Please Stay On the Line
BORED AGAIN - BORED AGAIN By Maddie Llacer () - January 7, 2007 - 12:00am
Welcome to the Republic of Permits and Licenses.

Once again, the annual trek to City Hall is now open for monkey business as permits and licenses are being renewed. Each New Year promises a more efficient system in processing registrations particularly in the business aspect of life. I wonder what this year will be like as we promote tourism business in the Philippines and attract potential investors to infuse funds in our country.

Last year, I had a wonderful experience with one of the local barangays as I applied for a barangay clearance. It was convenient for me because the barangay captain was always out of the office and the staff sent my messenger sheets of blank letterheads for me to compose my own clearance and send it back in case the captain shows up to sign it. That's efficiency without much fuss.

There are some heads of local agencies connected with the business licensing division who are taking things personally and holding up some people's business permits simply because they weren't 'entertained' promptly as they showed up for visits or had miscommunications because they weren't factually informed as they listened to hearsays. These heads pick on the tiniest speck of dust on your window and declare that you're not compliant with whatever new law they're trying to pass. Bottom line is, no matter how you try to comply with requirements, the government will always find ways to milk you - and smile while at it. Just look for the grease collector's fees right next to the garbage collector's fees in your assessments.

I renewed my driver's license in one of the malls in Cebu. There are still protocols to follow and urine samples to catch. Just feel like a millionaire when you smile for your photo after you've shelled out bills to pay every station you've passed by. Who on earth would load up on drugs knowing they'll be tested to obtain their driver's license that day?

So you think you've passed the board exams and you're on your way to practicing your profession? Congratulations! Before you enter the halls of Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in Cebu, please dress up professionally and wear socks. Dr. Frasier recently renewed his professional license and was barred from entering PRC because he was wearing sandals sans his socks. After finding the coveted parking slot outside, who would want to go home and get a pair of socks? Not him. He simply went back to his car and rummaged through his glove compartment to find a white shirt and face towel. Of course, the guard let him in with his newly fashioned wrap-around socks. Your plastic ID card will be ready when you renew your license again.

I received my latest credit card bill and found some charges I haven't made. I called up the world's largest local bank's hotline and after ten advertisement playbacks, a customer representative greeted me. I gave a brief overview of my situation and asked for a solution since my bill is almost due. As usual, credit card companies want you to settle the entire bill first before responding to the discrepancy (which takes another eon to untangle). I told the representative if I settle the bill, it means that I accept full responsibility of my charges and getting them to shave off the disputed amount would be like sending an SMS to planet Neptune without the signal.

Ma'am you have to fill out a discrepancy form which you can download from our website online. I'm sorry but I don't have internet connections as of the moment, can you at least fax the form to me? Sure, can I have your fax number? So how will I know if this matter is resolved? It usually takes five working days. But my bill will already be due by then! Well, it's our standard procedure to send the fax through another department and it will get to you within five working days. What? You mean it takes five working days to fax me the discrepancy form? I thought we can settle this by then. I'm sorry ma'am; it takes about a month to get feedback on this. Even if I'm a Premier client?

Please stay on the line.

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