Citizen Services Topic of the day

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A collection of blog articles written to guide Pinoys in their daily transactions with government agencies, such as securing copies of NSO birth certificates, passport applications and renewals, and other similar concerns.  We also feature articles on timely and relevant  issues such as public transports, annulment and divorce, solo parent benefits, senior citizen concerns, and so much more.  Welcome to Citizen Services! We’re glad you’re here.


Latest Entries:

How To Apply for the SSS Loan Restructuring Program.


On Monday, April 2, 2018, the Social Security System (SSS) will once again open its doors to members who with unpaid obligations with the agency.  This is another opportunity that the state-run pension  fund is extending to members to allow them to settle overdue loans and regain their good standing with the SSS to avoid problems with their claims later on.

Who can benefit from this offer?

The SSS will condone penalties of member borrowers, making special mention of those who were affected by the Marawi siege and Mayon Volcano eruption. Read more:


Requirements When Applying for a Solo Parent ID.


Most of you are eager to find out kung ano ang mga requirements para makakuha ng Solo Parent ID.  The answers are actually very simple (and easy to accomplish!).  Read on.

Ang applicant para sa Solo Parent ID ay kinakailangang magdala ng sumusunod na mga documents sa kanyang City or Municipal Social Welfare and Development office:

1.Barangay Certificate na nagsasabing ang Solo Parent applicant ay nakatira sa barangay na iyon within the last six months.

2. NSO certificates:

a. Birth Certificate of child/children

b. Kung ikaw ay biyudo/biyuda, Death Certificate ng yumaong asawa.

c. Iba pang dokumento na maaaring gamitin bilang suporta sa iyong application.

Ang mga NSO certificates tulad ng Birth at Death ay maaari nang ipa-deliver sa iyong bahay.  Tumawag lang sa (02) 737-1111; kung may internet naman, maaaring mag logon sa  Matatanggap mo ang mga documents in 2 to 3 working days.

3. Income tax return o kahit na anong document na magpapatunay ng income level ng solo parent. Read more:


Why Do You Need to Get a New Copy of Your PSA Birth Certificate?


If birth certificates do not expire, why do we need to secure new copies from the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly National Statistics Office)?

In a recent radio interview, the assistant national statistician of the PSA mentioned the different reasons why Filipinos need to secure new copies of their civil registry records such as birth and marriage certificatesRead more:


Can False Information on a PSA Birth Certificate be Corrected or Removed?


When a child is born out of wedlock, the child carries the mother’s family name unless the father gives his consent for his child to use his last name and acknowledges him on paper.  The date of marriage field on the child’s birth certificate must also be left blank until the parents are married, if and when.

There are cases when the child’s parents would place false information on their child’s birth certificate, declaring themselves to be married when they are not.  Some single moms manage to include the child’s father’s last name on the child’s birth certificate, without seeking the latter’s consent.  In their desire to save their child from being labeled illegitimate, they end up falsifying a public document, never mind the consequences it will eventually bring on their child. Read more:


4 Important Things to Remember when Claiming PhilHealth Benefits for Hypertension.


One of the leading causes of death in the Philippines remains to be uncontrolled hypertension leading to heart disease and stroke.  In 2017, it was reported that 25% of Pinoy adults have high blood pressure caused by either their lifestyle or inherited the condition from their parents and elders.  The climate and high fat, high sodium diet in the Philippines do very little to help Filipinos avoid the burden of hypertension.

The good news is that hypertension is a manageable disease and the patient is likely to keep its complications at bay with low-cost preventive measures like exercise and diet changes.  Regular visits to one’s physician and easy access to an emergency room can help arrest any adverse effects of an elevated blood pressure as well. Read more:


Everything You Need to Know About the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).


The OEC is a basic requirement for OFWs before they are given permission to work abroad.  They must secure this to ensure that their departure and overseas employment are properly documented.  This document has a 60-day validity from the date it was issued; this means that the OFW must be able to leave before the OEC expires.

Apart from it being a basic requirement, an OEC document presented at the airport also exempts the traveler from paying travel taxes and terminal fees.  It serves as the exit pass or clearance of the OFW as well as a proof of his status as a legitimate OFW. Read more: 


PSA to Manage the National ID System Soon.



LTO Online PASS: Appointment Setting for Driver’s License and Car Registration Renewal.


Renewing your driver’s license and car registration has become so much simpler and faster now that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has launched their LTO Online Personal Appointment and Scheduling System or PASS.   Applicants may now simply set an appointment at any of the four LTO branches that offer the PASS service to ensure that they will be attended to during their visit.

