Category: General Topics


June 13

If you are planning to visit South Korea anytime soon, it is good to know that you no longer need to wait in line by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to get a visa.  Starting July 1, 2018, South Korea visitors may secure their visas through authorized travel agencies!

According to the Korean Embassy, the number of visa applicants increased from 90,000 in 2015 to 120,000 by the end of 2016.  As a result, the embassy is now never without visa applicants, waiting in line for their turn to submit their documents and be granted their visas.  Others who cannot be accommodated in the premises of the embassy have to wait under the sweltering heat of the sun until they are called inside for their turn.

In order to reduce the foot traffic in the embassy premises, applicants are now invited to submit their visa applications at any of the following authorized travel agencies:

  • Aboex Travel and Tours
  • Adventure International
  • Ark Travel Express, Inc.
  • Blue Horizons Travel and Tours, Inc.
  • Budget Travel and Tours, Inc.
  • Casto Travel Philippines, Inc.
  • City Travel and Tours Corporation
  • Come On Philippines Golf and Travel Agency, Inc.
  • Constellation Travels, Inc.
  • First United Travel, Inc.
  • Getaway Tours International Inc.
  • Grand Hope Travel, Inc.
  • H.I.S. (Philippines) Travel Corp.
  • Hanatour Manila Inc.
  • HankookCeb Corp.
  • Horizon Travel and Tours, Inc.
  • International Journeys, Inc.
  • Island Resort Club Tour Services, Inc.
  • JTB Asia Pacific Philippine Corporation
  • KP Joeun Consultancy, Inc.
  • Las Palmas Tours and Travel Agency, Inc.
  • Marsman Drysdale Travel, Inc.
  • MNK Travel and Tours Corp.
  • North Star International Travel, Inc.
  • Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
  • Party-On Travel and Tour Community Inc.
  • Rajah Travel Corporation
  • Rakso Air Travel and Tours, Inc.
  • Reli Tours and Travel Company
  • Sharp Travel Service (Philippines) Inc.
  • Swire Travel Philippines, Inc.
  • The Baron Travel Corporation
  • Travel Pros
  • Travelservices, Inc.
  • Uni-Orient Travel, Inc.

Take note that beginning July 1, the Korean Embassy will only entertain walk-in applicants for the following:

  • Spouses and children of Koreans;
  • Holders of Visa Issuance Number;
  • Government employees with official business trips; and
  • Those with humanitarian reason to travel to Korea urgently.

Applicants for Temporary Visitor’s Visa will no longer be accepted.

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/30/18/visa-application-for-korea-now-only-through-travel-agencies

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June 04

Apart from our birth and marriage certificates, the PSA will also be assigned to manage the national ID system once it is signed into law.

What are the personal information that the PSA will collect to form part of the national ID?

  1. Common Reference Number or CRN and other basic information.
  2. Biometrics
  3. Voter’s ID,
  4. Philippine Passport Number
  5. Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
  6. Philippine Health Insurance Number (PhilHealth)
  7. Professional Regulation Commission license number (PRC)
  8. Driver’s License Number

The PSA is authorized to release a person’s data only under the following conditions:

  • Upon the consent of the registered person, specific to the purpose prior to the processing.
  • Upon risk of public health and safety when relevant information may be disclosed, provided the risk of significant harm to the public is established and the owner of the information is notified within 72 hours of the fact of such disclosure.
  • Upon order of the court.
  • When a registered person requests access to his or her registered information and record history, subject to the guidelines and regulations to be issued by the PSA.

Ultimately, the national ID system aims to make the acquisition and delivery of government services easier for everyone while keeping fraudulent activities at bay.  The National Privacy Commission likewise ensures that the implementation of the national ID system shall fully adhere to the provisions of the Data Privacy Act, especially in the handling and processing of personal data.

The President is anticipated to sign the bill.  In case he does not, it will lapse into law after 30 days.

Do you agree that we should have a national ID to represent all other government IDs that we currently have?

Reference: https://www.rappler.com/nation/203725-national-id-system-philippines-ratified-duterte-signature

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May 29

If you are planning on working abroad, one of the first things you need to take care of is your security.  Be wary of illegal recruiters and fake job agencies that can only get you in serious trouble with abusive employers abroad.  In order to avoid being in an OFW Horror Story, you need to account your employment with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or the POEA.

Who is the POEA?

The POEA is primarily responsible for securing the best employment terms of Pinoy migrant workers, from the moment they engage with a recruiter in the Philippines until they are deployed to their respective employers.   POEA works alongside its sister agency, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) to ensure that the Pinoy overseas workers’ welfare is respected and upheld, wherever he may be.

