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:

Quick Guide to the No Balance Billing of PhilHealth.


What is the No Balance Billing?

No Balance Billing or NBB is a privilege given to qualified PhilHealth members.  If you are covered by the NBB policy, you no longer need to pay for your hospitalization at any government hospital and selected private medical centers nationwide.  It is the government that pays for the member’s hospital expenses without prejudice to the quality of service and attention given to the patient. Read more:


A Married Woman’s Child with another Man is Not an Illegitimate Child.


Mercy is married to Joel and they have three kids, all minors.  In 2015, they separated, with Joel taking their children with him to the province where they can continue their studies while he tended the family’s farm as his means of income.  Mercy was left in Manila with her parents; she was working as a call center agent at the time of their separation.

In 2016, Joel filed for annulment.  Around the same time the papers were hand-carried by a court personnel to Mercy’s house, she was already dating a new guy from work.  Not long after, Mercy broke the news to her family that she is pregnant.

Her boyfriend, an unmarried man, is willing to acknowledge Mercy’s baby.  Their plan is to get married as soon as Mercy’s previous marriage is officially annulled; they will have their baby legitimized after they get married.

Will Mercy and Joel’s plans succeed?  Will this not cause problems or confusion on the child’s birth right?  Can the child use his biological father’s last name while his mother is still married to her previous husband?

According to the Family Code, a child born to a married woman is considered legitimate, even if the mother declares against its legitimacy, or even if she has been sentenced as an adulteress (Article 164 and Article 167). Read more:


Can a Child’s Legitimation (Due to Subsequent Marriage) be Cancelled?


What is ‘Legitimation’?

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website, legitimation is a remedy by means of which those who in fact were not born in wedlock and should, therefore, be considered illegitimate, are by fiction, considered legitimate, it being supposed that they were born when their parents were already validly married.

Who can be ‘Legitimated’?

Legitimation may be done for children who were conceived before their biological parents were married, provided that their parents were not disqualified by any impediments to marry each other.

For a child to be considered legitimated by subsequent marriage, it is necessary that:

  • The parents could have legally contracted marriage at the time the child was conceived;
  • That the child has been acknowledged by the parents before or after the celebration of their marriage; and
  • The acknowledgment was made with the consent of the child, if age or with the approval of the court, if a minor, unless it has been made in the certificate before a court of record, or in any authentic writing. Read more:

CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate : Ang Mga Kailangan Mong Malaman.


Ano nga ba ang Guidance and Counseling Certificate mula sa Commission of Filipino Overseas (CFO)?

Ang CFO ay nagbibigay ng seminar at counseling session para sa mga Filipino citizens na nakapag asawa ng foreign national. Ito ay isang paraan para matulungan ang mga Pilipino na may balak mag-migrate sa ibang bansa sa bisa ng kasal nila sa foreign national. Tinatalakay dito ang mga issue tungkol sa inter-marriage, migration, ang buhay at kultura sa ibang bansa, at iba pang related topics. Tumatagal ang seminar ng dalawang oras; pag natapos mo ito, bibigyan ka ng CFO Certificate of Attendance na siya mo namang ipapakita sa DFA kapag nag apply ka ng passport.

Kapag nakuha mo na ang iyong passport at visa, maaari ka nang mag register para sa Guidance and Counseling Certificate at makakuha ng CFO Emigrant Registration sticker. Ito ay ididikit sa iyong passport bilang patunay na natapos mo ang requirements mula sa CFO. Iche-check ito ng immigration officer sa araw ng pag-alis mo kaya’t siguraduhing kasama sa iyong hand-carry ang mga documents mula sa CFO (bukod sa iyong passport, tickets, at iba pang documents). Read more:


Problems with PSA (NSO) Birth Certificate: Change of Name on Birth Certificate.


Liezel is a 34-year-old mom who has been using two first names all her life.  All her documents and transactions show her first name as Maria Liezel: on her marriage contract, on her children’s birth certificate, her land titles, and tax declarations.  Even her bank accounts and driver’s license show her name as Maria Liezel.  However, on her PSA birth certificate, her first name is indicated only as Liezel. No Maria or Ma.

  1. Is this considered a clerical error?
  2. Does she need to have her name on her children’s birth certificates corrected to make it consistent with what is reflected on her birth certificate?

