DISCLAIMER: I LOVE THE Bureau of Immigration, in the PHILIPPINES there are no better people on planet Earth!
Monday morning 6 Jan. 2014:
Off to Globe this morning to check out my Globe Tattoo Dongle Super stick thing-a-ma-bob. Ren the Tech-Rep checked mine out and told me to keep it as it was the newest obsolete one on the market.” But Ren, it doesn’t work all the time?” I pleaded. Kuya he explained; “They (The smart ones at Globe HQ) are upgrading the system and they must be working in your area at this time. Turn it off and on and live with it until the work (Said in a polite way) is done, and then you’ll be back to normal.” Oh well. We’ll see what happens.
Dash off to the Philippines Immigration office (My most favorite place to go) to pay my PNP 310.00 yearly head tax. You know pop through the door, show your I-card (ACR) pays the money and be on your way. Oh no Paul that’s how it’s been done for over 20 years, but now they have made it simpler. You fill out this new four page form, go and get three passport photo’s then leave and go to City Hall to get all the new paperworks notarized as explained to me by the BI employee, so much more streamlined than the old ten minute system where you just paid the money got the receipt and went for a cold beer.
I’m not even whining about the cost of photos and the notary. I’m grousing that you now have to go to three locations to accomplish what used to be a one stop, simple as ABC procedure. But if it will employ more people, than I am all for it, for what could be better than that? Then I saw there was in fact a photographer right there one room over from the guy that sent me to the market. Did I mention how much I like the Bureau of Immigration?
As my frustration rate was pegging out on my personal scale, I wisely took all my paperworks with me and left the immigration office as the noise level from the room full of complaining people was getting on my nerves. And very few were Kano. I figured I’d take it all home and fill it out at my leisure, stop at city hall to get it notarized, then drop by later in the week and pay the Head Tax, then reward myself with a nice lunch and a cold SMB or three. Government employees, take your best shot, you’ll not alter my good mood. The final joke was they used to have their office on Rizal (I’ll bet if you live in the Philippines your town has a road named Rizal) but moved it down to Gordon Ave and failed to tell anyone about the move, but the bank guard next to where it was knows where it is now. (See Sugar you were right about guards being helpful)
To improve my mood I took Mayang, our daughter Ymir Thea and of course my grandson Jayden (AKA Little Dude) to the California Café at the mall, because they have a wonderful Cheese Steak Sandwich and unpeeled French Fries smothered in fresh Parmesan Cheese. Sir; not in stock as I ordered my mood enhancing sandwich, now was the perfect time to lash out and vent my frustration on someone, but instead I smiled and said; “Then I definitely don’t want the sandwich.” But there was an Italian style pizza with five cheeses and fresh sliced tomatoes that would be just fine, and BTW it was wonderful, just like the ones I was used to eating in Italy, including the big stone oven. Mood vastly improved, time to take this caravan home.
Tuesday Morning 7 January 2014
Does anyone remember the article I wrote a few weeks back about the outrageously high property tax letter we received? (Just When You thought it was Safe…) Well today is the day we travel down to beautiful downtown Dinalupihan and pay the real one. You can’t pay it early, but if you pay it on time you avail of a ten percent discount. I have no idea what happens if you’re late because under Mayang’s rein that would never happen. So it should be a fun morning never the less and plenty of opportunities for me to break wise with the employees and spread a little mirth and merriment Maybe I’ll get to chat with the genus; “Mr. Highperson) I would buy that man a beer. BTW still no computers and entries where scribed into a very large book.
Wednesday; 8 January 2014
Volume Two of the Head Tax sojourn, I have the Paperworks in my hot little hand, the passport pictures are at the ready and the Notary Public is waiting with his hand out to witness my signature and collect his hard earned pay. Plus in one pocket I still have the PNP 310.00 to complete the transaction when I finely get back to the Immigration Office. Note, again the BI employee was wrong about going to city hall, any attorney can do it, soon there will be one sitting in front of the BI Office raking in the Peso’s. The guy I went to I’ve known for years, he charged me PNP 300.00 when the price is 200.00 but he’s cheated me before.
Immigration paperwork is filled out; pictures and right and left thumb prints affixed dash on down to the new office and fall through the door, the placed is jammed full, but no line at the windows yet. So I hand over my I-card and paperworks (No one asked to see my passport or last year’s receipt, but bring them as you will meet a different guy.) Added info: Olongapo People. You are required to wear a sleeved shirt, long pants and shoes, and I was. Paid my PNP 310 and was out the door, all by 0930 AM. Next stop (Because I was blessed with extra time) I stopped by my buddy’s and let him make a thousand pesos by filling out my simple income tax form. The only reason I do it is because I know he needs the money.
Off to Sit-N’-Bull and had Fish and chips for lunch with English Malt Vinegar , wonderful, plus those couple of SMB’s I owed myself. So now I’ve taken care of all required legalities required to live in the Philippines for one more year and all is right with my world.
So write in and tell us if your experience with the Immigration office in your neck of the Philippines went as easy as mine.