Friday, May 30, 2008



That people density and air humidity tend to increase in direct proportion to one’s proximity to NSO.


That NSO doesn’t have a car park for its public but a block away is a gasoline service station with two or three spaces that seem to be (miraculously) always available.


That NSO has bred, around its vicinity, thriving micro businesses that deal in sama-lamig, snacks, ball pen and abaniko, as well as – don’t ask me why -- vegetable and plant seeds, all of which I bought (yes, including the seeds); but that there’s a market demand yet unfilled for smelling salts, tranquilizers, and – now seriously -- “how to transact at NSO” information manuals (hmm … teka nga).


That you might really need an abaniko as the old and decrepit and frail have been known to collapse inside, in spite of misting devices at areas where crowds are densest.


That going to NSO can sharpen your cunning, resourcefulness, and information seeking -- for how else would you know how to proceed, without information posters, handouts, or desks you do not have to line up for an hour for.


That, even as guards valiantly double up as information officers, the best way to get information on how to get your records – especially if you are a special case like I was -- is to get out, call their delivery service number, and talk with a well-informed officer not necessarily only to get your records delivered.


That the queues of people are so long that if you come after mid morning you might be given number 4999 when the one currently being served is No. 409.


That they will refuse to serve you when you come at mid-afternoon but you won’t know it, if you didn’t ask, until you have already braved some lines.


That guards would permit you to enter almost anywhere the place and people would allow you to cut any which line with a smile as long as you brandish a senior citizen’s card, but you won’t know of this happy privilege until you have begun to grow more wrinkles. In other words, seniors don’t need a number, so what was I doing with number 4998?


That, in my case, I had to apply for my record, wait two days, and come back to confirm I do not have any record (which I have known all along) and thus what I got was a certificate of “no record” which I carry with me to the city (hall) registry of my birth which in turn will search for my record in their own archives and when they confirm what I tried to tell them (that I don’t have a record) will proceed to late-register me (I am told this will take several months) and then send that late registration to NSO where I have to queue all over again. (I felt – hingal -- rundown writing this, so excuse the run-in clause.)


That NSO must like their customers around for why else – instead of flinging the exit door wide open -- do they make it so difficult for them to get out of the premises?


That NSO can be an efficiency expert’s dream project.


That Filipinos are normally a patient people and that I am not normal.

Watch out for the “city hall” episode on part 2.


Gina said...

There's the business opportunity, AM. Maybe you should come up with a useful handbook for those who are going be dealing with the NSO .

It is kind of nightmarish , ano?

I've been there once myself, and I remember all those longggggggggggggggggggggggggggg queues .

kathy said...

Hmm, I thought that NSO has already improved its efficiency through its telephone service? But perhaps this is only applicable for specific documents? Anyway, I can emphatize with your experience - not at the NSO, but at its evil twin incarnate, the LTO! :(

sasha said...

Tita, if you think NSO is dreadful, try to go on an afternoon to NBI Carriedo and believe me, you will feel murderous! Went there on a Friday and on a Monday and both times it was horrible. I think the only government agency I've been to that is orderly and that really looks like an office is PEZA.

dimaks said...

sometimes they keep the situation as it is to make the thriving small business within the vicinity grow. sometimes or maybe some people inside are getting some pennies from the sales outside, lol. ah, my imaginations perhaps!

myepinoy said...

Calculating the money as i always do every time i go to PWEEE-OH-AYY, NSO's earning for this alone is bigger.

If they charge PHP100 for the 5,000 applicants, it means a whooping income of PHP500,000/day by 22 working days is PHP11.0m by 12 mos is 132.00 million pesoses a year.

taking the conservative calculations on this particular transaction only, let's say expenses at 50% (including the kurakots), that is php66.0 million net for a year.

With the php66.00 million net income, they could build an ice plant to cool down the temperature inside.

The question now is where are all these money go.

Oh stretch pa natin ng konti, if supposing ganito ang average for this kind of government revenue generating functions (na dapat libre) magkano ang total sa 10 govt agencies, PHP1.320 billion.

Again, the question please, where are all these money go.

Abaniko said...

