE NOT RETIRED or DRAWING A 100% DISABILITY, you cannot get your mail through the RAO offices. If you are qualified in one of the two above listed categories, the cost of this mail service is 4,200 Philippine Peso's or approximately $95.00 US Dollars per year.


#3 - US POSTAL SERVICES - The US Postmaster General in Washington, DC sent me a reply to my email and the US Postal Service never has nor do they currently provide nor are they planning to provide any mail forwarding services to expats or US citizens currently residing in the Philippines.


#4 - UPS, FedEx - Both of these privately owned companies do provide a mail forwarding service from most major US cities. They could not provide me with an accurate price breakdown because each regional area in the US has a different pricing structure. In order to utilize their mail forwarding services, you need to set up your account prior to leaving the US and either have someone take your mail to one of their local offices or you need to be currently renting one of their on-site Postal Boxes. The local office management will periodically package up all of your mail and forward it to you and the delivery time will be dependent upon the amount you pay or the expedited services you purchase. Basically the more you pay, the faster your mail will arrive.


#5 - OTHER - Their are a number of cheaper alternative options with renting an on-site Postal Box from companies like "Mail Boxes, Etc.", "Mail 'N More" or "Mail Boxes Unlimited" among dozens of others and they will also forward your mail to you for a small fee. However; these privately owned Mom and Pop franchise stores run the risk of going out of business, leaving you high and dry without your mail and perhaps not even knowing that your local branch has closed down!


#6 - Philippine Mail Services. One thing was certain...It did not matter who I spoke with, expats, locals, businessmen or anyone else for that matter..."EVERYONE" agrees that the Philippine mail system is absolutely terrible and it will take forever, if at all, for you to get your mail. Everyone also agrees that if it is impoprtant...DO NOT SEND it through the Philippine Mail System! I can attest to this fact as I am an author of a book and I sent several copies to some friends of mine in the Philippines last October 3rd, 2013. I paid almost $50.00 US Dollars per book to send the packages US Express Mail, 10 business day guaranteed delivery. One friend got their book after about 50 days, another one received their book just this past week and the other three have not yet received their books as of this first week of January 2014, ( nearly 100 days later and still no packages)!


So there you have it...these were all of the mail options that were presented to me along with the official information that I personally received from each of the individual organizations involved. Perhaps there are other options that I am not aware of but it looks like those of us who are not retired from the military or are not drawing a full 100% disability do not have many options for receiving important mail items from the US after relocating to the Philippines.
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Old 6th January 2014, 12:36 AM
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All good solid info and good to see it in one place. One exception to the VFW mail
service (at the Angeles City VFW). The Angeles VFW has the mail service for retired military as do all or most other posts. They also have PO box service for those that did not retire from the military. Mail through that system does use Philpost but only to a point. It costs a small amount each year to have a box there. This is especially useful for those that get the occasional "Are you still alive" type letter from US Social Security at home in the States. This letter MUST be signed and returned to the US office it was sent from within a time limit or your SS is suspended. So this service helps to guarentee you get the letter AND that Social Security back in the States gets that all important letter returned from you...
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