POEA provides services to help OFWs gain their legal status through the proper documents and certifications before leaving the country, while the OWWA is responsible for cases and concerns involving OFWs who are already deployed abroad.

What does the POEA do?

  1. They issue licenses to recruitment and placement and manning agencies for land-based and sea-based workers, respectively.
  2. They monitor and supervise the operations of these recruitment and manning agencies.
  3. They monitor the government’s anti-illegal recruitment program and conducts anti-illegal recruitment seminars nationwide.
  4. They cascade information and expose facts about illegal recruiters, job scams, laws in other countries concerning migrant workers, and other overseas employment-related matters.
  5. The POEA only allows deployment to countries that protect OFW rights with respect to the requirements of the Amended Migrant Workers Act.  These countries are certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  6. They provide legal assistance to Filipinos who fell victim to illegal recruitment and job scams.
  7. They help provide repatriation assistance to displaced OFWs.

Overseas Employment:

  1. They handle the accreditation of foreign employers who hire OFWs.
  2. They process the approval of job orders or requests for workers received from other countries.
  3. They conduct the necessary pre-employment orientation seminars for job applicants.
  4. They evaluate and process employment contracts.

 

You can avoid becoming the next victim of job scammers and illegal recruiters if you acquaint yourself with the requirements and services of the POEA.  The processes that you will be required to undergo (seminars, submission of documents) may look tedious at first but you will realize that it is so much better that taking the shortcut with a possible illegal recruiter.

The government’s primary concern is the safety and welfare of Pinoys who will be working on foreign soil.  And the only way the government can be successful in this endeavor is if all aspiring OFWs (and even those who have already been deployed), would cooperate with the POEA’s processes and requirements.

Tomorrow we are going to feature the different key services offered by the POEA to prospective OFWs.

Reference: www.poea.gov.ph

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May 15

Pinoys have yet to fully accept the values and benefits of being insured.  Whether it is a life or medical insurance, every working Filipino must be protected from the inevitable.  When unfortunate situations arise – a family member gets sick, a child meets an accident – it is best to be prepared.

If you are employed by the government or by a private firm, it is most likely that you are granted a medical insurance sponsored by your employer.  This is a good thing to have, especially if it is extended to your family.  However, this is only applicable while you are salaried by your employer.  The moment you quit your job (or it quits you!), you lose the privilege and will be left on your own to manage when you or someone in your family gets sick.

That is why it is important that you have yourself enlisted as a member of the PhilHealth, if you haven’t yet.  The PhilHealth voluntary membership is open to anyone who does not have a fixed employment, not a senior citizen, not an indigent member, or sponsored member of the PhilHealth.

Who are qualified to become voluntary PhilHealth members?

  1. OFWs – documented or undocumented Filipino workers abroad.
  2. Self-employed professionals – self-earning individuals such as entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, and freelancers whose income is generated from their profession or business.
  3. Informal sector workers – people working in the informal economy, including jeepney and tricycle drivers, street and market vendors, and small construction workers.
  4. Dual citizens – Filipinos who also hodl citizenship in another country.
  5. Naturalized Filipino citizens – foreigners who have become Filipino citizens through naturalization.
  6. Expats – foreign workers who live in the Philippines with valid working permits or Alien Certificate of Registration.

What documentary requirements do you need to prepare when applying?

You only need a duly accomplished PhilHealth Member Registration Form (PMRF) and submit this to the nearest Local Health Insurance Office or PhilHealth Express outlet.

You will then be issued a Member Data Record or MDR and an ID card after your application has been reviewed.  Your PhilHealth ID number will serve as your lifetime PhilHealth number and must be used as reference when you pay your contributions to the cashier.

Online application is also available!

  1. Go to the PhilHealth Electronic Registration System.
  2. Click on “Proceed”.
  3. Read the Terms and Conditions, tick the small box below, and click “Accept”.
  4. On the PhilHealth online registration form, enter the required information.
  5. Upload your document in jpeg, pdf, gif, or png format.  (optional)
  6. Enter the provided Captcha code, tick the small box below, and click “Submit Registration”.

Access your email for the instructions on how to complete the rest of your application.  Take note of your transaction number as this will serve as your reference number to your registration.

How much should be my contribution?

Members earning PHP 25,000 or below every month must pay a quarterly contribution of PHP 600 (or PHP 200 per month / PHP 2,400 per year).