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority website (, such errors can be corrected under R.A. 10172 (Civil Registration Laws).  Liezel’s case is not considered as clerical error (the missing Liezel from her first name).  What she needs to do is have her name on her birth certificate changed from Liezel to Maria Liezel under R.A. 10172. Read more:


What is the SSS?


If you are graduating from college in a few months or have just recently started applying for a job, you are most likely to apply for your very own SSS membership.  Like what I said in my previous entry, for the young and the restless, an SSS number is nothing more than a pre-employment requirement that needs to be accomplished and submitted.  I had to learn the facts on my own and when I did, I was thankful I worked on my membership at an early age and have not neglected to pay my contributions ever since.

What exactly is the SSS and how much of your income should go to it?  Is it really wise to invest in it now while you’re young or would you much rather put your hard-earned money in a private life insurance firm that secures both you and your dependents? Read more:


Guide to Applying for a U.S. Tourist Visa Online.


To travel to the United States, a Filipino must be granted one of two Visa types available to Pinoys: a Nonimmigrant Visa or an Immigrant Visa.

Nonimmigrant Visas are for travelers who wish to enter the United States and stay there for a definite period of time.  It is given to Pinoys who wish to tour the U.S., visit friends and relatives who reside there, seek medical treatment, or attend company and business functions.  Nonimmigrant Visa holders are expected to return to the Philippines within a prescribed period.

Immigrant Visa on the other hand are for those who wish to relocate to the U.S. and live there permanently.

In this article, we will be providing the step-by-step process needed when applying for a U.S. Non immigrant Visa and setting your interview appointment online.  These were lifted from the U.S. Embassy website. Read more:


Passport Application Process: Applicant’s Name on Birth Certificate does not Match Names on IDs.


A passport applicant was denied because her name on her birth certificate did not match any of the IDs and clearances she presented to the DFA.  Why is this so?

Janine’s parents’ marriage was annulled shortly after she turned one year old.  After the annulment, her mother immediately reverted to using her maiden last name.  Since the mother had sole custody of Janine, she decided to drop the father’s last name and had Janine use her maiden name in all of her records instead.

Now, at 34 years old, Janine applied for her passport (for the first time) and was shocked when she was told her application was denied.  According to the DFA, the name on her birth certificate and the names on the rest of her documents and IDs do not match.  And because of this, she needs to have her birth certificate amended first before her application could be entertained. Read more:


How To Compute for SSS Maternity Benefits.


This article is for our mom-to-be followers who are wondering if they are qualified to claim for maternity benefits from the SSS.  Often, expectant mothers who only recently began making SSS contributions, or those who missed a month or two prior to their delivery dates, are worried that they would not be able to claim assistance from SSS.

We lifted the official computation and other guidelines from the SSS website to help all female SSS members understand how maternity benefits are determined.

The SSS Maternity Benefit

  • For normal delivery and miscarriages: 100% of member’s average daily salary credit multiplied by 60 days.
  • For caesarean section delivery: 100% of member’s average daily salary credit multiplied by 78 days. Read more:

U.S. Work Visa: Work Descriptions and Applicant Qualifications.


Filipinos who wish to work (legally!) in the United States must have a valid Work Visa issued by the U.S. Embassy.  There are several types of work visas available for Pinoys; these are based on the kind of job they applied and qualified for.

Keep in mind that work visas are applied and processed only after a petition from the Pinoy’s prospective U.S. employer has been approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  This means that you should have already complied with and satisfied the requirements of the U.S. employer. Read more:


Problems with your PSA Birth Certificate: They Wrote the Wrong Religion!


The Philippines is the bastion of Christianity in Asia with over 93% of our population listed as Christians; we ranked 5th worldwide according to a 2011 report of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.  Filipinos take religiosity pretty seriously.  To us, it is not just some form of affiliation or membership, it is a legacy passed on to us, an identity we must protect and preserve at all costs.

And so it IS a big deal to have to find out that your religion, as written in your birth certificate, is anything but Catholic or Christian.  Read more:


Problems with NSO Birth Certificate: Wrong Gender in PSA (NSO) Birth Certificate.


How do you correct a person’s gender in his NSO Birth Certificate (now PSA Birth Certificate)?  If he is male but his birth certificate shows him as “female”, can he have his birth certificate updated to show his correct gender?

