Friday, March 22, 2013

Passport Renewal & SSS Card Replacement Saga

Last year, my wallet was stolen in MRT along with my precious SSS ID I waited a year for its delivery plus my passport is expiring in 7 months so I really need to allot an entire day bye VL for this!

How to renew your passport
Unfortunately, Philippine passports expire every 5 years, so its a good thing that DFA has an efficient system. I had a good experience on passport application but kind of unlucky renewal experience.

1) Set an appointment online or through phone
Go to and choose your preferred branch (SM Manila, SM Megamall or Galleria) and date.

2) Prepare the requirements
I actually prepared A LOT - NSO certified birth certificate, ITR, etc, but it turned out that the only requirement that I needed to submit was my old brown passport along with the photocopy of the page with photo and last page. 

3) Fall in line
On my appointment date, I went to SM Manila 45 minutes before my scheduled time. There was a long but tolerable line. I really think that they are one of the most efficient government offices, once I got inside there's even a photocopy area for those who forgot about that requirement.  On the right side of the wall there's a poster of the step by step process along with the estimated time that will be spent on each. All in all, each applicant will spend 17 minutes but this doesn't include the time for falling in line. I think the 17 minutes time is correct BUT I spent an hour each for steps 1&3
Step1: Processing - The monitor is really helpful in keeping track of the progress. There were 80 applicants before me but it only took an hour for my turn. When your number shows up on screen, go to the corresponding counter and present your requirements. They'll assess if its approved or declined.
Step2: Cashier - Choose either Express for PHP1200, 7 working days processing or Standard for PHP900, 15 working days processing.
Step3: Encoding - I had to wait for an hour for my turn because they experienced a technical problem. Lucky mei! Make sure to double check your details while its being encoded to avoid hassles. Its also where my photo, signature and fingerprints were taken. 
Step4: Delivery -  You can opt to pick it up on the same branch but I chose to pay PHP120 for delivery fee!  Money can buy convenience hahaha

7 working days to go and I'll have my new passport, I cant wait to use it!!

How to apply for SSS replacement card:
1) Prepare the requirements
* Download the E6 form 
* Get the R6 form -  I downloaded the R6 form online but for some reason SSS Caloocan wont accept it. The online version is just 1 page and the form from SSS branch is 4 pieces.
* Affidavit of loss 
* Valid ID - voter's ID/passport or any government issued ID.

2) Pay for the replacement card 
The lady guard from SSS told me that I just need to present the R6 form and pay 300 pesos to ANY bank except BDO. I tried smaller banks like San Miguel Bank of Commerce, United Asia Bank and the one beside UnionBank Caloocan to no avail. It turned out that UnionBank accepts SSS payments even if you don't have an account with them.

3) Fall in line for E6 approval 
Based on experience, the key here is choosing the right branch and timing! I first attempted to go to an SSS branch near my office, I went there at around 8am and the place was packed! This time, I went to SSS Caloocan on a Friday afternoon. Lo and behold, I'm 2nd in line for E6 assessment! I just presented the R6-bank receipt, E6 form, affidavit of loss and my voter's ID. After encoding which took about at least  5 minutes, I'm ready for the last step!

4) ID Capture time
Surprisingly, there's no line for ID Capture section where I had my digital signature, fingerprints and photo taken. I also received my receipt and was informed that it will be mailed within 2-3 months!

I never imagined that I'll complete this SSS card replacement saga in 15 minutes! I guess that's why they say "expect the worse and hope for the best!"

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