Members earning over PHP 25,000 must pay PHP 900 for the quarter (or PHP 300 per month / PHP 3,600 per year).

It costs so little to become a bona fide PhilHealth member, but the assurance of knowing that you are covered by the PhilHealth when emergencies strike will far outweigh the price you think you are paying now.

Visit the nearest PhilHealth office now and have yourself signed up as a member.

Reference: http://www.philhealth.gov.ph

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May 15-1

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?

You only need to visit the LTO Online System at https://www.lto.net.ph and book your appointment.  You will be required to key in your address and contact details, as well as your driver’s license number.  Don’t worry, the site runs on a secure platform with an HTTPS encryption so all your information is safe and cannot be accessed by hackers.

Is this open to all areas that have an LTO branch?

LTO is currently running the project in five pilot branches in Metro Manila but their direction is to have it available nationwide.  Here are the branches that accept appointments made through the LTO PASS system:

  1. Central Office in East Avenue, Quezon City
  2. Novaliches, Quezon City
  3. Marikina
  4. Muntinlupa
  5. Pasig City

The agency is targeting to have all branches activated with the PASS by the end of the year.  While the roll-out is ongoing, the LTO will continue to accept walk-in applicants for driver’s license and car registration renewal.

For now, the PASS facility will only be accepting renewal transactions for driver’s license and car registration.  All other transactions are still on a first-come, first-served basis.

How to use the PASS online facility:

  1. Log on to the site https://www.lto.net.ph/LTO/Online and prepare to provide the following information:
  • Driver’s License Details
    • Driver’s License Number
    • Birthdate
  • License Holder’s Information
    • First, Middle, and Last Names
    • Home Address
    • Email Address
    • Mobile Number
  1. Click on Drive’s License Renewal or Motor Vehicle Renewal.
  2. Read the terms and conditions. Tick the small box at the bottom of the page to agree to the terms.
  3. Enter the CAPTCHA code and click Continue.
  4. Fill out the online appointment form and submit.
  5. Choose the branch, date, and time you wish to have the renewal processed. The system is able to determine if your license is already about to expire and will only take you to the scheduling page if your license is up for renewal.
  6. A confirmation email will be sent to you as soon as you are done booking an appointment online. Save this and show it to the LTO staff on the day of your appointment.

Try this new system from the LTO and let us know about your experience!

References:

http://www.lto.gov.ph

https://www.lto.net.ph/LTO/Online

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May 09

When I first learned how to drive, I was made to memorize the mnemonic BLOWBAG, which stood for Battery, Lights, Oil, Water, Brakes, Air, and Gas.  It helped me get started on responsible driving and car ownership.  It has become second nature to me, checking all items under BLOWBAG before I leave my garage, every single day.

This year, I was surprised to learn that the mnemonic has evolved into something new, something more catchy.  And I am glad to know that they have included more items to check that are equally important as the original BLOWBAG.  Thanks to the PNP-Highway Patrol Group for coming up with BLOWBAGETS!

Since I find this helpful (and fun!), let me share with you some insights about this new driving mnemonic as my way of encouraging fellow car owners and drivers to be more responsible to prevent accidents and car breakdowns, especially when taking long drives this summer.

What’s in BLOWBAGETS?  Read on!

  1. Battery

You try to start your engine but all it gives you is nothing short of a scoff or snicker.  You try it again and get the same response.  Uh-oh.  Your battery may have died on you.  For some weird reason, my car would give me warning signals that its batteries are about to go out.  Weeks before it dies, my car alarm would often go crazy, sounding off for no reason at all.

I am just thankful that it has not died on me in a remote area or in the dead of the night, or when I am faced with an emergency.  Still, I need to remind myself that checking my car’s battery for clean terminals, proper cable-to-terminal connections, and charge will save me the hassle of having to change my batteries in public and right when I am rushing to get home or to the office.

Car batteries normally take three to four years before they burn out.  It helps to keep a record of when you had yours replaced so you could estimate when you would need a replacement.

  1. Lights

This is easy.  I simply ask someone to stand in front and at the back of the car while I test my headlights, break, signal, and tail lights.  I am especially concerned about my lights when I will be driving at night.

Apart from the bulbs working, you also need to be sure that the lights are free from dirt, cracks, and breakage.

  1. Oil

This one I learned to do when I was 9 years old.  I thought it was fun pulling out the oil dipstick and checking to see for any change in oil color or level.  I realized later on that the oil is a critical element in the car engine’s life as too little of it can cause serious damages in the car’s moving parts.

