People will probably not believe me when I say that I only spent a total of 45 minutes in the NBI main compound before I came out with the claim stub for my clearance; and that my clearance can be claimed only after 3 days. Praise God for the NBI e-Clearance system.
To know how to get your NBI clearance via e-Clearance, click here.
I needed to get a new clearance for my new job, and heard that because of a database problem, all old data was lost and everyone will have to get new clearances instead of just renewing them. My sister in law who applied for one a few weeks ago had to line up at 5am and spend more than half a day at one of the clearance centers. I did not want to go through all that trouble, and so I took the chance of using this e-clearance thing (see link above for details).
The dumbed down process goes like this:
- Pay the corresponding fees through Globe G-cash or through Globe business centers.
- Register online with NBI and print the magic QR code
- Text NBI for an appointment at your convenience and wait for confirmation
- Show up at confirmed time
- Walk out of the door with either your clearance or with the claim slip to claim it after a few days
I went to a Globe Business center in SM North Edsa annex after running some errands nearby. The 20-minute wait in the payment queue wasn’t a hassle thanks to the number calling system, I happily played with model cellphone units while waiting for my turn to pay. As I wasn’t sure whether the 20-peso extra charge was really cancelled, I pail P135 instead of P115 just to be sure.
Once I got home, I visited the NBI website to create an account. Instructions were pretty straight forward. After printing the magic QR code (the square high-tech barcode that they scan), I texted the NBI hotline for an appointment. Since it was already Thursday, I opted to schedule it the coming Monday at 8am. Within an hour or so, I got a confirmation.
Come Monday morning I left home for NBI Taft at 6:30am with a valid ID and the magic QR code. As I entered the compound 5 minutes before 8am, I just flashed the magic paper and all the attendants told me to move forward, passing by all the on-site clearance applicants who already numbered close to a thousand, if not more than.
As I got to the 3rd floor, I asked another guide, who told me to go to the 4th floor, strangely enough, beyond the “restricted area sign.” After climbing, I immediately saw a door with a sign, “NBI e-Clearance”, and about a dozen people waiting outside. I entered and gave my magic paper to the accommodating lady who queued my paper on her desk and told me to wait to be called. Within 30 minutes, my name was called, a few questions were asked, and then my picture and biometrics were taken. She gave me a receipt and told me to come back on Thursday, 3 days after.
I gladly exited the room, thanking God for the wisdom to take the e-path, and stopped myself short of telling the people in the long lines that they should just apply online, since they were already there. I looked at my watch as I crossed Taft avenue to ride a bus, it was only 8:45am. Amazing.
For now, the e-Clearance lane is only available in the Taft branch, and there is only one line for it, probably because not a lot of people know about it yet. They’ll probably expand this service once it becomes more popular
Government services are really improving. There is hope 😀