The system is seen to reduce the entire renewal process to just 45 minutes, a far cry from the usual 4-hour wait time for walk-in transactions.

How does the LTO PASS Work? Read more:


What We Need to Know About Separation Pay in the Philippines.


An employee is entitled to a separation pay after he resigns from his job.  But why do some get more than others, even when both had the same number of years in service and are receiving almost the same monthly salaries?

Here is a summary of how a resigning employee’s separation pay is determined by the employer, as published by the National Wages and Productivity Commission. Read more:


Are You Qualified for a Pag-IBIG Housing Loan?


Wondering if you are already qualified to apply for a housing loan with Pag-IBIG?  Here’s how you can run a quick assessment based on the requirements published by Pag-IBIG.

There are four key considerations you need to take note of when applying for a housing loan:

  1. Your Pag-IBIG Membership
  2. Your Age
  3. Your Capacity to Pay
  4. Other Pag-IBIG loans you may have

What do you need to check before you submit your housing loan application? Read more:


How to Download a Copy of your Philhealth MDR Online.


The MDR is required when claiming hospitalization benefits for you or your declared dependents.  If you do not have an online Philhealth account, you will have to wait in line at a Philhealth branch or satellite office in order to get a copy.  Imagine the utmost convenience of simply logging in to your account and printing the needed document, all because you have an online Philhealth account!

To help you save time in studying the process on how to download a copy of your MDR, we are sharing the following visual guide.  Bookmark this and share in your network! Read more:


7 Things to Remember When Having Your Passport Photo Taken.

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Back in the day, passport applicants are required to bring copies of their 2×2 ID photos when applying for their Philippine passports.  Restrictions are limited to the type of shirt you should be wearing on the photo (with collar) and the background should be white.  Applicants are also advised to avoid wearing accessories such as eyeglasses and earrings that may cause huge differences from their actual physical appearance.

Now, all you need to do is personally appear at your preferred DFA branch on the date of your appointment.  All your biometrics: photos, fingerprints, and signatures will be taken onsite and in the presence of a DFA representative.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for your passport photo-op and other biometric requirements. Read more:


SSS Sickness Benefit: Everything You Need to Know.


Getting sick is inevitable.  Whether you are an employee, a business person, or a stay-at-home parent, you will eventually have to take some rest to recuperate from a viral or bacterial infection.  Other times, you might get injured at work and will need some time off to heal and rehabilitate before you are able to go back to your normal daily routine.

The good news is, if you are a member of the SSS, you are entitled to sickness benefits to help you defray expenses when your capacity to earn is lessened due to being confined in bed, a wheelchair, or a hospital. Read more:


5 Reasons Why You Need to Switch to an EMV Chip ATM Card.


What is an EMV chip and why are banks encouraging its depositors to switch to this new technology? 

Since we are on the subject of identity fraud and all these types of personal information security, we decided to feature the five reasons why it is important to have all your ATM cards changed to the EMV-enabled version.

EMV, or Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, provide added security for credit and debit card users.  This is especially important if you like purchasing online where all your payment information is made available for just about anyone to intercept.  The EMV makes “swiping” cards a thing of the past; the term often used now is “insert your card” so the machine could read the EMV. Read more:


How Do I Change My Mother’s Name on my PSA Birth Certificate?


Sofie has always known that her mother’s name is Emelita.  That is the name written on all her mother’s IDs and on the birth certificates of Sofie and her siblings.  However, when Aling Emelita requested for a copy of her PSA birth certificate, they were shocked to see that her name is actually not Emelita but Maria Rosario!  All other information on her birth certificate is correct, her birth date, birthplace, and the names of her parents.  Everything, except her name.

They discovered this in the early ‘90s when Aling Emelita was preparing to work abroad.  Since she was in a hurry to get a passport, she resolved to use her Maria Rosario birth certificate and was granted a passport as Maria Rosario. Read more:


How To Know If You Are Qualified for PhilHealth Benefits.


PhilHealth membership is not limited to regularly-employed Filipinos.  In fact, unemployed and self-employed individuals are strongly encouraged to faithfully make monthly contributions to secure their PhilHealth claims in times of emergencies.  Problem is, when a member fails to make a contribution for a month or two, they immediately think that they are no longer qualified to claim from PhilHealth.  Others opt to completely neglect paying their contributions because they think that missing one payment already means that all their other payments have been written off already.

