I have been blogging about my observations and impressions when getting my National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance since 2007, and since I had to get another one recently, I felt it was time to do another blog. However, I am going to change the format of my blog for NBI Clearances, before I just put a “Negatives” section followed by a “Positives” section and then my final thoughts, but this time I am going to adopt a more “Free-Flowing” format mainly because there have been major changes in the way the NBI Clearance is obtained recently and I wanted to describe those changes also.
The first main change that the NBI made is that it is now MANDATORY for you to register your information ONLINE first. If I remember it right, as early as the mid-2000s there already was an online registration option for getting NBI Clearances, but it was not mandatory, you could still opt to go and get your clearance the old way, which was to go to an NBI Office and then stand in line. This time however, as far as I know, you need to FIRST REGISTER AN ACCOUNT at the NBI Website, which is here: http://clearance.nbi.gov.ph/
Now, I am not going to do a walkthrough of how to make the online registration, I am just going to offer my opinions about it. There are a couple of good sites out there that provide walkthroughs of the new NBI Clearance system, like the following sites:
I wrote a blog about my NBI Clearance renewal in September of 2007(click here), and since I had my NBI renewed again recently, I decided to write another one, and perhaps compare my experiences since then to see if there were any improvements. The satellite office in Carreido where I got my clearance renewed in 2007 is now reportedly closed, so I got my clearance this time from the main office at the corner of Taft Avenue and Padre Faura Street.
* Walking Shorts are Not Allowed in the Premises. Luckily, one of street peddlers outside of the entrance was renting slacks for P50. She had a (what I guess) were sized 36 pants, which were 4 sizes smaller than mine, so it was a tight fit, but it was good as the pants at least stayed in place well, and I just tucked my T-Shirt out and over it so nobody noticed. I wore it over my walking shorts right out there in the sidewalk, right in front of the passerbys. Nobody seemed to take notice of my situation, though. I can’t understand this stupid requirement by the NBI, we are in a tropical country, so why insist on implementing a stupid rule during the very hot summer? If they say they want decency in their “nice” facility, then all I can say is that their facility is not as “nice” as they say it is.
* Fixers Abound. As I was wearing the rented slacks over my walking shorts, one fixer siddled up to me and said the clearance will only be released by June 4, but he kept implying he could have it released faster. So I asked him straight out how soon I would get the clearance, and for how much if I had it go through him? He quoted a price of P800. I said it was too much for me, so I just declined and headed off into the compound.
* Intense Corruption Among NBI Employees is Common. As I enter the compound, there is a table where two men were handing out forms. As they were handing out the forms, they kept saying that the clearance will only be released on June 4, about a week away and the same thing the Fixer told me. I just told them I was not in a hurry, so it was okay with me. It turned out later that this is just an EXCUSE, presumably to drive more business to the Fixers of which I presume they had a cut. There was no delay, I got my clearance right after I finished the process. I asked somebody at the facility why I kept hearing about the “June 4 release”, and he told me it referred to applicants with issues found in during the background check.
Went out to renew my NBI Clearance recently at the mall near the Carriedo LRT Station.
* The office facilities were generally pathetic. The 2nd floor had bare flooring, & where there are tiles, there were broken tiles every now & then. The cubicles were made out of painted plywood, & the workmanship was generally poor. The signs were either printed on bond paper, or handwritten, then taped using Packing / Cellophane / Masking tape, making them look very untidy & makeshift.
* One of the employees I asked, an old lady, was courteous, but another employee was borderline hostile. I even saw one employee answer back in a rude manner at another customer. Most (not all) of the people tasked to directing the human traffic were rude, constantly berating their people in the lines for not being able to read their minds & know what they wanted.
* There was an instruction on how to go about getting your clearance, but it was not in a place where you can easily see it when you first go in. There were no instructions posted on how to renew your clearance, you end up asking about it from the people around you.