philippines · shopping



I’ve read guides about getting packages from Philpost but they’re mostly in Metro Manila so here is the “provincial version” more specifically, the “Iloilo version” lol. (This has been updated with photos for reference)

(NOTE/DISCLAIMER: This post seem to be getting some views and I am getting more questions than usual but if you do have questions after reading the entirety of this post, please do so here, on this blog or on this post. I will no longer entertain direct/private messages on my social media accounts. I am not a personal shopper, a customs agent nor a postal employee, just a person with a blog. To be clear: I am not in any way associated with Philpost, the Bureau of Customs or other government agencies I mentioned in this post. I am only sharing my experiences. Also, read the comments and my replies on here because I might have already addressed your concern/question. And once again, Google is your friend.)


If you ordered something from another country and it was shipped through the country’s postal service i.e. Royal Mail (UK), China Post, USPS, etc. then you might be wondering if and when you’ll be getting it from your doorstep.

Here’s a short answer: most of the time, NO. YOU HAVE TO PICK THEM UP.

(First time shipping via a postal service? Check out this video to have an idea about how the postal system works.)

IMG_6597 copy.png

When I first started online shopping, I was clueless about how this worked so I had them shipped to our address in the countryside outside the city. At first I thought it will be a door-to-door delivery service. And it kind of was. I waited for a long time, nearly 2 months. After waiting for so long, one day, the mailman brought my parcels to me and collected Php 40 for each package which then I was told was for tax. He gave me a receipt for them. Then after that, my other stuff never came. So I went to the post office myself and asked about it. They told me that there was really nothing there for me; I guess they got lost in transit. I then asked why it would take so long because the tracking on my previous order said the stuff reached the Philippines 4 days after it was shipped by the seller. They told me it had to pass the customs and then they still have to wait for the delivery from the city post office.

Then I decided to change my address to the one we have in the city. Currently, this is how you can claim your parcels in the post office:

  1. Wait for the notice (pictured below) to be delivered by the local postman. **Update: In Iloilo, postal employees are now calling (to those who have telephones) or sending text messages to recipients of packages as long as their numbers are written on the shipping label. I don’t know if they do this for every package but the person who usually texts me says that they do send a message/call when a contact number is written on the shipping label. In line with that, don’t forget to include your phone number when ordering or request the shipper to include your phone number on the shipping label.
front. The amount you will pay is written there.
  1. Go to the parcels section (in my post office, window 8 is designated for regular parcels and window 5 for registered packages) and present your notice.
  2. Show your ID card (any valid ID card not necessarily a postal ID) if asked.
  3. When prompted, sign in the logbook where your tracking number or package number is logged. (Yes, they still use a logbook.)
  4. Pay the necessary fees. Php 112.00 per parcel and/or customs tax if your item is taxable. (I’ve heard so many complaints about being overtaxed but so far, I haven’t experienced it.) GOOD NEWS! The de minimis threshold is now increased to Php 10,000. Please click this link to learn more
  5. Get your stuff and receipt.
IMG_6825 copy.png
Receipt. Is it okay to post it here? Lol.

What’s the Php112.00 for?

  • P 100 – Some might say this is the storage fee or tax. It’s actually formally called the Presentation to Customs Charge
  • P 12 – VAT (Yes, even the storage fee has VAT. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Thanks to whoever in the PNoy admin is responsible for this.)

You might wonder why I mentioned having paid only Php 40– well, that was in 2012. A LOT has changed since then. I am not sure how much they were charging before that.

However, in 2013 they increased the rates to Php 50.00 / a parcel.

Then in September 2014, it increased to Php 100 a parcel.

Finally, in 2015, they added the 12% VAT which makes it Php 112.00 a parcel.

To be honest, I find it ridiculous to have us pay for our non-taxable packages that we/the sellers paid shipping for and that are not even being delivered door-to-door.

Anyway, I will try to answer some questions I usually get and those that I randomly found online:

★Do they deliver? Most of the time no. You have to pick them up. (Sa mga Ilonggo, kita ko nga damo gareklamo sa Philpost nga page nga wala kuno nadeliver ila package. Miss/Sir, kilanlan kadtuan sa post office or try niyo sila tawgan kung may ara kA package. Kilanlan ikaw ma pick up especially kung dako ang ginpadala… Mas better kadtuan niyo na lang sa post office kay basi wala sila kasulat notice. Not very convenient, I know.)

★Do I always have to pick up my package? In my experience, not always. When a different mailman was assigned to our area, he delivered my stuff along with the letters for my mom. He had with him the receipts so I can directly pay the fees to him. Nice chap, that one. After a few months, our area was assigned a different mailman and I had to pick stuff up again in the post office. Take note though, our place in the city is near the post office so if you live in the city but not near the main branch, don’t expect to have it delivered to your doorstep.

★Do I have to wait for the notice? You don’t have to. If you have time, you can go to the post office directly and ask them if you have some packages, just keep your tracking number on hand. One time I had 2 notices sent to me at the same time but one was at a later date than the other. Maybe they have a schedule when to send these out but surely in my case, they didn’t send the notice as soon as the parcel reached their office.

★Where is my post office? Check here

★What is the Php 112 for? PTCC + VAT. See above.

★Do I have to pay the fees for every package? YES. 1 package = Php 112. 2 packages = Php 224. You do the math lol.

*Even if they are from the same seller and the same order? That’s why I would advise you to tell the seller to combine the items in one package only. Even if you paid for your stuff together, always remind them you want your stuff in one package. I can’t stress this out enough as I have experienced paying Php 336 for three $1 items because they were shipped in 3 different parcels *insert crying emoji* (Tip: When dealing with non-English speaking sellers, combine is the magic word. Example: Please combine my items/stuff in one package only.)

★What about taxes? I usually buy small items and aren’t worth much. The most expensive order I had received through the post was cosmetics worth less than $200. However, if you were to ship/order (thru the post) some electronics, really big parcels intended for business/commercial use and an item/or package with a value of more than Php10,000 then maybe customs taxes will be imposed on those. Here is the tax calculator for your reference.

What if I order a big thing but it’s for personal use? I asked the people at the post office the same thing and they told me that as long as it’s below Php10,000 and for your own use then you won’t have to pay taxes for it. Just Php112.

★Is using the post reliable? Sometimes, yes, sometimes no. I’m sure you’ve heard about the “crocs/crocodiles” in the customs or in other government offices that open parcels and sometimes take valuable stuff. This is not always the case though. The guys at my post office are a very helpful and friendly bunch, I’ve never experienced having lost any parcel after switching my municipal address to the current one I am using in the city. Also, keep in mind that some sellers aren’t always so honest or some might have just forgot to send you one of your orders/items if you had multiple transactions with them. (The latter happened to me a few times.)

★So what should I do to prevent my stuff from being stolen? There is usually an option for registered mail or you can have your package insured for loss and damage. Ask the merchant if they offer that.

★Tracking? So far, I was able to track a few of my items using their track and trace. In the past, I was able to track my items from the country of origin only until it enters the PH. After that, I pray. (Note: Not all parcels are tracked so it’s futile trying to track that kind of parcel. But if it can be tracked you can try using the courier’s tracking service or third party trackers. I personally prefer Packageradar I can sign up for email alerts that notifies me when there’s an update/progress on my package.)

★Oh, no. It’s been a month, what should I do? / Oh, no maybe my parcel is lost! Try contacting Philpost via these channels or ask them via Twitter or Facebook :

  • For Express Mail/EMS: Email | Contact no (02)854-5467 (02)854-4613 | SMS ONLY +639225333283
  • For Air Mail: Email | Contact no (02)854-5257 (02)854-0086 Local 1706 to 1710 (I copied this from their website)
  • If you know the contact number of your local post office then go give them a call.

★Delivery time? It depends on the country of origin and your location. If you’re in the city, you’ll get it earlier of course.

Here’s a list of average delivery time from my experience. (These are all the countries I have had packages sent from. I’ll continue to update this):

  1. China (Mainland)- 1 to 2 months
  2. Hong Kong – 3weeks to a month and a half
  3. UK- 2-3 weeks. 4 weeks at times.
  4. Sweden – 2-4 weeks. 5 weeks at times.
  5. S. Korea- 2-5 weeks.
  6. USA – 2-4 weeks.
  7. Singapore – 3-5 weeks.
  8. Malaysia – 7-8 weeks.
  9. Netherlands – 3-4 weeks.

*Note: From those countries to Iloilo. Those from Metro Manila might receive theirs earlier and those from smaller towns/municipalities might have a week or so of delay.

Registered mail. See tracking number above. From what I’ve learned tracking numbers starting with “R” are registered parcels.

(You can stop reading here the latter part is just a rant lol)

I seriously want our system to be better so here are my suggestions which hopefully reaches Philpost (in my dreams, yeah.)

*Remove the PTCC. Or at least make it less, like maybe Php10. Too low? Maybe… back to Php40? Because, why? Why are we being charged of this in the first place? Shouldn’t this have already been covered by the postage fees the sender paid on the other end and we, the buyers, have paid to the sender/seller? Lucky if the shipping is free but imagine buying something from the US and paying $25 for shipping it through USPS only to have to pay AGAIN because the post office is holding/storing it. HOLDING, not even delivering it. Idk, it feels like I am paying Php 112 (or more) to pick up an item myself.

*Remove the VAT for the customs charge too. It’s a charge. Why is the government even taxing it?

*Modernize the system. A logbook at this day and age? Parcels nowadays have scannable (is that a word? lol) bar codes. Having a computer would make registration, tracking and sorting possible, easier, and more convenient, doesn’t it? This makes it easier for the employees too.

*Attach CCTVs in the Central Mail Exchange office or wherever they sort out the parcels coming in. To lessen corruption and incidence of “lost” packages.

*Make door-to-door delivery an option. I understand some people like picking up the parcels rather than having it delivered but being given an option is nice.

*Have an electronic messaging system. Sometimes the notices come late. A week or so. It’s like waiting for a letter from another province. If there was a computer system in place, I’m sure an automatic messaging system can also be implemented as the parcels usually come with a contact number or an email address. Or people can sign up to have notifications regarding their parcel sent via SMS or email. USPS has this and it is often functional. I would take this opportunity to give a shout out to a good employee of our local post who has been sending me messages whenever I have a parcel. He’s been doing it since last year when the notice thing was still the norm. Thank you Sir, I really appreciate it. (I think they have already started doing this as I mentioned in my update above. They have been sending SMS or calls to recipients as long as their contact number is indicated on the parcel. IDK with other branches though. Kudos to the people at Iloilo Post Office!)

This took a lot of time to write so I would appreciate it if you read this post and the comments below thoroughly before asking questions as I might have already addressed your query in my post above or replies below. Don’t hesitate to air your grievances or complaints here. However, complaints about an ongoing issue should be made to the government agency/ merchant concerned as they have the power to take care of the matter.

Have you ordered anything from another country lately? How did it go? Do share it below.

Have a wonderful day!


78 thoughts on “GETTING PACKAGES FROM PHILPOST (Provincial/Iloilo)

      1. Hi I’m encourage to buy colourpop after reading your blog. I just want to inquire. I ask someone from Philpost where can I get my parcel.. He told me that if its from USA, I have to claim it on Pasay Phil post. My declared address is Quezon City.


    1. Hi! Just an update, I recently used my mom’s office address and it went well so I guess as long as there’s someone who knows you that claim your notice for you there won’t be a problem using your office address.


        1. I bought a shoe insole for 200pesos and I’m under 18 this is my first time buying in aliexpress and I don’t know what to expect. Thanks for your post its really helpful. And I noticed that you said a valid I.d is needed to claim the item and I don’t think I have a government issued id yet will they accept my school id?


        2. Interesting question but I’m sorry I actually don’t know. As for the ID, if you don’t have a passport, I’m sure school IDs are considered valid IDs since my brother uses his all the time (he’s not a minor tho) and I did use mine too when I was a student. Better call your local post office to be sure. I’m sorry I can’t be of much help…


  1. I didn’t get it sorry, you used your city address instead of your home address? So I should put in the address of my post office instead my home address is that it? Can you please elaborate on that part?


    1. I think you misunderstood, I never mentioned a “home address” in my post, I mentioned “our address in the city/ outside the city” because both of them are actually home addresses. TL;DR: We have 2 houses 🙂


        1. I’m sorry, as I have mentioned above, I don’t work for any of these institutions so I have no way of knowing about your parcel. Please contact Philpost or BOC, I’ve written their contact numbers here and in the other posts I’ve linked


  2. Hello, I ordered a few colourpop items and its currently in transit status (left the US) since Nov 9. May I ask how long it took for your last parcel to arrive?

    Thank you so much!


  3. Thank you for your customs posts! I have had some very unhappy tax experiences with our philpost customs people when ordering stuff online, and especially with the horrendous DHL & Fedex and their outrageous charges!

    Because of those experiences, I have sworn off ordering online (international) directly to the Philippines. Instead, if I really want to order something, I wait until a friend or relative is travelling back to the Philippines, and ask them if I can ship my US orders to them and if they can bring it to the Philippines instead. If they are okay with that, I order online and have the items shipped to my travelling relative’s address, giving enough time for the package to get to them before they leave for the Philippines. It’s such a hassle, which is why I don’t do it often, but the horrible customs experiences we have here is worse.

    Anyway, with the recent news about increasing the tax limits to P150,000 for balikbayan boxes, I thought ordering online internationally has improved, at least in terms of taxes. I’ve been wanting to go crazy on elf cosmetics and wanted to confirm if ordering online internationally was now “safe”. Thank you for your informative post.

    Like you, I remember it was only P40 per parcel, which is not ideal, but acceptable. Ideal would be no charge since it’s free shipping. Pero sige, puwede na P40.00. But now it’s P112? 😦 That’s high if you’re ordering maybe $20-30 worth of items lang. So dapat sulitin nalang and buy lots.

    I’m still a bit scared of ordering online again but at least now I have an idea of what to expect. I still have a phobia about being charged P600 for an item that was worth only $15. I haggled it down to P300, but still… 😦

    Thank you again for your helpful post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, dear! And yes, Php112 is too much especially for those who actually paid for shipping. I’ve never been charged over Php112 for a parcel and I’ve never had to haggle. It’s a pity that you had to 😕 Save the news article I linked here about the increase in the de minimis of imported goods so next time they’ll try to rip you off, you can stand your ground. Best of luck dear!


  4. So is it better to use city address (manila) rather than provincial address? I was planning to buy from colourpop but i’m afraid of pilferage if i use my provincial address in bataan?


  5. Hi I’m also planning to order sa colourpop, but I’m afraid kasi baka super mahal ng itax, anyway do you know how many lipstick you can buy? What if sumobra sa 12pcs let’s say 15pcs. Kasi I really want to try colourpop ang dami nilang shades so I want to try as many shade as possible. *ang dami kayang magandang shade* Tataas kaya sa 112? Thanks! 🙂


  6. Last month, I bought a small item at Aliexpress worth 2.2 USD (around 109 pesos) and when I picked it up in our local post office in Cavite this month, they charged me 112 pesos, slightly higher than the price of the item. When I told them about the new memo that increases the de minimis threshold to 10K, which would put my item exempted from that customs fee, they told me that they haven’t received the memo yet from their head office. I added that the memo was already available on Philpost website and became effective since Oct.25 but still I paid the 112 pesos just to get my item. How frustrating.


    1. Hi, every parcel, regardless of amount, is charged Php 112 and it’s actually a postal fee, not customs fee. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times in this post. It happened to me too, I had to pay Php112 thrice for 3 packages worth Php40.


      1. You mean presentation to customs charge or PTCC is different from customs tax? If I buy an item over 10k abroad, I will have to pay the PTCC plus the customs tax associated with the item? The new memo on de minimis is quite confusing…


  7. Thank you for enlightening me… I guess I have to stop buying from online stores abroad from now on. This PTCC is quite a huge burden to carry…


  8. hi po! I ordered 11 lippie sticks tapos ngayon ko lang nalaman ang 12 pc limit. i’m from cagayan de oro city po and what will I do in case po ma hold ng customs dahil na exceed yung limit?


    1. Hello! I’m sorry, as I mentioned, I’ve no experience in dealing with them. I do think you’ll be referred to the FDA for this issue since it’s their memo. However, it would be better contact them directly for queries. I’ve written their info here or on the other blog post I linked on this entry


  9. Is it true that only 10 lipstick is allowed to be released by PhilPost I ordered 10 pcs or lipstick and 2 eyeshadow. Now they will not release everything. This is in PhilPost Taguig. 😐 I’ve waited for 1 month and then they will tell my mom that only 10 can be released.


      1. Hello Renren, I made the same mistake of ordering >10 lippies 😦 How did your transaction with FDA/Philippine Post Office go? Can you please give me any tips?


  10. Please give me some advice because I ordered colourpop items since it was affordable because of black friday. I ordered 6 items ultra matte most of it is set per kit meaning compose of 3’s or 5 pcs per set. Post office have this law, one of the staff there state that they don’t allow to release more than 10 pcs of lipstick meaning the in excess of 10 pcs it will be forfeited. Total all in all of my packages from colourpop if you count it per piece will be 14 pcs. So 4 pcs of my ultra matte will be confiscated. I was so devastated because I almost waited for three months for it to arrived in the Philippines and imagine the cost of 4 colourpop ultra matte lipstick :(( I supposed to give it to my family and relative since I ordered it last november for Christmas Gifts. 😦 but until know I don’t know how to resolve this problem please anyone can help? Thank you.


    1. I’m sorry, I don’t think there’s anything else you can do once it’s in their hands. I tweeted BOC about it last time and they replied that those will be forfeited. Just pray it won’t be noticed or inspected because not every package containing more than 10 lipsticks are confiscated. I’ve had people tell me they ordered more than 10 but their parcel wasn’t inspected or anything so they were able to get all of their stuff.


  11. Thanks girl 🙂 this is really helpful, I recently ordered from Colourpop and is wondering right now just where my package is? It’s been 3 weeks so I guess I will give the post office a visit. I am also not aware about the 112php but atleast now I know. I thought it is going to be a door to door delivery. This blog is sooo helpful. Thank you ❤


  12. Found this article of yours again and

    Some points to consider:

    > In Metro Manila, regarding postal deliveries, the answer to the question about if they deliver overseas packages is, yes, they do deliver, but it is sometimes limited to Express Mail Service. I have been using EMS since I frequently order from Japan and the difference between EMS and Airmail is so negligible that I’d rather choose the more expensive but extremely fast EMS.

    Take this case: I placed an order in Amazon Japan around Feb 16, 2017. I have to send it to my forwarder so my forwarder receives it Thursday next day. Around Friday they would have weighed the item and give me a quote for shipping. I pay it upfront Friday. They ship the same day. It lands the Philippines on Feb 21. I have it on Feb 22, Wednesday. Truth be told this was even faster than when Lazada sent a phone to my brother in Davao.

    > Contrary to what you post about their Track and Trace, over the years since I tried to have packages sent here overseas, their tracking service had become extremely accurate and on the point to the extent that I can use it to accurately predict when the mailman will arrive to my place to order my items just by using their Tnt Service.

    If their TNT service traces it, it means it’s already “live” and in the Philippines.

    > When you try to order overseas, try to first consider a few things:

    1 – Is it available here in the Philippines?
    I’ve posted before that I tried ordering Xiaomi Basic Headphones from Aliexpress but they cost around 360 pesos. Add 112 pesos and you get around 470 pesos. On the other hand, someone is selling Xiaomi Basics locally online for 400 pesos.

    2 – Is it worth the wait?
    Someone was selling an Aukey Charger with Quick Charge 2.0 for like 1,200 locally. On the other hand I found something with Quick Charge 3.0 for 900 in Aliexpress.

    > About waiting for the notice, yes, you don’t need to, but it is better if you are armed with a tracking number. In my experience, Registered and Express Mail can be tracked in Phlpost’s TNT but if you manage to email them (which btw, they DO reply) you will get a better but still canned answer.

    > About the post being reliable, I have to admit that despite my dealings with Quezon City post and Pasay CMEC (which is the “customs” office) being unsavory in the “waiting game” most of my dealings had been honest and transparent. Unfortunately, they are just, damn, frigging slow. In the case of Pasay CMEC, I have to wait a full 2-3 hours for them JUST TO SEARCH A PACKAGE THAT HAD JUST ARRIVED IN THE COUNTRY!

    > About the charge, you have it lucky there in the province. We pay 112 as well but if you consider that Philpost delivers it in turn to the province, somehow, I am amazed that there is no “extra” charge with it being shipped from NCR to the province. Oops, I might give them an idea… 😛

    > I am still amazed at despite how accurate their tracking system is, they still FRIGGING use a notice card and not use the cellphone number provided in their packages. Like, come on, please…

    > Try to delete some comments here. I’ve been snooping around EMS topics on local blogs here and more or less, the comments section are hampered by people looking for their packages despite your initial warning above.


    1. Thanks for your input as I am not from NCR and I still get questions about some stuff there. However, I have to disagree with a few things. I’ve had parcels I was able to successfully track using other trackers like Aftership or Package Radar but were never found in their database. Those orders were fairly recent and I paid extra to have them shipped tracked and registered. I also had to reassure(kinda) a lot of people who were sending me PMs about their USPS parcels that they can’t track (after leaving the US) using Philpost’s track and trace. But I think I did mention in my other post that sometimes if it was able to track a package, it is more accurate than other trackers. But inconsistency isn’t the name of the game.

      I actually bought some Xiaomi headphones via gearbest and I trust that site. Tbh, I don’t trust some Lazada sellers. You might also take into account Lazada’s shipping fee which is Php119 for us in the province.

      Another thing, I am not sure why some people are surprised that we pay the same thing? We in the province pay a shipping fee to the courier too (or free but still the same I’m sure the shipper pays the courier) so what they charge us for being in the province is up to them not up for the Philpost to decide as they receive part of our payment to the shipper. Other countries don’t even have to pay a customs charge or a storage fee, etc… once receiving a package overseas so my surprise would be directed to that.

      Finally, I thought about deleting some comments here too, but I’d rather not as long as they the comment doesn’t include someone’s tracking number. I am actually hoping that some people might read their comments and my replies so they’ll get the hint (hopefully!!!)

      Thanks again!


  13. Nakakainis din also sa 112 Pesos charge per parcel. I paid 5 parcels hays.
    Also nagtataka din ako na bakit kailangan pa talaga magbayad, na is it kotong or what.
    Dito sa Iloilo, old school style talaga mag claim and they really need to update their system.


    1. The Php112 per parcel fee is definitely a legitimate charge by the post office. I personally think it’s too high a fee to pick up the parcel I paid shipping for so I hope they change it back to Php40 or less. I also have been getting packages at Iloilo city postal office for a few years now and my dealings with them have almost always been good and they are quite honest. If you think they are being fraudulent, ask for a receipt (on a side note, they always immediately issue me one) and if they refuse… call the proper authorities/agency. Lastly, don’t forget to put your telephone/cellphone number on your order or request the shipper to include your number in their shipping label so the employees at the post office can call you/send you a text message. They’ve been doing that since last year, I think 🙂


  14. Anybody knows how much custom duties and taxes I have to pay pag let’s say, around 30,000 pesos na ang value ng import? It’s just a signed shikishi/ thick cardboard from Japan, around 12 inches tall (one ruler) and maybe 200 grams ang weight. Sino na po may experience ng ganito? Salamat sa makakasagot.


  15. I haven’t been charge any fees for around 3 years. Suddenly today my post office was notified by central HQ that they should have been charging this whole time. But the odd thing was they only charged 112 pesos for 3 of my 7 packages. The packages from China all had 112 peso charges. The pckgs from Singapore didn’t. We actually didnt pay for 1 of them because the item was only worth 40 pesos, we just abandoned it. Dang it, the good times are over for aliexpress.

    Liked by 1 person

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