Check your car’s engine oil everyday for color, level, and leaks.  Know when it is time to refill to avoid expensive repair bills.

  1. Water

Is there enough water in your radiator?

Always check to see that your radiator is properly hydrated, especially during the summer season.  Those water bottles that jeepney and taxi drivers keep in their trunk?  Those are first-aid remedies for overheated vehicles; you should keep some in your car too.

  1. Brakes

Nawalan ako ng preno, eh.

Nope, don’t let it happen to you.  How do you check if your brakes are working fine?  Step on the brake pedal and press all the way to the floor.  There should not be any resistance, air, or spongy feel to it.  If the brakes feel hard or seem like it is resisting your pressure, have it checked right away.

A personal precaution I observe too is the no-water-bottle-on-the-floor policy in my car.  I always remind my passengers to use the bottle holders found in the interior of the car and to never leave a water bottle lying on the floor.  These bottles could roll to the driver’s side and block the brake pedal without being noticed.

  1. Air

Do I know how to replace a flat tire?  Yes.

Do I like replacing a flat tire?  No.

Before leaving home, check that all your tires are properly inflated, free from bulges and any sharp objects that may be stuck to its surface.  If you are not comfortable checking with just your eyes, head over to the nearest gasoline station or vulcanizing shop to have each tire’s pressure gauged properly.

  1. Gas

That all important fuel that we all love to ignore.

Running out of gas while on the road is not only stressful, it’s embarrassing!  So don’t wait until your gas gauge starts flashing that annoying red light before you finally stop by a gas station.  Refill as soon as the pin goes a little below the half-tank meter.

  1. Engine

Best way to detect an engine problem?  Listen.

My dad would tell us to switch off our car’s A/C while on a long drive, roll down our windows, and listen to our car’s engine.  He likes doing this while we’re speeding down NLEX!  He loves listening to the engine’s hum.

If you are familiar with your engine’s sound, you would know right away if something is amiss, such as when you hear an unfamiliar tap, knock, or any other kind of noise that you are sure you haven’t heard from your engine before.

  1. Tires

Apart from it having the right air pressure, your tires must not be so worn out that the grooves have become too shallow.  I check mine by placing a one-peso coin into my tires’ grooves; if the coin goes almost all the way down, I’m good.  But if more than half of the coin remains visible, I’d know it’s time to buy new tires.

  1. Self

Am I sleepy?  Do I have alcohol in my system?  Am I disoriented, stressed, or suffering from one of my many migraine attacks?

Believe it or not, these can gravely affect your driving skills and may cause you and the people around you unnecessary harm.  Please do not go behind the wheel when you are experiencing any of the above conditions.  If you are sick and feel that you need to be taken to the hospital and no one is around to drive for you, hail a cab or request for a car from Grab instead.

Remember that even if your car is in tip-top shape, if you as the driver are not, you are still running the risk of damaging yourself and your vehicle.

Apart from all those, my dad would also remind us to always have the complete documents of our vehicles within our reach – keeping the original copies at home and photocopies in the car’s glove compartment.

There you have it, folks!  A new mnemonic that drivers and soon-to-be drivers need to memorize by heart.  Share this will all the people you care about!  Drive safely!

Reference: www.gmanetwork.com

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May 08

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.

What are the requirements when securing an OEC?

  1. Passport with at least six months validity from departure date.
  2. Valid work visa, work permit, or any equivalent document.
  3. Verified employment contract or offer of employment.
  4. Printed Balik-Manggagawa Information Sheet

Other documents may be required depending on the required skills (professional, low-skilled, household services).  Canada and US workers will be required to submit additional requirements.  Always bring the original and photocopies of your documents.

Are there fees that need to be paid?

  • POEA Processing Fee – PHP 100 per e-receipt/OEC
  • OWWA Membership Fee – USD 25 (or its PHP equivalent)
  • Pag-IBIG Contribution – Minimum of PHP 100 each month
  • PhilHealth Contribution – PHP 2,400 for one-year coverage

How to apply for an OEC:

There are two ways to apply for an OEC:

Walk-in applicants may apply at any of these processing centers:

  • POEA main office at EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City (Balik-ManggagawaProcessing Division/BMPD)
  • POEA regional offices, regional extension units, and satellite offices.
  • Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in the country of employment.
  • Labor Assistance Counters at Manila, Cebu, and Mindanao airports (only for returning OFWs who are staying in the Philippines for five days or less).

You may also set an appointment online at the BM Online Appointment System; this will allow you to choose your preferred schedule and venue for processing of your OEC.

Walk-in applications, including those who have scheduled appointments, may take the whole day or several days to complete.

How to get an OEC Exemption

If you are an OFW and are returning to the same employer or workplace, and have an existing record with the POEA, you can be exempted from the OEC requirements.  All you have to do is log in to your BM online account before your scheduled departure and click on “Acquire OEC or Exemption”.  The system will show a pop-up confirmation message of your BM Exemption Number and pre-departure instructions on what documents you need to present at the airport.

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May 07

If you are a member of the Social Security System and the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG (HDMF), you have various privileges such as short-term loan applications, housing loans, educational loans, and retirement benefits.  You have the option to choose one from the other or maximize both.

Today we are going to feature the similarities and differences between one of the most common loan applications offered by both agencies – salary loan.  Both are popular among employed Pinoy members because both offer lower interest rates and light payment schemes.

If you are thinking of borrowing money from a bank or any other lending facility, it may help to read first on the following facts about SSS and Pag-IBIG salary loans.

What are the requirements when applying for a salary loan?

The primary requirements are that you have to be an active member of either Pag-IBIG or SSS and have paid the minimum contributions prescribed by the agencies.

  • Pag-IBIG requires the following in terms of membership:
    • 24 monthly membership savings;
    • Have paid at least one monthly contribution within the last six months before your loan application date.
    • Any existing Pag-IBIG multi-purpose loan, calamity, or housing loan must not be in default at the time of your new loan application.
  • SSS requires the following in terms of membership:
    • If you are applying for a loan that is worth your one-month salary, you must have paid at least 36 total monthly contributions and at least six monthly contributions within the last 12 months before your loan application date.
    • For two-month salary loans, the minimum requirements are 72 total monthly contributions and 6 monthly contributions within the last 12 months.
    • Make sure that your employer has remitted all your SSS contributions on time. You may check the updates on your contributions online by signing up for a My.SSS account at the SSS website.

How much can you borrow from Pag-IBIG and SSS?

  • Pag-IBIG
    • Amount of loan will depend on your preferred loan amount, loan entitlement or capacity to pay, whichever is lowest.
    • A qualified member borrower may borrow 80% of his total accumulated value (TAV) which consists of all his monthly contributions, employer’s contributions, and accumulated Pag-IBIG dividends.
    • If the borrower has an exsisting calamity loan, Pag-IBIG will deduct the calamity loan’s outstanding balance from the 80% of the TAV.
  • SSS
    • Qualified SSS member borrowers may borrow an amount equal to their one-month salary, up to P15,000.  Those with at least 72 monthly contributions are entitled to a two-month loan worth twice their salary up to P30,000.
    • To determine the loan amount, SSS shall get the average of the loan applicant’s monthly salary for the last 12 months of employment.

What are the loan interest rates and fees?

Interest rates:

  • Pag-IBIG imposes an interest rate of 10.75% per year throughout the loan term.
  • SSS charges a 10% annual interest rate on the outstanding principal balance.

Both agencies base the interest computation on diminished principal balance, which means that the interest becomes lower as the loan gets paid over time.

Loan processing fees:

The SSS deducts a service fee of 1% of the total loan amount; Pag-IBIG does not come with a processing fee.

Late payment penalties:

  • Pag-IBIG charges 0.5% of the unpaid amount for every month of late payment.
  • SSS charges 1% per month of late payment.

How long does it take for the agencies to process salary loan applications?

Pag-IBIG takes about three to five working days to be approved and released, while SSS takes about two to three weeks, whether applied online or over-the-counter at an SSS office.

Should the agencies find any discrepancy in your account, the approval and release of proceeds might take even longer.

 How will the loan proceeds be released to the borrower?

  • Pag-IBIG
    • ATM withdrawal using a prepaid or cash card (from Citibank, Development Bank of the Philippines, or Landbank);
    • Bank account via Landbank’s Payroll Credit Systems Validation (PACSVAL) facility;
    • Check payable to the borrower.
  • SSS
    • Check or ATM withdrawal through their UMID card (you need to have your UMID card activated for ATM functionality.

What are the repayment terms?

  • Both agencies offer a maximum loan term of 24 months, starting on the second month from the loan approval date.
  • Both are paid monthly via salary deduction.  If the borrower is self-employed or is a voluntary member, loan installment payments may be done at any Pag-IBIG or SSS branch or any accredited bank or payment center.

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References:

www.sss.gov.ph

www.pagibigfund.gov.ph

 

Apr 30

The Department of Education has announced the age cut-off policy for incoming Kindergarten and Grade 1 students for school year 2018-2019.  Find out if your little one is qualified to step up!

  1. Children who are five years old by June 1 of every calendar year shall be accepted in Kindergarten by both public and private schools.
  2. Learners entering Kindergarten who will turn five years old by the end of August may be considered by schools provided that they are administered with the Philippine Early Childhood Development (ECD) checklist before the school year opens.
  3. Recognizing the difference in school year opening among schools, Kindergarten learners should be five years old by July 1, with an extension period until September 30, if their schools open the school year in July; and by August 1, with an extension period until October 31, if their schools open the school year in August.
  4. Learners who completed Kindergarten in SY 2017-2018 shall be allowed to enroll in Grade 1, given that they turned five years old within SY 2017-2018.
  5. Learners who will turn five years old within SY 2018-2019 shall be accepted in Kindergarten granted that they pass the Philippine ECD checklist.
  6. Incoming Kindergarten for SY 2019-2020 must strictly comply with the cut-off age policy.

The above provisions were announced by DepEd, following the issuance of the “Amendment to DepEd Order No. 47, S. 2016” otherwise known as the “Omnibus Policy on Kindergarten Education.  These policies are applicable to both public and private schools and providing for transitory provisions to accommodate Kindergarten and Grade One enrollees for SY 2018-2019 and SY 2019-2020.

Reference: http://www.deped.gov.ph

 

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Apr 24

About 2 weeks ago, while I was trying to withdraw funds from my savings account, my ATM card was captured by the machine.  I called my bank immediately to report the incident and was told to wait by the machine in case it spews my card back out.  It didn’t.  Finally, the agent asked me if my ATM is EMV-enabled.  I was not familiar with the term; she said an EMV-enabled card must have a chip embedded in it.

I said, no.  My card was the regular card with the magnetic strip at the back.  She then proceeded to explain that my card was not captured by accident.  The machine that I used was calibrated to capture and destroy ATM cards that are not EMV-enabled.  All I need to do now is visit a branch of my bank and request for a new ATM card, one that has the EMV chip.

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.

So why have all your ATM cards changed to EMV cards?  Read this!

  1. EMV allows more secure card-present transactions.

EMV smart cards offer better transaction security to all parties involved in the payment process.  While traditional magnetic stripe cards store all of your information in a single magnetic stripe (and a simple swipe is all it needs to complete a transaction), it also makes it easier for skimmers to intercept this information to create clones of your card.

EMV cards store your information in microprocessor smart chips that are encrypted to protect your data.  Unlike the magnetic stripe cards that leave all your card information available to just about anyone after a swipe, EMV chips make it more difficult to acquire and copy your data.  Encrypted information requires a certain technology in order for all stored data to be duplicated.

EMV cards also have various options for cardholder verification, unlike the magnetic cards where merchants only rely on your signature and any valid ID you can present – both can be copied and faked.

  1. EMV supports contact, contactless, and mobile transaction types.

EMV technology enables contactless transactions where cardholders tap their cards against the terminal.

Contact payments, such as the ones done in grocery counters, require the card to be inserted into the terminal for the duration of the transaction.

A more advanced feature of the EMV technology is the fast mobile wallet payment which allows customers to wave their smartphones over a terminal rather than dipping or tapping a card to a terminal.

  1. EMV is a global standard.

The Banko Sentral has ordered banks to issue EMV cards to all clients by June 2018.  This is a hard deadline that all banks must implement among its depositors.  If your ATM is not yet EMV-enabled, go visit your bank immediately to avoid the rush.

  1. Better information storage.

Since EMV chips are capable of storing more of your personal information, your identity as the owner and user of the card is likewise broader.  Unlike when using a magnetic stripe card where merchants only rely on your signature as proof of your identity, an EMV-enabled card provides more options to ensure that the card being used for the transaction is not stolen or duplicated.

  1. EMV systems can operate in offline mode.

EMV cards can perform offline transaction verification and offline cardholder verification.  This is one of the breakthroughs of the EMV technology that makes the magstripe cards look like play money.  EMV terminals can be configured to accept offline PIN codes, improving transaction security without requiring an online connection to banking systems.

If your card is not yet EMV-enabled, contact your bank now and ask how you can have your cards replaced with new ones.  If your old card gets captured in an ATM, don’t panic!  If your card is still magstripe, chances are it was captured more for your protection than anything else.  🙂

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