Postmaster General, Valeta Best watches as BARP President, Marilyn Rice-Bowen signs the agreement between the Postal Service and the Barbados Association of Retired Persons. Looking on are Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams and BARP Vice-President Dame Billie Miller. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

The Barbados Postal Service (BPS) can play a critical role in the socio-economic development of Barbados.

This is according to Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, who indicated that financial and package delivery services will continue to be the pillars on which the BPS will be built in the 21st century.

The Minister was at the time addressing the launch of the BPS’ ‘New Agency Services’ and the signing of an agreement between the postal service and the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) at the General Post Office, Cheapside, this morning.

Today’s signing signalled the ability of BARP members to renew their membership and pay their life insurance policies at any of the 17 post offices across the island.

The Minister noted that the BPS was an organ of Government and as such was already receiving payments for the Police Certificate of Character, and facilitating the delivery of passports and renewal of drivers’ licences.

In addition, post offices also continue to accept payments for FLOW, the National Petroleum Corporation, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation’s MCTV and Digicel.

“The fact is that the BPS has embraced technology and uses an automated counter management system to facilitate payment in full, payment of bills with arrears, part-payment and payment after the discount date for the utilities, namely light and water,” the Minister outlined.

He added that the goal was to continue expanding the range of Government services provided through the post office.

The Minister said the post office was key in the development of businesses, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises, and noted that its service offering will be increased as the organisation sought to diversify its business model as part of the ongoing postal reform process.

This was supported by acting Postmaster General, Valeta Best, who gave the assurance that the Barbados Postal Service was “well equipped” to undertake the venture.

“One of the strategic elements of the current postal reform initiative includes building partnerships. To this end, the Barbados Postal Service is pleased to welcome the Barbados Association of Retired Persons as a member of the postal family,” she stated.

 Meanwhile, President of BARP, Marilyn Rice-Bowen, noted that the near 25-year-old organisation placed trust in the integrity of the BPS, and noted that the partnership would grow and provide mutual benefits.

Just over 27 per cent of Barbados’ population of close to 290,000 people are over the age of 55.

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