Friday, May 03, 2013

Getting My Philippine Passport Was A Terrible Experience

It was my first time to secure a Philippine Passport. It was one of the most terrible experiences ever.

Breakfast at McDonald'sMe and my girlfriend went to the Department of Foreign Affairs as early as we could. We are from Cagayan de Oro City. Thankfully, we have a DFA branch here in our city. We had to queue up in line as early as 4AM (the first people in line have been there since 8PM the previous day). The office opened at 8AM. We were asked to go back at 10AM. We finally were able to go inside the office at 10AM. We were entertained at 1PM only to find out we lack a few requirements. We had to rush to get those requirements done. We went back at the office at past 2PM and finally was able to finish everything. Releasing the passport will then take a month. So we have to go back there in a month's time.

The previous paragraph does not even explain well the pain I've experienced just to secure a passport. I had to wait for an excruciating 8-10 hours just to finish everything. I had to take a leave from work. Did I mention I was not able to sleep yet? It was absolutely terrible. There are a lot of loopholes and inefficiencies in the system. Some things could have been automated. Some things could have been processed faster. Who on earth oversees all these system? Are they not aware of what's going on? It is obviously a weak system. What have they done to improve it? I've heard this has been going on for years. It really sucks.

Sadly, each of us has to go through this sick system of processing forms, clearances and IDs under the Philippine government. It has been a long tradition that is already embraced by everyone. I do not know when it will ever change or improve. I'm just hoping it will and I hope I still get to see those improvements during my lifetime. I surely do not want my future kids to experiences all of those things I experienced today.

Carlo Borja is the Head of Online Marketing for Time Doctor, a time tracking software for remote teams. He is a full-time telecommuter, a digital nomad and a coffee junkie.

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Carlo Borja
Cagayan de Oro, Philippines