To help everyone understand how the PhilHealth appropriates a member’s contribution, we are sharing the following checklists lifted from PhilHealth’s Facebook page.  These will help you determine if you are eligible for PhilHealth benefits in spite of irregular payments of your monthly contributions. Read more:


Common Reasons Why Some Women are Denied the SSS Maternity Benefits.


We conducted further research on the reasons why some are not granted the expected maternity benefits and were able to gather the following.  Note that these were collected from various women’s personal experiences when applying for the said benefits from SSS.

a. Child’s birth certificate is not authenticated by the Local Civil Registrar or by the Philippine Statistics Authority PSA (formerly NSO). Read more:


The 20 Grounds for Divorce in the Philippines.


There are four additional grounds that the divorce bill will include in the list of reasons why a person may seek to dissolve his or her marriage.  Bear in mind that the grounds listed for legal separation and annulment remain in effect and are carried into the divorce bill. Read more:


5 Important Things to Know About the Free Tuition Fee Law.


Almost 200 universities and colleges will be implementing the Free Tuition Fee law starting this school year; parents and students are eagerly looking forward to an expense-free education because even miscellaneous payments are covered by the act.  The government has allotted a P40-billion fund for the first year of the law’s implementation to cover the tuition fee requirements of hundreds of thousands of Filipino students.

What are the important facts that we all need to know about this new law?  Who are qualified to enjoy this privilege? Read more:


8 SSS Benefits That First-Time Members Need to Know.


This is a summary of the benefits you can get (and are entitled to!) as a member of the Social Security System.  Yes, you don’t just look forward to your pension (which, at this point, is probably one of the strangest things you’ll hear) from SSS because there are a lot of other benefits you can avail from the agency while you are still an active, contributing member. Read more:


4 Easy Steps In Creating Your Philhealth Online Account.


An online account with Philhealth allows you to monitor your monthly contributions and gives you an access to print your Member Data Record (MDR) anywhere you are.  Normally, a Philhealth member who does not have an online account will have to wait in line at a Philhealth branch or satellite office in order to obtain a copy of his MDR.  The MDR is required when a member’s dependent is confined in a hospital.

Here is how you can conveniently create an online account and never have to wait in line again when you need a copy of your MDR. Read more:


What To Do When You Lose Your Passport Abroad.


So what is a Pinoy to do when he realizes that his / her passport has gone missing while he’s abroad?  I researched (and researched some more) on how seasoned travelers handled the same situation and have compiled it here for our consumption.  Feel free to share this to friends and families who are frequent travelers.  We’d love to hear about your own experiences too! Read more:


4 Things You Need To Know When Applying for a Pag-IBIG Housing Loan.


Are you planning to buy a house soon?  Have you considered getting one through a Pag-IBIG housing loan?

Here are some facts and figures that could help you decide on availing a real estate property through your Pag-IBIG membership.

  • Lower interest rates for Regular Housing Loan

Effective February 14, 2018, the Pag-IBIG began offering home loan interest rates for as low as 5.67% per annum (from 5.5%) for a 1-year fixing period, and 6.37% per annum (from 6.5%) for a 3-year fixing period.  This applies to members who are willing to pay a 25% equity upfront. Read more:


Papano Babayaran ang SSS Salary Loan Kung Ang Miyembro Ay: Lumipat ng Trabaho, Natanggal sa Trabaho, Nabalda, Nagretiro, o Namatay.


Ang pag-apply ng salary loan sa SSS ay ginawa ng madali at mabilis sa pamamagitan ng kanilang online services.  Kailangan lang mag register ng online account ang miyembro at malaya na niyang mamo-monitor ang kanyang mga contributions at loan payments.  Paperless na ang pag file ng salary loan dahil maaari nang mag apply basta’t may online account ang miyembro.

Ang madalas na issue ng mga miyembro ay ang pagbabayad ng nasabing salary loan.  Kung ang miyembro ay employed, ang salary loan payments ay nireremit ng employer sa SSS. Halos walang partisipasyon ang miyembro bukod sa salary deduction kung saan kinukuha ang kanyang buwanang hulog sa loan.  Ngunit papano kung biglang lumipat ng trabaho ang miyembro? O kaya ay matanggal sa trabaho, lubusang mabalda, mag retiro, o kaya ay pumanaw ng biglaan?  Papano ang pagbabayad sa maiiwan niyang utang sa SSS? Read more:


How to Get the Different Government-issued IDs Required by the DFA.