If your birth certificate shows an incorrect gender, it is considered a clerical error and therefore, can be rectified by filing a petition for clerical or typographical error.  This can be done at the Local Civil Registry (LCR) office of the city or municipality where the birth was registered.

Here is what you need to do:


Where to Get the First Corrected Copy of Your PSA Document.


Errors in your civil registry documents could adversely affect your transactions with the government or private establishments.  Often, erroneous birth certificates and other documents from the PSA are referred to the LCR of the place where the birth, death, or marriage was originally recorded.  Misspelled names and other obvious clerical corrections are rectified through a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error while more complicated cases are referred to a legal counsel or, sometimes, are heard in court.

One way or the other, the error is corrected or the missing information is supplied, and the owner of the civil registry document is then able to acquire an accurate copy of his PSA certificate. Read more:


10 Best Tips to Avoid Getting Offloaded from Your Flight.


One of the worst things that can happen to a traveler is to get offloaded from his flight.  The truth is, there is no definite list of things that one can do in order to completely avoid being barred from boarding his plane.  It can happen to a tourist, a CEO on a business trip, and even OFWs.

This article intends to inform travelers of what they need to have on hand when checking in and boarding their planes.  These are based on actual experiences of other travelers as well as tips from Immigration Officers (who have seen one too many passengers suffer the consequences of incomplete and insufficient documents to corroborate the veracity for their trip). Read more:


Problems with PSA (NSO) Birth Certificate : Are You a “Baby Boy” or “Baby Girl”?


Us Pinoys have a penchant for naming anything small, cute, and cuddly, Baby, including our children.  We often disregard the fact that these babies will soon grow up to become boys and girls, and eventually, men and women.  Imagine being the Chairman of the Board of a multi-national company and your team calls you “Sir Baby”.

A common problem encountered by parents (and their children!) is when they realize that the word “Baby” has been included in the first name field of the Certificate of Live Birth document and is now essentially considered as the first name of their child.  So that if they named their child James, his full name would then be Baby James.  Worse, if it was the hospital that committed the error, the name would even be something like Baby Boy James (“Baby Boy” being the default identification for male infants; this is written on the baby’s name card while housed at the Nursery). Read more:


Process of Annotating the Marriage Certificate After Annulment Has Been Granted.


We receive a lot of inquiries about the annotation of marriage certificates after the annulment has been handed down by the court.  Most couples think that the moment they receive the finality of the annulment, they are free to get married anytime.  They would soon realize that the process of annotating the marriage certificate and the CENOMAR of annulled couples take longer than most of us think.

So we conducted some research on this subject to find out what happens after the court has declared a marriage null and void.  How long do the parties need to wait before they can re-marry?

Find out here:


Benefits for Solo Parent ID Holders.


And finally, the last installment in our Solo Parent series: the list of benefits that await Solo Parent ID holders.

There are two types of benefits available to qualified Solo Parents: Employment-related and benefits to cover a child’s basic needs.  Read on!

Employment-Related Benefits:

1 .Flexible work schedule.

Hangga’t hindi makaka-apekto sa productivity ng empleyado at ng kumpanya, ang mga employers ay required na bigyan ng flexible working hours ang mga solo parents.  Ang ibig sabihin nito ay ang isang solo parent employee ay maaaring magbago ng work schedule basta’t hindi nito maaapektuhan ang required number of work hours.  May mga employers na maaaring ma-exempt sa requirement na ito, depende kung valid ang rason ng kanilang request for exemption.  DOLE ang magpapasya ng exemption ng isang employer. Read more:


How Married Women Can Keep Their Maiden Names.


They say the greatest gift your father can give you is his name.  However for women, their father’s names get replaced with their husband’s when they marry.  They embrace the heritage that comes with their new last name and become associated with the husbands’ family tree.

Do women have the option to keep their father’s names after they get married?

The answer is yes.  In reality, marriage only requires a woman to change her civil status, not her name.

You can find the answer in Article 370 of the Civil Code, where a married woman’s options regarding using her husband’s last name are enumerated. Read more:


Requirements and Processes when Adopting a Child in the Philippines.


How does one adopt a child in the Philippines?  Whether you are adopting a child from any of the local orphanages and DSWD offices in the country, or the child of a relative, or maybe even your own child, you need to be aware of the requirements and processes you have to go through.  Be forewarned that this is not a simple process.  Unlike when applying for a marriage license or registering the birth of a child, adopting a child involves a long and tedious process of qualifying the adopting couple or family and waiting for the approval (or disapproval) of the application.  So it is important that you are physically, mentally, and financially prepared before you decide to take the plunge.

To help you get started, here are the list of requirements and procedures in adopting a child in the Philippines. These were lifted from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) website and  These are based on the Domestic Adoption Law (RA 8552). Read more:


Quick Facts for Passport Applicants at the DFA.


Now that you have finally set an appointment for your passport application, it is time to begin preparing the requirements you need to bring.  Here’s a summary of all the things you need to know when applying for a Philippine Passport at any DFA office:

  1. Personal appearance is required for all applicants.
  2. A confirmed appointment is required for all applicants except senior citizens, infants, and minors below 1-year-old and OFWs. For OFWs, sufficient proof must be submitted such as a valid employment contract or OEC.
  3. Earrings and contact lenses are not allowed during data capture. Smiling with visible teeth is also not allowed.
  4. Check all the data in the computer monitor and in the Enrolment Certificate before signing it.
  5. Only immediate family members are allowed to get the passport on behalf of the applicant. Immediate family members include father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, and children of legal age. Read more:

PhilHealth Benefits and More Part 2: Outpatient Benefits.


Outpatient benefits are applied on hospital visits that are less than 24 hours and without the need for confinement.  Today’s article will focus on such benefits afforded by Philhealth to its contributing members and their dependents.

This is the second part of our feature blog series on Philhealth benefits.

Outpatient Benefits

1. Day Surgeries (Ambulatory or Outpatient Surgeries) – these include elective surgical procedures (non-emergency) ranging from minor to major operations, where patients are safely sent home within the same day for post-operative care. Read more:


Philhealth Benefits and More Part 1: Inpatient Benefits.


The rainy season has officially begun in our country!  And along with the unpredictable changes in weather (warm and sunny in the morning, cold and wet in the afternoon) come different types of bacteria and viruses that cause infections and ailments among kids and adults.  Visiting your doctor’s clinic, or worse, the Emergency Room, could be inevitable during these wet season.

Good thing we have Philhealth to help us cover the unexpected expenses of getting medical treatment!

This week, we will dedicate a blog series on the different benefits that we can avail as Philhealth members, starting off with INPATIENT BENEFITS.  Share this with your friends and family!

Read on!

Inpatient Benefits

  • These benefits are paid to the accredited Health Care Institution (HCI) through All Case Rates.
  • The case rate amount shall be deducted by the HCI from the member’s total bill, which shall include professional fees of attending physicians, prior to discharge. Read more:

The Pinoy PWD: Up, Close, and Personal.



“Kailangan bang naka upo sa wheelchair o naka saklay ang PWD bago siya i-consider na person with disability?  Kasi PWD ako pero ayaw akong bigyan ng discount sa parmasya dahil ayaw maniwalang PWD ako.” – Mila, an epileptic.

Often when we see the acronym “PWD”, we think of a person who isn’t able to walk or move on his own, could not speak, see, or hear.  Very few would consider the fact that a disability (or being ‘disabled’) does not only mean having physical impairments.  You may be looking at a person who is able to function normally, has complete control of his limbs, but is actually considered a PWD because of an illness that limits his ability to perform other tasks. Read more:


No PSA Birth Certificate? No Problem!


Ang PSA Birth Certificate (dating NSO Birth Certificate) ay madalas na kasama sa listahan ng mga primary documentary requirements ng iba’t-ibang establishments tulad ng mga bangko, eskwelahan, at mga government agencies.  Ang birth certificate ay naka-print sa Security Paper (SECPA) at may selyo ng PSA sa upper left-hand corner ng dokumento.  Maaari itong makuha mula sa mga opisina ng PSA o ipa-deliver sa inyong bahay sa pamamagitan ng pag-order online o pagtawag sa hotline (02 – 737 – 1111).

Habang may mga taong nakakatanggap ng kopya ng kanilang PSA birth certificate, meron din naman na ang natatanggap na kopya ay iyong tinatawag na Negative Certification.  Ang ibig sabihin nito ay walang kopya ang PSA ng kanilang birth certificate. Read more:


Basic Reminders for Philippine Passport Holders Part 2.


