Picking up an EMS package at Pasay Post Office

This was the 2nd time I was asked to pick up a package at the post office when I was expecting it to go straight to my house.  First was a purchase from Amazon shipped from the U.S.  I was asked to go to the QC post office right off EDSA between Timog and Quezon Avenue.

When I got there,  I just gave the claim card I got from the mail, and paid the tax.  Took me less than 10 minutes to get out of there.

So when I got this claim card again, I thought it would be the same process but this time, it’s just at the Pasay branch.  So I had the driver go there in the morning to pick it up for me.  He lined up, gave docs, and was told he will be called when the package is ready for opening by the customs officer.  He waited for an hour but still wasn’t called.  This was at 11am.  I had him go home and I went there myself at 3pm, and still, my package was not yet there!


This is the table where they open up the packages. This shot was taken at 3pm, opening of packages are not continuous. As you can see, customs officer isn’t around.  Packages are already lined up waiting to be opened.  Why??? Coz of the crappy process they have!!!


First step: Line up to give the claim card you got in the mail, then they’ll make you fill out some forms.  They’ll also let you photocopy the claim card for them to keep.  Then they’ll tell you to wait for your name to be called.  But then double check first if you have to go to the office at the other building to inform them to bring down your package (to take it to this place for inspection).  Or else, you’ll be waiting for nothing.  

Then you’ll just wait for your name or the name on the package to be called.  Once it’s your package, you’ll be asked to go and witness them opening it in front of a customs officer.

That office is an air-conditioned room of the customs officers.  The customs officer comes out and checks a package or two, notes details of the package, then goes back into that room.  Then you WAIT AGAIN! A note will be given to you stating how much you’ll need to pay.  If you’re ready to pay, then you go inside the room and pay for it.  When I got the amount, I almost fell off my seat!

The tax they were making me pay was so ridiculously high!  It was even more expensive than my package!  So I went inside the room and talked to the officer to make it lower.  From 1,900++ she lowered it to 1,500++….then  I still say it’s too much and begged her to at least make it 1,000Php.  Then this specific officer tells me (while she was computing trying to make it 1k) that every time we have a package sent, we automatically need to pay P500+ for documentation no matter what your package is.  Then she rants on how she doesn’t understand people who love buying imported stuff, makes it more expensive, and makes their jobs more difficult!


In the end, I paid almost 1,200Php, then they gave me the receipt.  I get out of the room and go back to the first table I went to, to pay 40Php to release the package.  This was already 530pm.

My best friend for 2.5hours.  This huge old scary looking electric fan.  It was so hot especially if you’re waiting long!  Pregnant people get some kind of special treatment.  We get to sit in here and not outside the building.   And when they saw I was pregnant, they put a “priority” on my package but that still took an hour for my package to be on the table for inspection!

The problem?  Only one officer checks the packages, and it takes her forever to compute and come back out then check 2 packages again, then goes back into the office and computes, then talks to the owner, then repeats that process.  It wouldn’t matter if there were only 10 people waiting, but we’re talking about 50-100 people!!!

By 4pm, people were getting anxious.  And some of the people outside went in looking for their package.  No line, no nothing, just hovering over the packages visible.  They were then eventually asked to go out and wait for their name to be called.

They should find a way to be more efficient.  That’s all I can say.



46 thoughts on “Picking up an EMS package at Pasay Post Office

  1. oh my! now i am starting to get worried… Mam ask ko lang po mga ilang days or gaano katagal nyo bago nareceive yung claim card after nyo mareceive ang status ng package nyo sa tracklist na nasa philippines na?

    Ibig po pala sabihin either mapunta yung item ko sa ibang postal office or sa ems pasay depende na lang sa tadhana? Pede ko po bang malaman how big is your first and second item para mei idea po ako….

    Sorry po at madaming tanong first time ko po kasi mag pa deliver ng package thru ems kaya basically i have no idea…

    Thanks po

    • Hi Ben!
      I received the claim card in the mail around 3 days after nakita ko sa tracking na “for customs review”.
      First item was a shoe box. Second item plastic siya na nakabalot ng tape na as big as 2 queen sized pillows na pinagdikit.
      I hope I was able to give you a better idea.
      In any case, just try to haggle to lower the tax. Good Luck 🙂

      • Thanks for the info mam and I hope that my package will arrive to me safely. Thanks po again ☺

  2. Just an update: I call EMS today and they said my package is on delivery and luckily i got it today… It was deliver to my home directly all I did was paid the 40php to the delivery guy. My seller from Korea marked my package as a gift maybe that is why i didn’t go to the ems custom. Whew.. got lucky this time…

  3. hello, i stumbled upon your blog hoping i would be enlightened.. i have a package waiting for me at ems pasay.. first, i have it declared at 40usd and some people say na less than 50usd, diretso bahay na so bakit yung akin hindi? 😦 smartphone actually sya, worth 300usd pero 0% ang duty nya db? panu ba malalaman kung nsa local postal office or ems office yung package nyo? sorry sa tanong, first time ko kasi ppntang ems pasay.. im confused actually.. thanks sa help! 😦

