From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
Testing Your Patience in the Philippines
The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians that "patience is a virtue." If you define patience as "waiting without complaint," than living in the Philippines will sorely test the limits of your willingness to endure waiting. My 19-year-old niece, April, recently encountered some obstacles in local governmental offices that would have left me screaming and running for the exits.
April will start working at SM City in Iloilo this August. 31. She needed an assortment of pre-employment paperwork before she could start her new job. She received notice last Wednesday of her necessary requirements and only had until this past Monday at 2 pm to submit them to the Human Resources office. On a country that runs on "Filipino Time," this left her precious little time to obtain all the necessary documents.
Our "hot" laundry lady was going to care for the Barangay Clearance. (According to Wikipedia, a barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward.)
The barangay office was quite a distance from us and our helper volunteered to obtain it since she lived nearby. Only costs P20, 47¢, for the document and she had a week to procure it before her next visit to wash our clothes.
A Barangay Clearance, or Certificate of Residency, is a certification from a barangay captain stating that you are a bona fide resident of the said barangay and that the barangay captain knows you personally and can vouch for you. See a sample document below.
Our niece was going to get an early start the next day, Thursday, laundry day, to get her requirements. Trouble is, our laundry lady was late. No text message from her. Nothing. I was not happy. She usually arrives at 7:30 am but didn't show up until 9:15. April couldn't get her necessary local police and National Bureau of Investigation, NBI, background checks without first having the barangay clearance.
My asawa was taking a shower. She had already spent almost three hours washing the clothes. Why wash the clothes yourself if we specifically pay someone the hefty sum of P300, $7.14 USD, to do that chore? It's a source of continual aggravation for me.
And to further provoke me, I saw no barangay clearance in our helper's hands. I loudly proclaimed this fact to my spouse. I was getting extremely irritated.
Seems that the barangay captain was gone on vacation for a week and had just returned today. I couldn't believe that no one else was filling in. The barangay secretary had told our laundry lady that she would "try" to get the clearance this afternoon. My asawa had obtained her own barangay clearance in Guimaras in a matter of minutes when we moved to the Philippines three years ago. I wasn't happy about this delay.
My asawa and our niece determined that April would at least be able to get her E-1 form needed from the Social Security office in Iloilo. April took off. She still had a TIN, Taxpayer Identification Number, from BIR, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Police and NBI Clearances and a medical exam to obtain.
No barangay clearance arrived that afternoon. Our niece came back late in the day with only her Social Security requirements. With local government offices closed on the weekend and still no word on the Barangay Clearance, her chances of getting all the paperwork she needed by this past Monday afternoon seemed dim.
To be continued. (With apologies to Larry.)