The methods of sending a letter have their own advantages and disadvantages, and depending on the needs of the sender and the content of the letter, the choice of method of sending a letter is material. This guide will explain the ways and the process of sending a letter in the Philippines together with its advantages and disadvantages. The methods of sending a letter that will be discussed throughout this guide are:
It must be noted that if the sender goes to a court of law due to a dispute concerning the letter, he must have proof of delivery. Proof of delivery means that there is a document that can be shown to the court to prove that the recipient has indeed received the letter.
As discussed throughout this guide, the proof of delivery may be in the form of a receipt, or some other document, depending on the method used for sending the letter, and may be submitted in court to prevent the recipient from denying that he has received the letter.
However, there are methods of sending that do not provide a reliable way to prove delivery which will also be explained such as in the case of an email or electronic messaging. Therefore, depending on the needs of the sender, the choice of method of sending must be made carefully.
This is the standard postal service that is managed and regulated by the PHLPost, which is a governmental institution providing mail and package delivery services. With this method, the sender simply puts the letter in an envelope and drops it to the PHLPost for sending after paying the fee.
This is usually the most cost-effective and simplest option among the services offered by PHLPost and is regulated and supported by the Philippine Government.
Further, the letter will be delivered within a certain timeframe depending on the destination, and there is also a tracking system by the PHLPost to determine the journey of the letter.
Unlike registered mail, there is no registry return receipt for regular mail, so there is no viable way to prove that the recipient received the letter as there is no proof of delivery that can be shown to court. The only way for the sender to know that the recipient received a letter is through the tracking system and if the recipient replies to the letter.
Sending a letter through regular mail is most especially useful for sending simple notices, letters with a friendly tone, and letters that are not confidential and sensitive in nature, or are not likely for a dispute concerning the letter to be brought to court, such as a Recommendation Letter, a Notification of Name Change Letter, and a Letter to Request for Flexible Working Schedule.
It is recommended that letters that do not require the sender to know that the recipient received the letter, be sent via regular mail because the tracking system showing that the recipient has received the letter does not serve as proof of delivery. If the sender requires proof of delivery, this method of sending a letter is not recommended, instead the letter should be sent via registered mail or some other method that offers proof of delivery.
A Registered Mail provides a secure method of sending a letter and it enables the sender to know that the letter will be received by the recipient or a representative of the recipient. Like regular mail, this method of sending a letter is managed and regulated by the PHLPost.
The sender must obtain a seal from PHLPost and place it on the upper right corner of the envelope before sending. The sender has an option to use a Registry Return Receipt which may be used as proof of delivery.
This method of sending a letter is the most secure option among the services offered by PHLPost and is regulated and supported by the Philippine Government. The security of sending this letter is tracked from the moment of sending up to its delivery to the recipient through the tracking system of the PHLPost.
Further, it must be noted that the most important feature of this method of sending is the option to make use of a Registry Return Receipt, which enables the sender to know that the recipient received the letter as the letter will be signed by the recipient once he has received it. The Registry Return Receipt is a viable proof of delivery that is accepted by the courts to prove that the recipient received the letter.
Lastly, in case the registered mail is damaged, the sender can ask for compensation to indemnify him from the damage incurred.
While this method is more secure than regular mail, the main drawback is that it is more expensive and can take longer than regular mail.
Further, in case the recipient is not present in the place of destination of the letter, the person who may sign the registry return receipt is the representative of the recipient. There are rare instances when the authority or capacity of the representative to receive the letter on behalf of the recipient will be contested or denied by the recipient. To remedy this, the sender may opt to send the letter personally or through personal delivery to the recipient after sending the letter via registered mail.
Taking into consideration the features of registered mail, it is recommended that letters with sensitive and confidential statements together with their attachments, as well as letters that may be the subject of a dispute in court, be sent through this method of sending a letter. The sender can also rest assured that if the letter together with the attachments gets damaged, he can ask for indemnification for the damage incurred from PHLPost.
Thus, documents like an Employment Termination Letter, a Non-Compete Agreement, or a Release, Waiver, and Quitclaim can be sent through registered mail. These are documents that may be submitted in court in case the sender files a case and are prime examples of documents that should be sent via registered mail. The registry return receipt will then serve as evidence that the recipient or his representative has received the letter and thus can no longer deny the receipt of the same.
Private courier services like LBC, JRS Express, and 2GO offer faster and more secure delivery options. This is the widely used manner of sending letters around the Philippines and is easier and faster than regular mail or registered mail. The process is also simpler than the services offered by PHLPost as it simply is done by dropping the letter together with attachments at the nearest private courier branch at the choice and convenience of the sender.
Private couriers offer tracking via the website of the courier and SMS or text notifications. The fees are affordable but may vary according to the size and weight of the letter.
As proof of delivery, the official receipt showing the tracking number can be inquired upon with the private courier concerned and may be submitted to the court in case of a dispute concerning the document.
Further, the speed of delivery may vary depending on the distance from the drop-off location to the place of destination. However, the delivery is faster than PHLPost and can reach long distances of mailing.
