Monday, February 12, 2007

I Still Don't Have a Passport!

Inasmuch as I would like to celebrate my recent inclusion in the Toshiba lineup, I am going to rant my dismay over Philippine Agencies that are involved in my much dreaded passport application.

Where do we apply for Philippine passports? The answer is in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office located along Roxas blvd., Pasay City. For starters, beware of those damned fixers in the streets, right before you enter the DFA compound. These sonuvabitches are disguised as DFA helpers, who would 'assist' you at the start of your journey.

These fixers would claim that your passport ID isn't right, then would lead you into having your photo taken at their studio. It's really very insulting to see people trying to dupe fellow Filipinos for the sake of business.

Ok, so for my first day at DFA, I was able to pass by windows A and B for records verification, though I was referred to the Passport Directors' office because I was listed among the DOST scholars (I DID NOT avail DOST scholarship). Since I don't have the original certification that I'm not a scholar (My brother only sent me a photocopied version!), I had to go back on a separate day, to bring that original document.

Today was my 2nd day at DFA, and I was able to fix my DOST problem in a breeze. I am like a seasoned applicant as I already knew where and what to do at DFA. I've seen SheilaBaticulon (one of my toshiba companions) and gave her instructions on what to do because she seemed lost at first.

As soon as I've reached the processing section, there was another line for another records verification, and I got blocked out because of the birth certificate I am submitting. They claim that my BC is not a valid one because it does not conform to their NSO standards. This shocked me because I just got my BC at NSO East Avenue only last May! I had argued with the supervisor lady until she just referred me back to the Passport Director (again!).

Being referred to the passport director automatically charges you of 2 hours in waiting. Actually, this made my stay at the DFA dreadful. Imagine, I went to the Passport Director's office thrice already! I have to go back there again once I get a new copy of my birth certificate.

I got stucked not getting my passport because of stupid reasons, and for these reasons it is clearly not my fault. First of all, I was able to fix my DOST scholarship status (wherein I am NOT a scholar!) through the NBI last May (when I applied for my NBI clearance). I should not have done it again at the DFA! These government agencies should have some connection of some sort. I should have been cleared automatically. Next, I had applied and paid for a Birth Certificate at the NSO East Avenue last May (too!). When it came to DFA, they even dare say that it is not an NSO document. WTF?!

I guess you guys already have an idea on how the Philippine system sucks right now. Going to the DFA is not an easy thing for me to do. I have to commute all the way from QC. Instead of focusing on my studies and projects prior to my business trip, I am stuck at DFA worrying if ever I could get my passport done as soon as possible. Toshiba would not wait for me to finish my papers. I'm not wasting this golden opportunity just because of a stupid system.

Tomorrow, I shall go back at DFA and apply for a new BC at the nearby NSO office. I hope I could get the accepted BC on the same day, in order to finally finish everything.

So help me God.

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posted by ScIoN 7:37 PM


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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

ScIoN is a former Systems Engineer in Japan who specialized in industrial imaging and digital hardware design. He is now back in the Philippines pursuing graduate studies in Finance at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.



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