Friday, December 28, 2012

How much REALLY is a Philippine Postal ID???!!!

I don’t mind paying for government services as long as I am given an official receipt in return. So I didn’t like what happened when I applied for a Postal ID earlier today. Upon checking other blogs, I’ve read so many inconsistencies that I felt this issue should be investigated and the corruption be stopped soon.

Thus, I’m blogging about this, in the hopes that something could be done by those who are in power. I know that President Aquino is doing his best to eliminate the bad image of government officials. But if there remain people under him who keep on doing questionable things and tainting the system, we won’t prosper as a nation.

I applied for a postal ID today because I need to open a new bank account where one of the publications I write for will start depositing payments starting January 2013. My problem was, I lack one of the three valid IDs required by the bank.

So I went through all the motions:
1. Get the Postal ID application form from the Muntinlupa City Post Office. Clearly typed there was the amount an applicant has to pay which is P175.00

2. I went inside the municipal hall and got myself a Cedula for P19.00
3. The guy at the Post Office told me I also needed to get a Barangay Clearance so off I went to the Barangay Hall, which was a pedicab ride away. I paid P35.00 for the document.
4. When I went back to the Post Office, I gave the following to the lady at the counter: three 2x2 ID pictures, a photocopy of my passport, the Barangay Clearance, the Postal ID application form, and a P500 bill, expecting to receive P325 as change. She gave me P200.

I politely asked, “Ay, P300 po?” She reached for a small brown cardboard that has P230 written on one side and P300 on the other. She faced the P300 side to me and pointed at it. Duh??? Then, from behind the glass window, she told me to come inside the office.

I went in and she finished typing my details on the ID. She gave the paper to me and told me to check if everything’s accurate. I gave it back to her with a nod. She proceeded to attach one of my photos on it and laminated it. I was asked to sign the logbook. After I was handed the ID, I asked her, “Mam, pahingi po ng resibo.” She got a couple of receipt booklets. I noticed that many of the pages were blank which made me think that official receipts issued are few and far between. She searched for a certain O.R. number where she wrote down my name and the amount of P175. 

She must have seen my confused look because she immediately turned the paper over and wrote these down saying, “Eto yung breakdown nung ibang bayad.”

PID card = 175.00
Doc. Stamps = 30.00
Lamination = 25.00
Notary = 70.00

Wait, so the small piece of paper that wasn’t yet laminated cost P175.00 already?! Aren’t the lamination, the documentary stamps, and the notarization already included supposedly in the P175.00 CLEARLY PRINTED on the application form?!

She stamped the date under the stuff she wrote and handed the O.R. to me. I thanked her politely as I was in no mood to argue (but was already thinking, “Hah! Iba-blog kita!”) after all the exertions I did going back and forth different places earlier.

Upon passing the entrance to the Municipal Hall (the Post Office is located outside the building), I went to the Complaint Desk and told the lady there what happened. All she could tell me was, “National kasi ang Post Office, hindi yan hawak ng local government. Kahit umakyat ka pa sa Mayor’s Office, yan din ang sasabihin nila sa ‘yo. Mas maganda, magtanong ka kung may kakilala ka sa BIR. May babae ding nagreklamo dito, galit na galit nga eh, umakyat sa taas, pero pinababa din pabalik sa Post Office.” Well that’s a lot of help! :/

When I got home, I searched online for other people’s experiences. There were many! And the price ranges of the Postal IDs range from P175.00 to as high as P700.00! In addition, expiration dates differ between one, two, and three years! What the @#$% ?! Below are links to other people’s blog posts. Make sure to also read the comments of their readers. I’m sure you’ll also be dismayed as I am at the rampant corruption happening in Post Offices all over the country.

There are so many other blogs out there. These are just a few and I can't help but ask: Why are there different stories, different computations, different reasons for the price of this government-issued ID?! Since my O.R. says I paid P175.00, that’s the only amount I’m sure would be remitted to the BIR. So to whose pocket would the remaining P125.00 go? I would really love to find out!

The PhlPost's official website is no help. Check it and there's nothing that could help anyone there, only a download link to the form that, AGAIN, say you only have to pay P175.00 to get that darn ID!

I posted a Facebook status about the issue and some of my friends shared their own experiences, which only showed that A LOT of Filipinos are being milked by Post Office officials! Oh, and if you want to read my other bad Post Office experience on claiming a package from the U.S. where I was told to pay almost P2,000 tax to be able to bring it home, click here.

If you are reading this and have connections to people who do investigative TV/radio reports or upright people in the government who are advocating for real change, please have them read this. People should speak up! We should care about things that affect us as Filipino citizens because the next generations would suffer as much as we are suffering if the systems still do not improve in our lifetime.

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