Lastly, similar to registered mail, private couriers generally allow claims or indemnity to be paid to the sender if the document sent is damaged during delivery.
The disadvantage of private couriers is that the process of sending documents is not regulated by the government. However, private couriers have proved to be a reliable way of sending documents, as even the Supreme Court allows the sending of legal documents, and the manner of delivery is secured.
Further, the speed of delivery may take a few days which is why this method is not recommended if the sender wants the letter to be delivered on the same day. For instantaneous or faster delivery speeds, email, electronic messaging, and online sending platforms may be used.
Similar to registered mail, documents like affidavits of loss, affidavits of closure of business, special power of attorney, and other documents with confidential or sensitive information and those which are susceptible to being submitted in court as evidence, may be sent through private couriers as they offer the same security as the services provided by PHLPost.
This is the most traditional among all the methods of sending a letter. It is done by simply giving the letter to the recipient, and this is the best way for the sender to make sure that the recipient receives the letter.
It is a good practice for the sender to maintain a receiving copy signed by the recipient as proof that the recipient indeed received the letter. This receiving copy may be presented in court in case of a dispute to prove that the recipient was able to receive the letter. But in any case, even if the recipient does not sign a receiving copy, an Affidavit of Service may be used to state that the sender indeed served the recipient a copy of the letter. This affidavit serves as proof of delivery and may be used as evidence in court to show that the recipient was able to receive the letter.
Personal delivery is the best way for the sender to make sure that the letter gets delivered to the recipient because the sender himself personally knows that the letter is delivered. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the proof of delivery may be in the form of a receiving copy signed by the recipient and an Affidavit of Service.
The obvious disadvantage of sending a letter through personal delivery is the inconvenience of sending it to the recipient, especially if the distance between the parties is far from each other.
Further, the sender runs the risk of arriving at the recipient's address with the recipient being absent there. While the letter may be received by a representative of the recipient, there is still a risk that the recipient may contest or deny the authority and capacity of the representative in receiving the letter and altogether deny that the letter was validly delivered.
Considering that the sender has complete control as to how the letter will be sent, documents and letters with sensitive or confidential information and those that are susceptible to being submitted in court as evidence, may very well be delivered through this method. Thus, documents like an Employment Termination Letter, a Non-Compete Agreement, or a Release, Waiver, and Quitclaim can be sent through personal service. However, the advantages and disadvantages must be weighed carefully to determine whether it is worth it to send the letter in person.
There is a wide variety of online services such as Angkas, Grab, Joyride, and Lalamove which offer document delivery services. This is accomplished simply by booking a delivery via the mobile applications of the mentioned service, provided that the online sending platform operates in the area where the sender and recipient are situated.
These services offer a real-time tracking system to show where and if the letter has been sent already, and usually, a photo showing that the letter has been delivered, together with an electronic receipt will be sent to the sender by the delivery man as proof of delivery. The delivery can be done the same day and in a matter of minutes to a few hours and the sender does not have to go outside of his home or office and will just have to wait for the delivery man to pick up his letter for delivery.
The disadvantage of these online sending platforms is that they can be more costly than the other modes of sending.
Further, since this service is not regulated by the government, it is possible that the deliverer does not actually deliver the document. In that case, the recipient does not receive the letter and the sender may have to initiate a complaint against the deliverer and the online sending platform which can be a lengthy and costly legal battle.
All matters of documents and letters can be sent via online delivery platforms, but the advantages and disadvantages must be weighed carefully by the sender especially if the document is confidential and sensitive in nature.
Considering that the security of sending documents and letters with this method of sending a letter is not as rigid as registered mail and private couriers, letters that are not confidential and sensitive in nature and those which are not susceptible to being submitted in court as evidence, such as a Recommendation Letter, a Notification of Name Change Letter, and a Letter to Request for Flexible Working Schedule may be sent through online sending platforms.
Email and electronic messaging are the most widely used method of sending a letter, and it uses computers and an internet connection for the letter to be delivered. It offers instantaneous delivery and exchange of messages and is generally free of charge.
This is the fastest way of sending a letter and is the least costly.
The main drawback of this method of sending a letter is that it does not offer proof of delivery. A remedy for this drawback is for the sender to ask for confirmation from the recipient that the letter was received, the confirmation can then be submitted in court as evidence to prove the receipt of the letter. However, this method is not reliable as the recipient can deny the delivery simply by not replying to the email.
If the letter's content is not confidential or sensitive and is not susceptible to being the subject of a dispute in court, such as Recommendation Letter, a Notification of Name Change Letter, and a Letter to Request for Flexible Working Schedule, sending an electronic version via email or messaging apps for instant communication may be a viable option. However, it can be difficult to prove that the recipient indeed received the letter, and because of privacy implications, the propensity of recipients to not reply to the electronic message, and the ease of sending a letter electronically, sending sensitive or confidential letters is not recommended.
To recapitulate, the following are the common methods of sending a letter:
In summary, the choice of proof of delivery method depends on factors such as the nature of the letter being sent, budget considerations, delivery speed requirements, and the desired level of tracking and security.
Different situations may call for different methods, so it's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option to determine which one best meets your needs.