Hahaha. If our government agencies are not like that anymore, then it ain't a government agency no more. Hahaha. Their's a new synonym na nga of "inefficiency" eh: gobyerno.

Leah said...

Aray! That is a painful experience for sure. So glad i dont have to deal with it.

Sexy Mom said...

you are indeed brave, going through it all at NSO. as i told you earlier, all it took me was less than 30 minutes inside that dense box full of thousands of people, and it was raining hard. after filling out forms, holding stub #6,500+ (while they were calling for person holding stub #3,000+ at 4 pm) i decided to walk out, went home, asked my houseold helper to submit on my behalf. she came home at 9 pm.

with the money they generate annually, they could have built a nice comfortable building. oh well, if this is the scenario in all government offices who rake in millions and millions of pesos every year, i wonder--where have all the money gone? with the wind?

Toe said...

Hahahaha... parang palengke! Ganyan din ako sa driver's license dati. Pati na din sa pag-enrol sa UST. :)

Anyway, why didn't you try doing it by phone or through the Internet? I forgot the number and I'm not sure but I think website is You just fill out the forms or tell the operator the details, they give you a number, you pay at the bank, and they will send it to you through DHL. That's how I got my birth and marriage certificates. It's just more expensive by a few hundred pesos but definitely worth it.

chateau aka imom said...

OMG. this reminds me i have unfinished business with NSO. Has to do with my kids' birth certificates. I know, i know. I could procrastinate all i want, but it is inevitable. One day i will have to go back and work on them. Everyday i pass by that building, and am actually reminded. PEro, imagining the long lines and the wasted hours, tinatamad na ako.

Anonymous said...

I was also gonna ask, why not apply online?

Nakakahiya, I had to google what NSO means. Well, I know now. When I was still there, we would just refer to it as Census. But then, that was a long time ago. :)

pining said...

been there, done that... wala talagang pagbabago ano? the way you described it, it actually got worse..tsk tsk

Lazarus said...

"stools for rent" at the NSO. yeah those small chairs for kids. I've seen it here in cebu. kaya I just paid my bro-in-law to get my NSO records.

Annamanila said...

Toe and Niceheart!

If I had applied online or by phone, I would have needed to go a bank to pay (they still don't have a system for online payment by credit card) and ... all I would get anyway would be a "certificate of no records."

Anyway, I had applied that way (online) for copies of my marriage contract. The first time, it was supposed to be delivered at my doorsteps (my office) but I never got it (they said they delivered it but I wasn't there, ... and they didn't try again?). The second time, I was supposed to get it at an LBC outlet near my office .. but no dice again. The person "in charge" wasn't there. Ay naku.

Annamanila said...

Sexy Mom!

Yeah, on the first day, we went home after finding out we couldn't be served because we came at mid-morning. On the second day, I had planned to ask my son to do he queueing and the waiting but I found it would be much faster and easier to use the senior privilege and just cut lines. And if I didn't stay it out, there wouldn't be anything much to blog about, is there? hahaha Seriously, parang napanindigan ko na .. I wanted the experience, hanggang kaya. That's why am still slugging out in the City Hall .. this morning will be the third time I will go there. Wish me luck.

Annamanila said...


I paid P 280 yata for 2 copies of my record, which was stupid (I mean to get 2 copies) since what I got was only 2 copies of a certificate of no record. So I would suppose (not sure ha, I hope not) that I'd have to pay again to get that late-registration copy.

rowena said...

Hi AM, I can imagine what you've been through. Was in NSO last year to get some of my friend's papers, good thing, I went there little before 5p.m. on a Friday, less people waiting and got the papers Monday, no more long queue. Or I got lucky that time. Sorry to hear abt. your papers at the city hall. Late registration won't take months. Please text me where your papers are. Will call some people... ;-)

soloops said...

Hi Ms. Anna,

I frequent offices of Local Civil Registrars before bec. of the cases I handled.

I also consult the legal counsel of the NSO (yes, someone took on that thankless job)for some of my bizarre cases (in the Phil. they are a dime a dozen).

These places are only for the brave.Dyan na yata nawala yung faiting tendencies ko in dense places.

soloops said...

