Dealing with the Government in the Philippines–a pleasant surprise when getting a Police Clearance

Well, I have been here now for a while, so far, I had not much to do with the government except for some documents that I needed. Today, I went to get a police clearance at the City Hall (Mandaluyong City), and I was in for a more then pleasant surprise.

First of all, make sure you know what you will need to get your police clearance. You will need your Cedula (Community Tax Certificate) and possible a Barangay Clearance (a Barangay is sort of e district within the City). The Cedula (which is also issued at the Barangay) will cost you between 20 Pesos and a few hundred Pesos, it depends on your annual income. The Barangay Clearance will cost you 20 Pesos.

Armed with these documents, you will go to the City Hall. First stop is the information counter where you will be handed the proper form to fill out. With this form, you will proceed to the cashier counters and pay your PHP 125.00 fee for the Police Clearance. With your receipt, you will now proceed to the Police Clearance Department which in the case of Mandaluyong City is in another building in the City Hall Complex. There, you will present your receipt, your Cedula, and possible the Barangay Clearance. Once all was checked, you will be asked to step into the photo boot, your picture will be taken, and then, you will have to wait, the request will now be checked in the National Crime Index. Normally your fingerprint will be electronically collected, in my case, the scanner didn’t work, so I put my fingerprint on the form the old fashioned way, with ink.

Now the surprise, after less then 5 minutes, the very friendly female officer came out of the boot and brought me the printed Clearance, all I had to do was to sign it and put my fingerprint on it, that’s it. From entering the City Hall Complex to exiting, it was less then 30 Minutes. Heads off to the efficient work at Mandaluyong City Hall.

Take a Beach Break from Manila

Ever got fed up with Manila’s traffic, smog, and hectic life? Why not try to take a break over the weekend at one of the many beaches of Batangas. Well, I did, and I really enjoyed it. If you do not have a Car, there are several Buses going to Batangas and local transport there is also available, while not always easily found or cheap.

I chose Nasugbu because a friend knew it and liked it, well, the pictures below are telling you the story, it really is a nice place and there are several resorts, from very basic tree huts, to luxury resorts. It’s around 2 to 3 hours if you drive yourself and a bit longer if you take the bus, the bus ticket will set you back around PHP 125.00.

We chose the Munting Buhangin Beach Camp which is rather remote, without your own car, it is a bit hard to reach, but not impossible. Rooms vary from PHP 1,000.00 for something simple to PHP 7,000.00 to a house with several bedrooms, fit for a large family or several couples.

Note one thing though, it can get pretty busy and full during the weekends since many locals from Manila have the same idea about taking a break from the buzzing Metropolis.

View from the rooms terrace:



And some pictures from the beach: