Stampless ‘SN’ and ‘RS’ Covers

The Royal Decree of January 12, 1853 was promulgated in Manila by Governor-General Antonio Urbiztondo y Eguia on December 7 of that same year in the circular "Circulares e Instrucciones Para el Arreglo del Poste de la Correspondencia de Estas Islas". The Decree directed the Governor-General to take the necessary steps for the manufacture and sale of stamps for domestic use in the Philippines. The following clauses are extracted from the Royal Decree detailing requirements for Official Mail:

Clause 7. Official correspondence will be conveyed free, and the covers will bear an impression of a handstamp in black, with or without the Arms, indicating from what official and from what province the packet emanates.


Clause 8. The official correspondence of the following officials will be mailed by using their respective stamps: the Superior Government and the General Seat of the Philippine Islands; their Excellencies Archbishops and Bishops; the Regent and Fiscal of the "Real Audiencia"; the General "Intendente" and Superintendent of Royal Finance; the Accounts of the Army and Finance and of the "Tribunal Mayor de Cuentas"; the general Administrators of "Rentas Estancadas y Tributos"; the Administrators of Sub-delegates in the Provinces; the general Commander of the Navy; the "Ministro Interventor del Apostadero"; the Sub-inspectors of all Arms; the General Commander of the "Resguardo"; the Commander of the Public Security; Army Health Consultant; the Mayor of the provinces, Governors, Lieutenant Governors and the District Commanders; the General Administration of Posts.


Clause 9. The superior chiefs of the dependencies will see to it that the proper authorities, officials and chiefs are furnished as son as possible with a supply of the above mentioned stamps as may be needed.

A number of Official stampless letters sent postage-free during the Spanish period also bear the manuscript letters ‘S.N.’ (Servicio Nacional or National Service) and ‘R.S.’ (Real Servicio or Royal Service) to indicate their official nature. These covers sometimes also bear a Handstamp from the originating Official or Government Agency.

SN (Servicio Nacional)

RS (Real Servicio)

Official Stampless Covers with ‘S.N.’ Manuscript

Manila to Cavite
‘Manila – 8 April 1861’ Large Baeza Departure Circular Date Stamp
Cavite – Luzon – 9 April 1861’ Receiving Circular Date Stamp


Manila to Iloilo
‘Alcaldia Mayor de Manila’ Official Crown Cancellation
Manila – 20 October 1863’ Departure Circular Date Stamp


Tondo to Manila
‘ALG MOR Del Disto de Tondo’ Official Crown Cancellation
Manila – 5 March 1874’ Receiving Circular Date Stamp

Official Stampless Covers with ‘R.S.’ Manuscript

Iloilo to Manila
‘Gobierno de Manila’ Official Crown Cancellation
 Manila – 23 March 1859 Receiving Small Baeza Circular Date Stamp


Mindanao to Manila
‘4.0 Distrito P. y M. de Mindanao’ Official Crown Cancellation
 Manila – 27 July 1862 Receiving Small Baeza Circular Date Stamp


Manila to Batangas
Mail Originating from the Provincial Governor of Manila
 Manila – 24 March 1866 Departing Circular Date Stamp


Bulacan to Manila
Bulacan Official Crown Cancellation
 Manila – 27 August 1868 Receiving Circular Date Stamp


All Featured Covers are from the Collection of Pedro Hormillosa Ortiz

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 Last Update: 12.03.2018