Hi folks. I'm back.
After a long silence, here I am, writing my first post for the year.
I'd been trying to write something to post here these past months but I didn't finish any of them ... I don't know, I just can't concentrate ... but today is different. I think I need to finish this one.
After more than a year of being a full time mom, I decided to go back to a full time job (I'll post about this some other time) and one of the requirements needed is a clearance from NBI (National Bureau of Investigation).
Applying for an NBI clearance is a real pain in the ass for most Filipinos, even a nightmare for many. Last January, I even saw in the news the long queue of people trying to apply for an NBI clearance in almost all NBI branches here in Metro Manila ... others even went to the nearest branch to queue as early as 2:00 o'clock in the morning.
Yesterday I browsed on some forums and blogs about their experiences in getting the clearance from NBI and almost all of the reviews I read were not good ... so bad that I was already readying myself for battle. I was planning to go to Robinson's Galleria branch as early as 4 A.M., bring some food, water, magazine and fully charge my cellphone so I will have something to get busy on while waiting on queue.
Good thing I visited the official NBI website. There, I learned that they have launched their new clearance online registration ... it was only a few days old since they launched it only last January 24. Based on the online clearance procedure found here, personal appearance is still required and payment will be made on the day of your personal appearance.
I didn't think twice and I immediately opened their clearance online registration. There I inputted the information required ... personal information like your address, contact numbers, parents names, date of birth, place of birth, e-mail address, etc. The form is so easy to fill-out.
After I inputted the required information, I hit the submit button and a registration code was flashed on the screen. The instruction was to print the page or if the printer is not available, just take note of the registration code and since my printer is out of ink that time, I just wrote my registration code on a piece of paper. I checked my e-mail hoping that somehow, NBI will e-mail me of the registration I just made online and inform me of the schedule for the required personal appearance but to my disappointment, there was none.
Without receiving an e-mail for any information or confirmation of the registration I made online, I decided to just go to NBI main office at UN Ave., the next day, armed with the registration code I listed on a piece of paper hoping that the NBI online registration is really working.
So this morning I went to NBI main office at UN Ave. ... arrived there at 9:00 o'clock in the morning. As expected a long queue of people are still waiting at the entrance gate. I showed the person-in-charge at the gate the piece of paper where my registration code was listed and he directed me to a separate queue for online applicants ... wow ... I thought I don't have to queue at the gate anymore but I have to follow ... just like any good citizen, I just went at the end of the line and to my relief, the line is not really that long, only around 20 to 25 persons ahead of me. Unlike the walk-in applicants where the end of the line can't be seen anymore.
After around 5 minutes of standing in line, we were already directed to get inside the NBI building. Inside, there were already a lot of people queuing at different process counters. Being an online registered applicants, we were directed to go straight at the 3rd floor but the person-in-charge there told us to first go to the payment counter which is located at the ground floor, so again we went down at the ground floor and paid the required fee. There were also a long queue at the payment counters and it took me 20 minutes to finish my transaction there... the good thing is that, the place is air-conditioned so somehow it made me a little comfortable even though I have to stand the whole time.
After I got the receipt I went straight at the third floor where the final process will take place ... the biometrics section. It is where my picture and finger prints were taken ... all digital so no need to worry about the mess of that violet thing on your fingers. The person-in-charge at the biometrics section will inform you whether you have to wait for the printing of your NBI clearance or stamp a date at the back of your receipt when you have to pick up your clearance. In my case, I got a stamp at the back of my receipt and I have to get my clearance on the 13th of this month. The reason is that there is someone with the same name as mine ... the disadvantage of having a very common name.
So that was the end of my transaction at the NBI main office and I looked at the time, it was only 10:00 o'clock in the morning. Wow, that was fast. Although technically, my transaction is not yet 100% done because I still have to go back next week, yet the process of applying for the NBI clearance was shortened because of their clearance online system. I still hope that their system will be improved so as to avoid the long lines in each counter .. Maybe a scheduling system for personal appearance just like that of DFA, the payment can be directed through banks so that personal appearance will just be all biometrics ... there are still a lot of ways for the system to be improved but as for now I'm happy that the NBI are taking steps in improving their system and I hope it will continue for the better and not for the worst.
Clearance application is an income generating for NBI and it's just fair that they find ways in improving their system for the benefit of the paying public.
Some important reminders when filling out the online registration form (as informed by the person in charge at the biometrics section):
1. Don't put any period or comma when filling-up your address.
2. For married females, the last name and middle name should be your name when you were single
3. For the purpose of the clearance, if for local employment, just tick the circle for local employment. In my case, I ticked the circle for probation because I thought that I need the clearance for my probationary status in my company ... but I was wrong, it was actually for inmates for their probation.
Anyway, there's no need to worry if you have made some mistakes in filling-up the form, the person-in-charge at the biometrics section can still change some of the entries after asking you and I was really happy because the person who took my biometrics was really accommodating, cool, patient and polite ... the way, a person-in-charge in this kind of job should be. I forgot to get his name but I was happy that someone like him still exist in a government office. Kudos to you sir.