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Friday, October 7, 2011

A Quest For Valid I.D. (part 2)

(I almost forgot to post this continuation but I promise that this one is more interesting, towards the end, than my first attempt to get an I.D.)

I had other errands to do so it took me a couple of days later to be able to go for my quest for identification again. For the first time though, a tricycle driver declined to take me because he said my destination, Barangay Hall Annex, was too far. So I waited for another one to come by. Thankfully my wait didn’t last long and the second one that came by agreed to take me but with the condition of paying him Php50.00 (Philippine Peso). Reluctantly, I said okay.

My residential certificate was in my hands in just two minutes. After that, I needed to wait for another ride to the main Barangay Hall. I wasn’t sure and totally clueless where I was so hailed tricycles and or pedicabs (bicycle cab) that came by. However, none of them would take me so I waited and hoped for a taxi cab to come by. Ten minutes after, I got in a taxi cab. Thankfully it was nice and clean and well air conditioned.

The same people were behind the desk as the other day when I got there. I told them right away and happily that I got the residential certificate and went on signing the guest list. As I did so, the old guy asked me if I have a recommendation letter as part of the requirements to get Barangay clearance. A little exasperated but without sounding disrespectful, I told them,
I was here the other day and you guys told me that I needed residential certificate but recommendation letter was not mentioned at all.
It must have looked like I wasn’t leaving until I get my clearance so the old guy behind the desk said,
Okay go ahead. Go upstairs and see if they will accept the residential certificate alone.

I walked out of that office feeling ripped off and not very confident and embarrassed as well for agreeing at all.

I said my thanks and literally hopped on the steps up to the office. I was attended to right away and given a form to fill out with no mention of recommendation letter. As I was filling out the form, the lady who handed me that form, impishly smiled and asked what do I need the Barangay clearance for. I said,
Oh I want to get a postal identification.

The lady whispered,
We can get it for you. Do you want us to that for you?

Naively I asked,
Really? You can do that? How long will it take?

She replied,
Just one day, madam.

So I said,
Okay! Please get it for me.

I finished filling out the form then handed it back to the lady. She took the form then sat in front of an electronic typewriter. In less than a minute, my Barangay Clearance was ready. Another lady in the office, wearing an office suit, announced that I need to pay them Php400.00 for the postal identification.

I asked,
Is that the standard fee for that I.D.?

She nodded and said yes.

Quietly I said,
Hmm it sounds like a rip off.

I thought about it for a few seconds then I agreed to pay for it even though deep inside I strongly disagreed. Before handing the money I asked for a receipt.

The lady said,
We don’t have a receipt.

I fired questions,
Huh? How come you don’t have a receipt? How come a government office has no official receipt?

She just stared and shrugged.
Alright, write me acknowledgement receipt then please.

While she did so expertly, I asked her to show me her identification. I photographed the I.D. which seemed to be genuine, using my phone. I walked out of that office feeling ripped off and not very confident and embarrassed as well for agreeing at all.

The next morning, I got my new valid identification which was not laminated.

The lady said lazily,
They didn’t laminate it because you have to sign it.

Oh right. Okay I’ll sign it. Can you laminate it then?

She gave me the same look she did before and said,
We don’t have laminating machine.

I wasn't too surprised but I calmly asked,
Huh? So I have to laminate it myself?

Okay never mind.

Then I walked out without another word.

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