In almost all of your transactions, whether with a government agency or a private corporation like banks, schools, and remittance centers, you will always be required to present a government-issued ID.  It doesn’t matter if you have a company ID, a school ID, or membership cards, agencies will always require you to present a government-issued ID. Read more:


How to Renew a Lost and Expired Philippine Passport.


A basic requirement for passport renewal is the submission of the expired (or expiring passport) so the DFA can cancel its validity.  But what if the old passport has gone missing? Here’s how you can renew a lost and expired passport. Read more:


List of Schools with Free Tuition Fee for School Year 2018


There are a total of 112 state universities and colleges and about 78 local universities and colleges that are covered by the free tuition fee law signed by the President last week.  We are sharing the list of schools that are expected to comply with the free tuition fee law beginning June 2018. Read more:


How Does SSS Compute Your Retirement Benefit?


As an SSS member, you are entitled to retirement benefits as soon as you hit your 60s.  This can be a lump sum amount that you can use to start a small business, or go on a trip as a reward to yourself.  Or you can choose to receive a monthly pension, as if you are still being salaried monthly by an employer.

Can you at least have a ball park figure of how much pension you can expect to receive from the SSS later on?  You may still have about 40 years ahead of you before you hit your 60’s but it won’t hurt to get a glimpse.  This way, you can think of alternative ways to secure your finances when you finally become a Senior Citizen. Read more:


How to File an Annulment of Marriage in the Philippines.


Today we will share the step-by-step process of a marriage annulment in the Philippines and how it has become such an expensive (not to mention sad and painful) method of ending a relationship.  Take note though that the following should not be taken as legal advice; we researched this information online and are sharing it for information and guidance. Read more:


How to Apply for a Philippine Passport if You Do Not Have a Birth Certificate.


Your PSA birth certificate is a primary requirement when applying for a passport with the DFA.  Without it, it would be nearly impossible to get the rest of the application process done.

Unfortunately, there are some people who really do not have their civil registry documents on file at the PSA.  When they request for a copy, they receive a Negative Certification, indicating that they do not have any records or theirs may have gotten lost during or after the war.

How do you apply for a passport if you do not have a birth certificate? Read more:


7 Personal Information That You Can Refuse to Share.



RA 10173 defines these personal information as sensitive.  This means that any party who wishes to obtain these information from you or about you, must inform you properly, specify why they need your information, and must be granted your consent.  Except when you are entering into a contractual agreement, you actually have the right to refuse giving out these personal information.

So what are these seven sensitive, personal and privileged information that we are not supposed to be sharing around with just anyone?  Read more:


4 Things You Need To Know When Applying for a Pag-IBIG Housing Loan.


Are you planning to buy a house soon?  Have you considered getting one through a Pag-IBIG housing loan?

Here are some facts and figures that could help you decide on availing a real estate property through your Pag-IBIG membership. Read more:


Passport Application for Minors: What You Need to Bring and Why?


Margaret is 13 years old and is about to secure her very first passport.  It would have been a breeze to accomplish this errand if not for Margaret’s living arrangement that is quite complicated.

Margaret’s parents separated before she turned 7 years old.  Her mother went back home to her province in Dumaguete; Margaret was left with her father who was then working as a nurse in Manila.  Not long after the separation, her father met another woman who would later assume the role of Margaret’s mom….. Read more:


Why Do You Need to Get a New Copy of Your PSA Birth Certificate?


If birth certificates do not expire, why do we need to secure new copies from the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly National Statistics Office)?

In a recent radio interview, the assistant national statistician of the PSA mentioned the different reasons why Filipinos need to secure new copies of their civil registry records such as birth and marriage certificates. Read more:


5 Easy Steps to Become a Pag-IBIG Member.


Apart from being a member of the SSS, you will also be required by your employers to submit your Pag-IBIG membership number.  Pag-IBIG, or the Home Development Mutual Fund is a Government-owned and controlled corporation responsible for the administration of affordable shelter financing to Pinoys.

Like SSS, there are different types of membership under Pag-IBIG.  You could be an employed member, self-paying (or voluntary), self-employed, or an OFW.  Each type of membership has different sets of membership requirements and contribution rates. Read more:


Are You In Favor of Implementing Divorce In The Philippines?


In the Philippines, if you would like to regain your capacity to marry, you need to file a case for annulment and pray that you win the battle against your spouse.  It is a long and tedious process of mainly destroying the character of the person you married to prove that the marriage was either: not valid from the beginning or was acquired by force, intimidation, or undue influence.  It is an expensive and traumatic process for the couple and their children. Read more: