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A day at the City Hall

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by , 07-25-2012 at 02:51 PM (3290 Views)
While processing some Philhealth requirements, I went to the Local Civil Registrar. It took me an hour to get hold of a local birth certificate. What a great experience it was. And that was coated with sarcasm.

I had been referred to three different buildings because when I asked the staff where the Local Civil Registry is located, I deduced that it’s either they don’t know how to give good directions or they don’t know their own offices.

When I entered the premises, there was this lady at the stairs giving forms. Shedidn’t have a uniform, she looked like she came straight from vending outside and happens to just sit in that particular spot. Her leg was up in the chair while talking to an acquaintance and I excused myself and asked her a question as to where do I go first to process my request. She seemed annoyed and said, “Mobayad pa kaha ka didto sa Treasurer’s Office!” (You have to pay first at the Treasurer’s Office). She said this matter-of-factly as if everyone knows this information. I kindly asked where the Treasurer’s Office is and with her leg still strewn in the chair, she pointed with her lips and said, “Didto o!” (There!). And she went back to her talk with her talk. It seemed important so I didn’t dare bother her or else I might strangle someone.

Note that this was around 2pm on a Cebu summer day. The scorching heat of the sun penetrates to your core and leaves you dry-mouthed. So, I crossed the street to another building for the Treasurer’s office. While there were different counters and their signs seemed to be saying this counter is for something, etc., people were not lining up and they seemed to be cutting in wherever’s available. Good thing, my “counter” had good people and we tried to talk and lined up according to who was there first. The payment was faster than I expected but thanks to the people on line with me. Less thanks to the non-smiling personnel who did not give me any change because she didn’t have enough, she said. I let go of the P5 and went on with my way.

I went back to the leg-strewing lady at the Local Civil Registry and she lazily pointed her lips upstairs and said, “Window 2”. Poor lady, she must have been so tired all day with her neuron-inducing work of giving directions to requesters. I went upstairs, went to Window 2.Most of the people inside are sitting on their tables, eating banana cue and laughing wholeheartedly. Oh, what a fun sight it was. But not for the heat-stricken requesters outside.

I gave my request and my ID and without looking at me, this teenager (what are these kids doing in government offices?) returned my request in a puff and grudgingly said, “ID Number” and I said, “What?” and he said, “Isulat ang ID number. Alangan naman sad ako ang mosulat pa ana..” (Write your ID number, as if I’m the one who will write it for you”). I told him, “Tarunga ko ug sturya kay makasabot ra ko.” (Talk to me kindly because I can understand). He stared at me and I stared at him. I won the staring battle and he went back to hisbanana cue snack break (note: 2:30pm, an hour and 30minutes after lunch break) after I gave him back my request.

They had a policy printed in wrong grammar: “No ID, No RELEASED”. And old woman approached one of the teenage employees and gave her cedula. It so happened I was at the old woman’s side. The teenage employee said, “Naunsa man tawn uy, di kaha ni pwede. Kaila kag ID? Di kaha ni ID. (What the heck. This is not an ID. Do you know what an ID is?”

The disrespect infuriated me and I can’t help but butt in, “Kaila kag respeto dong? Tarunga kaha na ug sturya si Manang kay basin makasabot na kung tarungon” (Do you know respect? Try talking nicely to the old lady so she can understand). And he was looking at me with smoldering eyes and I talked kindly to the old lady and told her what ID’s are authorized in this certain office. She nodded in understanding and offered a Senior Citizen ID, gave it to the teenage boy, and without thanking any of us who just did a job that was supposed to be his, went back to whatever he’s doing.

They also had a rule of “No shorts/ No sleeveless shirts inside”. A man wearing maong shorts was denied entry. He was even suggested that he buy long pants in a nearby mall so he can enter. The man said he came all the way from Naga and he doesn’t have enough money with him to buy the long pants. There was no explanation whatsoever on the stupid rule and why it can’t be bent during such circumstances. I said, “But I am wearing shorts. How come I was able to enter?” And I was wearing shorts. They looked at me and were looking at each other,trying to communicate non-verbally. As they were obviously shamed that I was able to pass, they let the guy pass and said, “Pagdali” (Hurry up). The guy gave me grateful smile and went on his way.

Anyway, I had to wait for around 30minutes before my request was released. The waiting area by the way, had no fan amidst the scorching heat, the waiting benches were about to collapse and I had to witness more power-bashing from seemingly drunk teenagers who clearly does not have any sense of customer service.

Now, this makes me think and motivated me to write this article. My mind was trying to analyze how it could have been so much better if there were clear-cut written-instructions outside so that their work could have been much better. They won’t get frustrated on people not understanding their processes. Moreover, it helps if proper customer service is given.

I hate going to government offices for processing. Most people act as if the citizens owe them anything when in fact, these employees owe so much more to these citizens, who are paying taxes so that they can have their butts on those chairs.

Seriously. If you hate government bashing, then please act like you don’t deserve it.
jhanjhan and bbj like this.


  1. cyareful's Avatar
    working in government offices doesn't give them any right to be rude..taxes from our hard-earned money serves as their salary..they should be kind and grateful in return..
    thisbe.ara and jhanjhan like this.
  2. miaka_cham's Avatar
    Sigh. Going to government offices are often than not a nightmare! I really hate to see them being rude esp. to the elderly. Oh government, when will you ever change!
    thisbe.ara likes this.
  3. pinoyinvesting's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cyareful
    working in government offices doesn't give them any right to be rude..taxes from our hard-earned money serves as their salary..they should be kind and grateful in return..
    i share your sentiment. they should be assisting their customers at the least.
    thisbe.ara and cyareful like this.


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