Yesterday, we featured the reminders for Pinoy passport holders who are travelling as tourists and to work abroad under a contract.  Today, on our second and final installment of this 2-part series, we are going to share the basic documentary requirements for Pinoy emigrants and those travelling with a minor.

These were lifted from the Bureau of Immigration website.

  1. What are the departure requirements for emigrant Philippine citizens?
    • Unexpired passport;
    • Immigrant visa or residence card;
    • CFO-emigrant registration sticker (ERS); and
    • Validly-issued travel ticket.

The Emigrant Registration Sticker may be obtained by registering at the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO and by attending the pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS).  Children aged 12 years old and below are exempted from attending the PDOS but still needs to register at the CFO.  Children aged 13 years and above need to attend the Peer Counseling Program. Read more:


Basic Reminders for Philippine Passport Holders Part 1.


Whether you are a frequent traveler, an Overseas Filipino Worker, or flying out of the country for the first time, there are basic things you need to know about travel documents and IDs essential to a smooth and hassle-free flight.  We’re not just talking about airlines that leave and arrive on time and don’t get your luggage all mixed up.  These are things every Filipino passport holder must know by heart.

Here is a summary of reminders, lifted from the Bureau of Immigration website that every Philippine passport holder must be aware of.  Read more:


Know Your Rights as an Air Passenger.


Are you a frequent plane passenger because of your job or hobby?  Have you ever experienced being marooned in a strange place or island because your flight got delayed or worse, cancelled?  Have you ever felt short-changed with the kind of service and assistance given to you while boarding, during the flight, and upon arriving at your destination?

It pays to know that the government recognizes the rights of an air passenger.  As a matter of fact, we have an Administrative Order that covers these rights.  Sadly though, not everyone is aware of the Air Passenger’s Bill of Rights and so when they get faced with a “cancelled flight” or find out that their luggage have been damaged while being handled by airline employees, they simply shrug it off, not knowing that they can actually claim for compensation for these inconveniences. Read more:


Dengue Confinements are Covered by PhilHealth.


Does PhilHealth cover dengue fever cases?

Yes.  That is why it is important that you keep your PhilHealth account updated because you never know when serious illnesses might attack.

PhilHealth’s coverage for dengue fever is based on the severity of the patient’s case.  There are simple cases of dengue and there are those that are listed as severe.  PhilHealth coverage will always be based on the attending physician’s final diagnosis.  Below is the list of case rates for dengue fever. Read more:


Domestic Adoption: Can I Adopt My Own Child?


Joy gave birth to her eldest daughter before she turned 17 years old.  Since she was too young to care for her infant, her parents decided to claim Joy’s daughter as their own.  The baby was named Mia and Joy’s parents were listed as the baby’s parents in her birth certificate.

Ten years later, Joy married Mia’s biological father.  A few months into their marriage, both decided that it is time they took over the parental responsibilities for their one and only child.  This includes changing Mia’s last name to the last name of her biological father.  A lawyer friend explained that in order to achieve this, they need to adopt Mia.

Why do you need to adopt your own child? Read more:


What Charges Can Be Filed Against A Philandering Husband and His Mistress?



Have these things been happening in your home lately?

  • Husband taking his mobile phone everywhere he goes, even in the shower.
  • Credit card charges made at restaurants you know you’ve never visited with your spouse ever.
  • Frequent “company trips” to romantic places like Tagaytay, Baguio, and Palawan.  And no, wives and kids are not invited.
  • A new perfume, watch, or expensive shirt you know your husband won’t buy for himself even if his life depended on it.

Different people may have different means to crack a ‘philandering husband’ or ‘cheating wife’ code, but all would probably have the same agenda: to snatch the unfaithful partner away from the interloper and save the marriage.  In extreme cases though, the discovery of a spouse’s unfaithfulness often result to separation.  And since the cost of annulment in the Philippines is prohibitive, the ex-couple would resort to living apart while they try to ‘move on’ and make sense of their complicated situation. Read more:


How to Apply for a UMID Card.


The UMID Card, or the Unified Multi-Purpose ID card ay ang pinag-isang ID para sa SSS, GSIS, Pagibig, at Philhealth members.  It is considered a valid government-issued ID and is honored in all transactions with the four government agencies mentioned above.

