Previously penned a column about the crippling bureaucracy average citizens are forced to deal with on a daily basis. On an earlier occasion, was tasked with acquiring various government forms, with each requirement coming with endless waiting and encounters with paper pushers at every corner.
In addition, a separate column was also previously written about how it took three days to receive a driver’s license. The process was unbelievable; especially considering the same exact procedure only takes a couple hours in the United States.
While inefficiency and slow processing are still very much a reality with most government offices, it must be noted, one office provided a bit of respite when it came to organization and prompt service.
Among the requirements on the checklist was clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). One of the conveniences immediately encountered was being able to complete the first step online, registering through their website. Once data was input, it provided an array of payment options and an appointment date.
Arriving at the office on the assigned date, made an effort to get there as early as possible, and was assisted immediately by the roving attendant. Sat down and was the next in line for a photo and fingerprints.
Once assisted, records were found with a “hit,” which required a return to the office at a later date. At that moment, assumed the swift service experienced was over and this is where it would become complicated. The same attendant confirmed it would be a few weeks before it would be ready but instructed to just return on the day stamped on the receipt.
The day arrived and, unlike last time, did not come early. Walked in and saw, what was near empty on the first visit, was overflowing with people. However, upon showing the receipt with a pick-up date, was directed to the last window by the same roving attendant; the representative behind the window took the receipt and gave it back within a few seconds accompanied with a completed NBI clearance – it was complete.
Compared to other government offices, the NBI was the only one that showed some semblance of organization and efficiency. When government officials talk about efficiency and ease, this is the one instance where it has come to fruition – especially with the attendant who organizes everybody visiting the office into their proper positions based on where they are in the process.
Unlike other places, there was an online option that saved one step of the process, there was no hours-long wait to see an attendant, nor did the process require endless application forms and paperwork.
Since it was such an exception to the norm – even, a highlight in the process – an addendum to the original column was definitely needed. No reason to lump in the one government office in Bacolod City with competent service among the myriad of others that force city residents to waste days of their lives waiting./WDJ