Had you not written about this, Ms. Anna, I would've chalked up my experiences at the LCR and NSO as ordinary.Seeing them from your view, is so refreshing and funny.

Annamanila said...

Sexy mom!

I have to correct my reply to your comment. The first sentence should have been: "Yeah, on the first day, we went home after finding out we couldn't be served because we came at mid-AFTERNOON" (not at midmorning as I had previously written.

Annamanila said...


I am glad to know that I have a fall back in case my Do-it-Myself efforts won't work.

At the moment, my son is picking up a certification from PGH that records have been destroyed by fire. I need that for the processing of my late registration, plus some etceteras pa. I sure wish I wouldn't have to use your wonderful network. Wish me luck.

Pero stand by ka lang dyan, Wenchie, because I am just beginning this paper chase. Ty, ty!

Annamanila said...

Dear ALL who read/commented on this piece,

Thank you for sharing your own experiences dealing with NSO or some other government agency and/or commiserating with me on my ongoing saga. I am kind of energized and challenged. :)

I can see that the problem seems to afflict other agencies dealing with the general public.

I can also see that some, like Rowena, have encountered good experiences with NSO. Which makes me wonder if the difficulty I am meeting has to do with my being a special case -- there are no (more) existing records of my birth. there are no more people to certify to the fact of my birth on such and such a date and place and to such and such parents.

But I have a passport, which I managed to get by virtue of affidavits. Sana, by a process of inference, the passport should be enough to establish circumstances of my birth that the government needs.

And sana, the NSO would consider decentralizing their service centers, like the LTO has already done.

Ty all. Wish me luck pa din.

soloops said...

Hi Ms. Anna,

Re:the possibility of using the passport to establish the circumstances of your birth--the thing is, the law on civil registry only allows specific documents to be used for late registration.

Wenchie said it right, di naman aabutin ng matagal ang late registration, as long as you have submitted what the LCR requires.

Good luck.Next time you need anything in Pasig LCR naman, do let me know.

Annamanila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annamanila said...


Among others, the civil registry is asking me to submit any two of the following: baptismal certificate; school records showing full name as registered in the school, date and place of birth, names of parents; voters affidavit; employment records (SSS/GSIS), ITR.

Baptismal certificate is out, so are school records, ITR too (as we have not been filing it for several years now, ever since the office began deducting adequate amounts to cover the taxes).

So that leaves me with employment/GSIS records -- which is okay, that's easy -- and voter's affidavit. How do I get the second? I have a voter's ID (I think .. omg not sure anymore).

I was surprised that a passport is not one of the document options. It is the one hardest to fake, di ba?

will appreciate info, Soloops. ty ty

Annamanila said...


Maybe in your case, you can do what Sexymom did -- ask someone probably younger, hardier and more patient -- to do it for you. Or may be, you can get a number, estimate the time it would take for your number to be served, get out, and come back hopefully when you are about to be called.

Siempre, the online/telephone option is also open to you. But you have to pay at Metrobank.

Rudy said...

Well, it's no big secret that I hate crowds and falling in line. That's why I'd rather shell out a a few thousand bucks and hire the services of an accounting/bookkeeping agency for my whatever government documents.

Maybe it's about time the NSO start decentralizing their operations, very much like what the LTO and the NBI is doing nowadays.

lady cess said...

oh, so it's pretty much the same with the goings-on with city hall =D

soloops said...

Ms. Anna,

I did some research and one of the documents you can submit to prove the circumstances of your birth is an affidavit/certification from the barangay captain in the area where you were born.

Annamanila said...


Thanks for the info and the research that went with it.

I was at City Hall today. I am being asked to make pahabol a birth certificate of one of my children that says the mom (me) was born in such and such a place and ate. (That's easy.) Otherwise I am done and can pick up my late registration in 10 days.

The City Hall people are okay, they try to find alternatives for problematic requirements. :)

Thanks again. My goodness, what a formidable network the blogging community is!

soloops said...

haha. As carrie bradshaw says, "gosh, you can rule the world." I think that applies to women, bloggers in particular. wink!

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