    • HI, sorry for the late reply. You won’t know actually, coz they’ll just send you a notice via postal mail where you will pick up your package. If it’s at the EMS office, most likely it’s for customs review. Meaning they’ll open the package in front of you and appraise the tax. As per customs officer, everything has duties, so cellphones are not 100% tax free. There were some people saying it didn’t turn out cheap anymore coz of all the taxes. I hope they dint charge you much 🙂

  4. Hi po ask ko lang bakit po hindi denideliver sa house ang parcel? my 1st package was deliver to our house. Late Dec 15 i sent some chocolate +card to my wife and she got notice card na to cliam sa pasay EMS..I paid almost 1600php for the package..

  5. I had a similar experience this January, 2013.
    Absolutely horridly run facility. I’ve received dutiable items in in several countries (I’m an American who travels around a lot), and this was absolute hell. First off, I had to come from Marikina so that was an hour shot just getting there. Then the chaos at the facility ate up another 4+ hours from my day. My Package total was $34 for items listed as duty free (I took the time to look this all up). Including shipping and insurance my total was $45.05. I had to pay 808 pesos (about $20).
    The nonsensical mandatory IPF and Customs stamp fees or whatever they were called (+12% VAT) are absolutely insane. In the end I paid about 60% to the Philippine government on DUTY-FREE items!

    The lesson I took away? Use a balik bayan box service instead, wait the 6 weeks to get the item and deprive the communist customs of any fees whatsoever. I took some photos of the decrepit facility as well.
    When I counted all of the people waiting at any given time, I noted that this government facility is causing the public burden of it’s citizens (and foreign visitors like myself) over 1000 man hours of lost labor per day.
    Calculation: at least 100 people at any given time waiting at the customs building and the “customer service building” all day long * 8 working hours at the facility = 1000 man hours lost by “customers” per day.

    Give me one month managing that facility (with the right to fire and hire) and I could get it down to 30 minutes max per person.
    I think a smart 11 year old could do the same.

    I know I will from now on, do all that is in my power, to never set foot at that facility again.

  6. I’m from Pampanga and i order a phone from China, I use EMS and it actually came here in the Philippines so fast. I don’t have any problem with the EMS because they deliver in our local post office. I just pay 50pesos and that’s it. If you want to receive your parcel without paying high tax, just email me and i will tell you a technique on how to do it. Good day!

    • I’m from Pampanga too. Would you mind giving me some tips on how to lessen my custom duties. Here is my email (chrizheng@gmail.com) Thanks!

      • They deliver it on the local postoffice near my place and they just ask me for 50 pesos. My parcel was not even inspected maybe because its just small.

    • hi,

      i’m from makati. i’m expecting a package from china. it’s a size of a medium-large box containing a bag. i usually ask the seller to put the item value to below $50 but the customs office always charge me P1,000-1,500. could you tell me on how to pay P50 only? or at the very least, pay below P1,000?

      thanks so much.

    • Hi, Marveluz, i also need your help regarding my package. You can email me at eeriseddd@gmail.com Thanks.

      Did you call the EMS office? I receive a note subject for customs examination. Are there any other ways to get my parcel directly delivered to my house or our local post office? I’m expecting my package from Korea and it’s just a prize that I won from a certain event. They also emailed me that they already paid the tax of that item. Thanks again.

      Or anyone can answer this post. Thanks in advance to those who will answer my question. Please help me. I’m also a student.

    • Good afternoon! Turuan nyo nga din po ako para makatipid sa taxes ng parcel. Kasi my pinadala sa akin na box ang friend ko abt. 4.5kls daw yun na mga samot-sari my konting damit, hikaw, keychains at ref magnets lang naman daw, nagbayad yung friend ko ng mahal dun sa ibang bansa para ideliver sa ofis ko pero sinisingil pa ako ng P1,212.98…Thank you po sana mabigyan nyo ako ng tip. Julie Mendoza

  7. i’ll be picking up a package tomorrow and we’ll see what happens. This is the 3rd package that was sent to us so I’m wondering why does it need to be inspected by customs

    • Hi po.. Meron po ako parcel from China i chose ems as courier.. Yung package ko pa nasa customs na nung june 7 pa.. Hanggang ngaun wala pa ung parcel ko. First time ko po na makipagtransact ng ganto please help..

  8. hi marveluz! would you mind telling me how you got your parcel at your post office? i ordered some items from korea, china and singapore last july 4 and july 9 and the tracking says it was delivered here in manila last july 12 and the other one was delivered 2 days ago last july 16, the first one was addressed to be shipped in pampanga while the other one is to be shipped in mandaluyong, please im begging you to help me how to get my parcel, here’s my email doitcruz@me.com, thank you so much!

