Archive for Government Service

On-line Appointment Saves DFA

After successfully logging my yobo’s appointment for passport renewal via internet, I was just so happy that they came up with such brilliant idea.  Not having to queue outside that office with heavy people traffic gives much needed convenience to tax payers like me.  I should have been very happy with this development because its the only saving grace that DFA has.

My last visit to DFA was like 2001 when i first applied for a passport and the place did not change – only more people, fixers and unneccessary people (let me call them AP short for annoying people) pulling you to their stalls for application form or picture.  Such a mess still.  These APs are even scarier than the actual guards of DFA.  They have Harry Potter like wand as if checking your bags and giving false instruction to queue on their photo area.

I was able to go inside along with yobo but going outside seems to be a wrong decision because when i tried to enter again… there goes the uneccessary talks with these powerful guards.  My yobo did not have the wallet with him and I was just concerned on giving him the money. The guard told me that yobo should go out… how stupid!  After queueing for life there (because in an appointment there are like more than 10 people having the same schedule) how can it be cool to say that the applicant should go out… and miss the queue?!

I have no energy to waste talking nonsense to this power tripping guards who seems to guard DFA like hell… oh well who would want to be inside swampped with so many non-applicant (whom they say are not allowed by the way) and stand right behind the gates with all the heat of the sun touching your skin.  So I went out pissed off. Good thing yobo has money with him.

Just when I thought DFA has improved with such online service it did not change at all.  It’s the same government office that you would hate to walk in because the strictness it projects doesn’t match the service and facilities inside the office.  Why can’t they wipe out these APs outside whom I am pretty sure has victimized a lot of people already.  They act as if they are part of the DFA office.  I really wouldn’t mind the strictness when there is politeness and quality services to look forward to.  But it just disgusts me when guards acting like they are the DFA officials stand on your way not being reasonable enough and answering back like they are so mighty. Shut the fuck up you can only guard the gates and act like an asshole.   The tandem between these APs and DFA guards is really something… something that can easily TURN YOU OFF–so i then forgot how cool the online appointment is.

3rd World Symptoms

Gasoline price has been going up every every week.  Today I heard it’s going to be up again at around Php 58.00 to 59.00 per liter.  Hardly imagineable as it may seem… according to some, oil companies will be raising fuel prices every week to hit a high of Php 80.00.  What does this translate to?  This is shorter blanket for Juan who already had a short blanket–not even enough to cover his arms.

Cost of living is getting higher each day in the Philippines.  The minimum wage earner is probably having a hard time keeping both ends meet.  I have a little dream, i say it’s little because I might not be able to enjoy it at the prime of my life.  I always dream that my home country will be as progressive as our other neighboring Asian countries. A status when people will no longer complain of poor service but push for further enhancement of services may it be government or private.  As it is right now the symptoms of being a 3rd world is everywhere around the corners of my Philippines…

Last Sunday, while doing our usual market activities the small path way to the vegetable section of the market seemed to be extra crowded.  People seem not to move at all standing along the way.  Market are usually crowded during Sundays but today it’s extra crowded in this area.  Apparently the queue is to purchase National Food Authority’s Rice (aka NFA Rice).   The price of rice drastically increased for the past month, it being staple in every Filipino home, those who are having a hard time budgetting their money find themselves waiting to get the Php18.25 per kilo rice. 

Not so far away from the NFA rice queue there is even a longer one near Mercury Drugstore.  Eavesdropping to those who are on standby, the queue is for exchanging some product wrappers for a GO BINGO card, a game show aired in GMA-7.   Filipinos are now relying on their luck from Lotto to Wowowee to Go Bingo.

In the midst of this crisis that we are facing, the government came up with a bright idea of giving away Php500 pesos to indigent families to help them in paying their electric bills. Very sustainable isn’t it?

Worst than relying on pure luck are people who have opted to use more drastic and evil ways to gain money instantly, that is through kidnapping or robbery.  The series of bank incidents (unfortunately involving killings) and the recent Ces Drilon and staff kidnap for ransom proves the existence of such greed.

Now its getting hard for me to think If my little deeds will be able to make a difference for this country.  We have tried to make drastic changes and we end up swimming in the fruits of corruption of this government.  And if now is the time to make a difference by doing the right ways on even little things we do…could we still see the fruits of such efforts? 

2008 is really far from 1978 or even from what used to be in 1988 but have we really progressed that far?  Have we benchmarked ourselves from the outside.  All the signs of a Third World still linger in this poor nation of ours.  People are migrating, people kill, people resort to cheapskate activities to have money, people die in vain… either because they feel miserable or they are already miserable living in this country.

Maybe we are waiting for some miracles to happen… i don’t know if we could ever start to aim high, of at least erasing these third world symptoms.  We are not the poorest but I hope we don’t intend to be happy running our country just this way.  How can we start a change revolution in being good if not best in everything we do?  Should we really do it in our own little way?  What can we offer to make a difference for our Philippines?  I am tired but I don’t want to lose hope that I may NOT have to die in a Third World nation.

Every Filipinos just got to learn how to truly LOVE our Philippines.  Love Philippines with all honesty.

With a Smile — DL Photo

In the next two days my Driver’s License (DL) will be expired, I just realized that it will expire on April 4, 2008.  Here in the Philippines if you drive, your birthdate will serve as your reminder if there is a need to renew license.  Yes! I don’t know if this is only in the Philippines, but indeed regardless of the time you applied for it, you will be issued with a DL with 3 years expiration and the exact date of expiration will be on your birthday and not the date when your license is granted.   At first I thought it was a ridiculous idea but later on it served its purpose whenever my birthday is nearing, I normally check on my license if its expiring this year. 

Five years ago, renewing your DL is such a nightmare.  Just imagine going to LTO nearest your location and finding your self queuing at least 3 times at the minumum every step of the way.  Now, its a lot easier when you are renewing within Metro Manila and some key areas because they have satellite offices that processes renewal of DL and Students Permit 1000% faster than what it used to be.  This year I got my renewal for less than an hour.  I personally think it could have been just 15 minutes.  Why?  removing the unecessary steps will surely cut the crap process.   There are non value adding requirements, the concept is good but the execution sucks.  Take the case of medical examination aside from taking my weight nothing else seems to have been done properly… there wasn’t any blood pressure checking, the eye exam seems like a rubber stamp and no physical checking has been done.  I am not a doctor but I have been through several medical examinations, the LTO medical exams seem to be substandard.  If there is one thing that can be appreciated its the fast results of urine exam. That’s it.

This is my 3rd renewed license and this is the second time that I am able to smile in my DL photo.  My friends at the office kept on saying its not appropriate to smile but how can I resist when the LTO officer just told me SMILE! 🙂  My first license which was lost few weeks after getting the printed card bears my sweetest DL smile hehehe suceeding DL bears my horrible look.   I just wish my new DL spells magic to the traffic enforcer… the killer smile should at least pardon me from getting violation ticket.