Madali lang mag apply for a UMID card and getting one is free of charge.  It has security features similar with the new Phlpost ID.  Kung GSIS member ka, mas madaling mag apply ng loan at mag check ng account through GWAPS kiosk gamit ang UMID because all you need to do is tap the card on UMID-compliant GWAPS machine to begin transacting! Read more:


How to Become a PhilHealth Member: Requirements and Procedures.


The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is responsible for implementing universal health coverage for Filipinos.  Every Pinoy must be listed as a member of the PhilHealth and make regular contributions to secure his claims in the event that he gets sick or gets into a medical emergency.  In the same manner, PhilHealth, being a social insurance program, provides a means for the healthy to pay for the care and wellness of the sick and those who cannot readily afford medical procedures and assistance.

As soon as an individual reaches the age of 21, whether employed or still studying, he or she must already be enrolled and provided with a PhilHealth number.

How does one become a PhilHealth member?  Here are the steps, procedures, and requirements to get a PhilHealth number and begin making contributions to the agency. Read more:


What You Need to Prepare for your Child’s Passport Application.


Applicants who are below 18 years old have a different set of general requirements and other documents depending on the child’s status (illegitimate, traveling without either parent, etc.).  The parents’ passports are vital requirements and must be included in the documents and IDs to be submitted when applying at a DFA office.  In cases where the child is illegitimate, the mother must be present throughout the whole passport application process. Read more:


Where to Get the First Corrected Copy of Your PSA Document.


Errors in your civil registry documents could adversely affect your transactions with the government or private establishments.  Often, erroneous birth certificates and other documents from the PSA are referred to the LCR of the place where the birth, death, or marriage was originally recorded.  Misspelled names and other obvious clerical corrections are rectified through a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error while more complicated cases are referred to a legal counsel or, sometimes, are heard in court.

One way or the other, the error is corrected or the missing information is supplied, and the owner of the civil registry document is then able to acquire an accurate copy of his PSA certificate. Read more:


Quick Guide to Getting Married in the Philippines.


We are sharing a quick summary of important facts you need to know if you plan to get married in the Philippines.  We hope you find this article helpful.


  1. PSA Birth Certificate of couple.
  2. PSA Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) of both parties.
  3. If one of the parties is not a citizen of the Philippines, he or she needs to present his or her passport and a legal capacity to contract marriage.
  4. Age requirements:
  • Below 18 years old cannot get married, even if parents give their consent.
  • 18 years old to 25 years old can get married with parental consent.
  • 26 years old and above, can get married without parental consent.
  1. Apply for a marriage license at the local civil registrar of the city or municipality where either the bride or groom resides. The marriage license is valid for 120 days from the date of issuance. If you fail to get married within the 120 days, you will have to secure a new one.
  2. Attend pre-marital counseling and family planning seminars. The LCR will ask for your attendance certificates to these seminars before you are issued your marriage license.
  3. Previous Marriages. Read more:

Applying for a Philippine Passport? Here’s What You Need to Prepare.


At first glance, the list of requirements needed when applying for a Philippine passport could be intimidating.  This is one reason why most Pinoys choose to apply for their passports only at the first sign of an imminent travel abroad.  Very few realize that a passport is a government-issued identification that everyone must have in their possession: like a driver’s license or an SSS ID.

To help you prepare for your passport application, we are providing the complete list of requirements, as published by the Department of Foreign Affairs.  The following lists cover the general requirements as well as other special requirements depending on the applicant’s case (dual citizenship, applicants below 18 years old, minors not traveling with parents, etc.). Read more:


PSA Birth Certificate Problems S.O.S.: Summary Of Solutions!


“Noong ‘80s, nakakuha ako ng kopya ng NSO birth certificate ko.  Ngayon, nag request ulit ako, sabi sa akin ‘No Name’ na daw ako!  Bakit nawala yung record ko eh meron na nga dati?”

This is a common confusion among us Pinoys when we are told that we “have a problem with our birth certificate”.  When we hear the word “no”, we automatically think that we do not have a record with the PSA (formerly NSO).

We received the above question from a follower and took it upon ourselves to clarify the matter for everyone’s benefit.  It is important that we are all aware of the differences in our concerns with our birth certificates so we would also know the most effective and efficient solution we could apply. Read more:


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.

7 tips-passport-photo-captured-dfa

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: