Applying for most government requirements are now conveniently online. In recent years, the Philippines has made a shift to automate many government processes that are prone to long queues. It’s not yet perfect but give it a little more time and we will surely have an efficient system hopefully like the developed countries.
Since I’ll be taking the PRC Exam for Real Estate Brokers, I have to comply with several government requirements such as an NSO Birth Certificate and an NBI Certificate.
First, the PRC Application was online. They wouldn’t accept walk-in applications. It’s ok although the website could use some more updating since I had trouble making the fields with search buttons work.
The National Statistics Office now has an online portal where you can apply for your birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, CENOMARs, etc. Everything can be done online and you can just request for your documents to be sent to you via courier. It’s very convenient especially if you have work to attend to during regular business hours. You don’t need to take time off work just to fall in line and get these documents.
I applied for my birth certificate online and made the payment via BDO Over The Counter payment mode. The payment options are a bit limited but still convenient.
I’m now just waiting for the LBC to deliver my documents.
To learn how it’s done, here’s a good guide.
Another source of headaches is the application for NBI Clearance. I distinctly remember my first NBI Clearance application. It was for my passport and since I was in college that time, I got it from the Quezon City branch. It was nightmarish due to the long lines and the dirty fingers (finger printing was a hassle) afterwards. When I started working, I applied at the provincial NBI office which had the same long lines until I discovered that it’s best to queue in the afternoons – when they’ll nearly close. When the biometrics way of fingerprinting was implemented, I was so grateful.
Now, I’m thankful that we can apply online for the NBI Clearance especially that I’m now based in Manila.
Application is really a breeze. Just create an account online, select your application, make the necessary payments and set an appointment to visit an NBI office.
Here’s a guide.
Everything was a breeze until I reached the NBI office. No blog I’ve read prepared me for what I experienced.
I chose the NBI office in Robinsons Galleria because it’s the nearest to me and I surmise it’s better inside the mall (hello airconditioning). My appointment was in the morning and since the mall opens at 10am, I went to work first, left at 11am (lunch break) and arrived at 11:40. The line was long when I arrive at Basement 1. Thankfully I had enough common sense to look at signs and ask questions.
Everywhere there were notices saying
Huwag lang pila ng pila. Kumuha ng numero at antayin tawagin.
(Don’t just fall in line. Get a number and wait to be called.)
The system at the office was you get a number, go to the waiting area and wait to be called. Make sure you have your online application and reference number for a faster process. And don’t lose the transaction number because you’ll need it.
There were a lot of people in the waiting area and I was tempted to go home. I felt like my number would take forever to call. But the process was relatively quick. They call the numbers in batches of 50. Just be sure to bring entertainment or work to keep you occupied and make sure you’ve eaten so as not to be hungry.
The entire process took me 3 hours mainly due to the waiting lines. But once it was my turn, everything was smooth sailing as long as my files are in order.
Overall, I applaud the government for attempting to have an online facility to easily process these forms. Although not perfect, with everyone’s cooperation we can definitely come to a point when requesting government forms becomes a breeze through online applications.