My NBI Clearance experience

GOT MYSELF an NBI Clearance today. Took me the whole morning. I was exhausted, and my face looked like a convicted criminal. “You're lucky,” you'll probably say, given that for some, the process can eat up the entire day or more.

Now I understand why parents give their children unique, atrocious, misspelled names: to spare them the inconvenience of having to deal with “hits” in the NBI database, a scenario that spells another week—or more—of waiting for the sought-after NBI Clearance Form. What should've been a quick process that requires no more than filling out a form online, paying 115 pesos, and having one's photo and fingerprints electronically taken has turned out to be an utter waste of time and resources. Like Metro Manila traffic. The people who need the form could've better spent the lost time working, earning enough money for themselves and their families. But everyone shares the frustration: the government has been at this for years now—day in and day out—yet the process has never been streamlined and perfected enough to make it less dreadful, if not entirely convenient. It's a lot like the elections, too, and many other things that are wrong with this country.

Meanwhile, my brother Ralph has a piece published in EastLit (Volume 3, Issue 15), a Southeast Asian journal of English Literature and creative writing. It's called “One-Day Friends,” one of the most-read pieces in the journal to date. It's about his experience in getting the NBI Clearance and in meeting new “friends” while lining up. This is amusing, given that my brother is a self-confessed introvert who'd rather talk to his books (he brought Sebastian Junger's "The Perfect Storm," while I had with me "Secret Ingredients" edited by David Remnick) than engage in random conversation. But I'm sure we can all relate to his story.

One thought on “My NBI Clearance experience”

  1. next time, get an nbi clearance by applying for it online: http://nbi.njis-ph.com/. i only spent around 20 minutes to get mine at the nbi clearance center along UN avenue. but thanks for sharing your experience!

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