  9. I want to share my experience too. I also just paid 50.00 pero before that the local post office here in Gensan told me that I have a package in the local post office and that a Customs officer will open it for additional taxes, so I called that cell # spoke in straight English just to bluff that post office person and whalla.. when I went to the local post, I just paid 50.00 and the post office man just saide that there is no Customs personnel around and its okay to releaase my package.. fishy if you ask me..

  10. Thank you for sharing!
    I purchased bunch of puzzles from HK.
    Those are only plastic twisty puzzles and Im very worried about the tax because I am just student. 😦

    This experience serves a lesson.

  11. May I ask anyone or marveluz himself to send me the technique. Here’s my email add (dine_ca10@yahoo.com). I’m about to buy a supplemental product from Thailand. I worry about buying the product since there are still issues going on about our customs. I’ll wait for your replies. 🙂

  12. Before po ba makarating sa mga local post offices sa province dumadaan pa po ba muna sa pasay or manila? Thank you.

  13. Paying the 50 pesos tax only doesnt really have a secret technique to it, ganun lang talaga yung collection fee. Dati nga 40 lang yung binabayaran ko. Maybe it’s because of the location. I dunno, probably. We pay less kasi here sa provinces

  14. Ako din…I sent a parcel via EMS from Abu Dhabi to manila nung Oct. 3, 2013 at based sa website nasa customs na xa sa pinas ng Oct. 7…tawag ng tawag ung receiver ko sa post office, she even visited personally pa dun sa post office kng saan nya expected na pick-apin ung parcel…cnabihan xa na tatawagan na lang if dumating na ang parcel nya…Pero walang tumawag sa knya…Pag xa nman ang tumatawag sa EMS puro ring lang at kng iangat man ang phone ibababa din agad…

    Ngaun ako mismo (all the way from Abu Dhabi)…tumawag sa EMS and finally may sumagot at mabait pa…kailangan pla pntahan sa EMS office sa Pasay which is hndi nman advise nung taga post office dun sa place ng receiver ko…Bkas ppntahan na ng representative ko at sana lang makuha na kc more than a month na un…

    Lesson learned: Wag na gagamit ng EMS…better nga na ipa air freight ko na lang mahal ng konti but sure na darating at wala ng customs ek ek….

  15. Hi! My name is RIzza. Just want to ask, kasi i receive a notice card today. the postmark date written was R 28. Does it mean sa Nov. 28 ko pa siya makukuha? and also may tax pa po bang babayaran? kasi actually the package that i’m going to receive was just a giveaways from korea. Thank you very much and awaiting reply.

  16. hi po itatanong ko lang po kung nabigyan po ako ng notice card ibig sabihin po ba nun bubuksan ung padala sa akin? kahit na hindi naman xa box kundi ung ems hand carry lang… laman po kc nun eh apat na wallet isang relo at isang bag… may alam po ba dito sa inyo na bubuksan pati ung wallet? eh ung bag po bubuksan din ba? sana po mreplyan nyo ako…bukas po kc ako pinappunta

  17. @marveluz pls send me nmn d tekniks sa ems i sent a parcel to bataan last 1wee k ago until now dpa din nkakarating saknia its from malaysia hindi nmen alam san nia kukunin any idea pls help me thanks

  18. Hi po, ask ko lang po sana kung pwde na po ba dumiretso sa post office in pasay para magclaim ng parcel kahit wala pa po narerecieve na notification card tawag po kasi ako ng tawag sa ems wala nman lagi sumasagot. Nag email po ako sa ems pumunta na lang daw po q philpost main to claim my parcel sobra tagal na din po kasi nasa custom since march 3 pa po

  19. Hi po, gusto ko lang po sanang itanong kung pwede ko pa ring makuha yung package ko without claim card???

  20. Yung mga walang notif card. Need nyo dumiretso sa Post office. Sabihin nyo na wala kayong nare receive dapat know nyo din yung Tracking number nyo, dahil sila na gagawa ng Notif card and pwede nyo na lang intayin yung package. Just be ready sa EIFEL TOWER NA PRESYO!

  21. Hi, Funfy. This is a sad and dreaded case. I had the same experience last year. I still remember how terrible the system in this particular office (Pasay Customs) is and how the whole pick-up process went. It took me 3-4 hours to get one small parcel with second-hand knick-knacks in it. What’s surprising is that I used to receive small parcels as gifts before and they were all delivered to my house. Then all of a sudden they are taxing every item we get abroad. I paid 1000 pesos after I disagree with the initial amount of 1500. The amount was of course more than the second-hand trinkets I got. As far as I know taxing only happens when the goods or items are used for business purpose, like goods for selling. I really don’t think what they’re doing is still legal. Even their calculation of taxes is dubious. I asked last year how do they compute and they just said through estimation. It explains we can negotiate the amount in the end. Is there a way to avoid from the Pasay Customs office when receiving parcels? Thanks, Funfy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s