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1. The theme of World Post Day 2020, "More than mail" correctly reflects the role of postal services providers today. In line with the World Postal Strategy 2017 - 2020 of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) that emphasises on Innovation, Integration and Inclusion, the theme aims to address universal access in the postal services sector.
2. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UPU has taken the opportunity to use the theme "More Than Mail" to showcase the bravery and dedication of millions of postal employees around the world in facing the challenges of the global pandemic. During this unprecedented situation, postal employees are amongst the front liners in processing, distributing and delivering important items to the intended recipients. Postal employees play an important role in ensuring services resume as normal, not only for the usual mailing items but also for the delivery of highly demanded essential items such as medication, personal protection equipment and other related requirements in light of the pandemic.
3. For Brunei Darussalam, this is no exception. Supporting the efforts of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in mitigating the impacts of COVID-19, postal employees, from the Postal Services Department, as well as other courier services providers continue to strive towards uninterrupted delivery services to the public.
4. The challenges, following the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected logistics and delivery chain due to the closure of borders and flight disruptions, have justified the importance of postal services in delivering more than mail. In fact, the growth in digital businesses and services, complemented by the increasing trend of online purchases, has opened up new roles and opportunities to be explored by postal service providers and start-ups.
5. Arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery services have come to the forefront going beyond sending conventional postal items in response to public demand for various items and services. In April 2020, the Postal Services Department embarked on door-to-door deliveries with the collaboration of e-commerce platforms such as eKadaiBrunei.com and Weelago.com. The growth of e-commerce platforms especially during COVID-19 proves to be a solution in the midst of restrictive measures with delivery service providers playing an important role in the delivery chain to the customers. The growth of ecommerce platforms, spurred demands and, according to statistics from Postal Services Department, from the month of April to September 2020, resulted in an additional 1,300kg delivery of EMS Speedpost parcels.
6. Also in April 2020, the Postal Services Department has also facilitated the public and micro, small and medium enterprises through bilateral arrangements with their counterparts from the neighbouring country in managing about 7,000 uncollected parcels for recipients addressed in Brunei Darussalam.
7. In delivering these services in the new norm, serious attention is attached to the safety and welfare of the operators and employees dealing with postal items. In addressing the safety and welfare of workers as well as customers and in line with the advice of relevant authorities in reducing the spread of COVID-19, standard operating procedures and guidelines have been put in place for handling postal items.
8. Finally, aspiring towards the vision of becoming a Smart Nation, Inshaa Allah the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) highly hopes for a truly reliable, resilient and innovative postal services that will continue to be one of the key enablers for other economic sectors and activities in Brunei Darussalam.
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