iRant: Online NBI application process is pointless

Who else thinks the NBI clearance application process needs to be fixed?

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recently launched a website where applicants can apply for their clearances both for new applicants and renewals.

One simply has to head over to the NBI Application Form’s website and fill up the respective fields. The website then provides the user with a Registration Code and a QR code. The user has the option of also printing out the application form with the encoded data. I was pretty impressed at this point.

The second part of the process is to head to the NBI Clearance Center. In this case I headed to the NBI Regional Office here in Cebu City. Upon arriving at the NBI Regional Office and witnessing the infamous long lines and chaos, I was dismayed to find out that Online Applicants were scheduled to appear on a particular day for their clearances by filling up a paper with their respective name and registration code. Haven’t we graduated from this already? Aren’t we supposing to be heading towards a paperless system?

Furthermore, the individual who was manning the Online Applicant Schedule forms mentioned that we, online applicants, would still need to line up with the rest of those who didn’t fill up the online forms. What’s the use of having an online application system, then? At this point, I was disgusted and frustrated at how pathetic and ineffective the system is. I walked out.

SLOW AND LONG. Applicants for NBI clearance wait at the NBI center in Cebu. Photo by Jose Farrugia

Money well spent?

Let’s get rational here. The NBI was given a budget to implement an effective online application system in order to reduce the usual disorganization and mayhem caused at the NBI Clearance Centers when acquiring the blessed NBI Clearance Forms.

Here’s how the current system could be improved upon:

Firstly, a separate line for those who filled up the Online Application Forms should be established. It’s pointless in lining up with the rest.

Secondly, the NBI should accept payments online may it be via Credit Card Payments, Bank Transfer or the usual over the counter transactions at the NBI Clearance Centers. Come on, we’re living in the 21st century already!

Thirdly, an express lane for Online Applicants who have completed the form and paid online can be formed in which their thumb marks and picture can be taken. Once that has been accomplished, the clearance can then be printed out or mailed to a respective address.

The current system in place is useless, broken and redundant. The government is giving the public a false impression that things are improving while in reality they’re not. We’re not fools nor sheep. The system is backwards and still not at par with what other ASEAN countries have to offer to their citizens. Wasn’t the Philippines labeled as Asia’s new “Rising Tiger?” The Philippines is being left behind as an “Extinct Asian Tiger.” – 

Jose Farrugia is a Content Creator for MangoChico and a YouTuber based in Cebu City.

Do you have a story to tell about your experience in a government office? Can you offer concrete solutions on how we can improve government services? Send in your contributions to with the subject line #doitright.