Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh
INDEPENDENT Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh thanked the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation (TTPost) for playing a part in the ongoing sensitisation of the public to the issue of violence against women and children.
He did so when he chaired a virtual meeting of the Local Authorities, Service Commissions and Statutory Authorities Joint Select Committee with officials of TTPost and the Public Utilities Ministry on Wednesday.
Deyalsingh noted TTPost’s partnership with the Gender and Child Affairs Division of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in distributing flyers to citizens about gender and child violence, which included numbers which people could call for help
As a psychiatrist, Deyalsingh thought this was a welcome collaboration on TTPost’s part. In response to his question about security for postal workers delivering mail in crime hotspot areas, TTPost managing director Francis Delpesh said security officers accompany postal workers in these areas.
In response to questions from Minister in the OPM and Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy, Delpesh said TTPost has three retail outlets in Scarborough, Bon Accord and Roxborough. He said an outlet in Charlotteville deals with cashing cheques for pensioners. Delpesh later told Opposition Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial that a similar service is provided to pensioners in Toco.
TTPost general operations manager George Alexis told committee members that mail and packages are scanned to ensure they contain no contraband. He also said random checks, including the use of sniffer dogs, are also used to check mail and packages for contraband. These items are only opened in the presence of customs officers.
Alexis said community cluster mailboxes are a common solution to help postal workers deliver mail to people who live in areas which are difficult to access. He added TTPost is in dialogue with some communities to put these boxes in their locations. Alexis also hoped that new postal codes for different parts of TT will be fully rolled out within the next two-three years.
Delpesh also said TTPost’s audited financial statements are up to date up to 2019. This was confirmed by Public Utilities Ministry permanent secretary Nicolette Duke.
While TTPost is operating with $12 million less than it normally has, he said the company continues to explore options to make itself more financially viable.