Tag Archive: nso birth certificate delivery


First Passport

You’ve been waiting for the perfect time to take your toddler with you on your next out-of-the-country trip and be able to finally take a selfie with him by the Disneyland arch in Hong Kong. His first four years, when he is beginning to become curious with his surroundings but is also already familiar with cartoon characters he sees on TV, is probably the best time to take him on such trips. He hasn’t started school yet so it would be easier to plan trips without worrying about school schedules. Also, his very own passport will serve as his very first I.D., valid and accepted in government and business establishments.

Applying for your child’s first passport is easy. At the DFA in Aseana (Pasay City), you do not even need to get an appointment if your child is seven years old and below. Just make sure that you have all the IDs and supporting documents required by the DFA. Below is an updated list lifted from the www.passport.com.ph

General Requirements:

  1. Confirmed appointment (except for 7 years old and below in DFA Aseana; 1 year old and below in other DFA branches).
  2. Personal appearance of minor applicant.
  3. Personal appearance of either parent and valid passport of parents (if minor is a legitimate child).
  4. Personal appearance of mother and proper ID or valid passport of mother (if minor is an illegitimate child).
  5. Original Birth Certificate of minor in Security Paper issued by the PSA or Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar and duly authenticated by PSA. Transcribed Birth Certificate from the LCR is required when entries in PSA Birth Certificate are blurred or unreadable. Report of Birth duly authenticated by PSA is required if minor was born abroad.
  6. Document of identity with photo, if minor is 8-17 years old (for first time and renewal applicant) such as School ID or Form 137 with readable dry seal.
    • For minor applicants who never attended school, a Notarized Affidavit of Explanation executed by either parent (if minor is a legitimate child) / by mother (if minor is an illegitimate child) detailing the reasons why the child is not in school, is required.
  7. Marriage Certificate of minor’s parents duly authenticated by PSA (for legitimate child).
  8. Original and photocopy of valid passport of the person traveling with the minor.

For the rest of the requirements on different cases of taking a minor on an overseas travel, visit www.passport.com.ph and click on Documentary Requirements.

Enjoy your trip!

Visa.jpg

Whether it’s for pleasure or business, traveling is most often part of a young urban professional’s annual itinerary. The experiences and opportunities gathered from these trips are otherwise not offered if you remain confined in the four corners of your home or office. It could be disappointing to miss an opportunity to travel, especially if the hindrances are as petty as:

  1. You still don’t have a passport.
  2. You do have one but you’ve let it expire.
  3. You don’t have a visa.

You can easily take care of the first two reasons by simply setting an appointment at www.passport.com.ph. Prepare the necessary documents such as your PSA certified Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate (if needed), and other supporting papers.  Appear before the DFA branch you set an appointment with and then wait for your passport to be delivered to you.

Getting over the third obstacle though could be quite intimidating.  Preparing the necessary documents and appearing before the interviewer are nerve-racking thoughts but are necessary if you are serious about obtaining a visa for a particular country.

Every Pinoy will have to go through this process; and the earlier you are able to complete the requirements and conquer the dreaded interview, the better!  So to help you prepare for your visa application process, here are five tips from Rappler (http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/travel/53687-visa-application-tips-travel).

1.File all frequently requested documents in one bag/envelope and label accordingly.

A clear book with sturdy covers can help you organize your documents. Make at least five copies of these documents and make sure that the photocopies are clear so you would not need to photocopy the original while you are at the embassy.

Documents to include in your file are:

  • PSA Certified Birth Certificate
  • PSA Certified Marriage Certificate (if annulled, you will probably need a copy of your Marriage Certificate annotated by the NSO certifying that the marriage was declared null and void).
  • Latest Income Tax Return
  • For business owners, include business permits, business license and (audited) financial statements.
  • Photocopies of previous visas you have been issued (if there are any).
  • ID pictures: Different embassies will have different size requirements, so when you have your picture taken, have the picture reproduced in different size dimensions. You can get one picture taken in the standard 2×2 white background and one in the US visa size and Schengen size. (Note that for all visa requirements, both ears must be shown and women should not be wearing earrings.)
  • Proof of income and ownership such as land titles and or car registration documents.

Your old passports with other visa stamps must also be readily available so keep these in your visa application file folder too.

2. Keep a list of the countries you have visited.

Since most embassies require for a list of the countries you have visited, it is best that you keep track of your travels, including the dates. Do not rely on your memory or pictures in your Facebook timeline! Keep a soft copy of your travel journal and update this each time you travel. Print out your most updated list and bring this with you when you go to the embassy.

3. Make a checklist of the visa application requirements.

Every country has a different set of requirements to be presented to the visa processing center. Visit the embassy’s website and collect the list of requirements for the type of visa that you are applying for in that country. Invest time and effort in making sure that you have the correct list and then, that you have the complete set of requirements on hand.

Other things that you need to pay attention to are fees you need to pay, acceptable denominations (US dollars, Euros, Pesos, etc.), and payment modes (cash, manager’s check, etc.). It is wise to bring the exact change as well since some embassies will not offer change.

Lastly, make sure that you have the correct location of the visa processing center as these change from time to time.

4. Have a standard template for letters of introduction to consuls.

Some embassies require applicants to present a letter of introduction, including therein the purpose of your travel. Create a standard template that you can update whenever you need to apply for a visa.

The letter must have the following information:

  • Header with your name, contact details and if available, your visa application reference number.
  • Reason for travel
  • Duration of stay
  • Mention of other countries you have visited
  • How you will fund your trip
  • Day by day travel itinerary as an attachment

5. Befriend your Travel Agent.

 If you are a frequent traveler, it is best that you find a travel agent that you can trust. He or she can help you save time and effort in booking tickets and hotels, finding the best plane fare deals, and other travel details you may miss.

Your journey towards acquiring a visa can be less stressful with these tips. These do not guarantee that you will be granted a visa.

SSS & PagIBIG

Did you know that as an SSS and or Pag-IBIG member, you have the option to begin a small investment that is easy on the budget but earns more than when you keep your money in the bank?  Through the SSS PESO Fund and the Pag-IBIG MP2 Program, you can!

I summarized the highlights of both programs to help you decide which would work better for you.  This is highly recommended to those who have only started working and have paid the prescribed number of contributions for their SSS and Pag-IBIG membership.  Remember that this is apart from the regular monthly contributions you make out of your salary.

Read on!

SSS PESO FUND:  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCmHpprbfec)

What is the SSS PESO Fund?

PESO stands for Personal Equity and Savings Option.  It is an own-account voluntary provident fund offered exclusively to SSS members in addition to the Regular Coverage Program.  With a minimal amount of P1,000, an SSS member can activate his PESO account and begin a separate savings account with higher benefits.

Who can avail of the SSS PESO Fund?

  • SSS members who are 54 years old and below;
  • With at least 6 months consecutive contributions in the regular SSS program within the 12-month period immediately prior to the month of enrollment;
  • Self-employed, voluntary, and OFW members should be paying the maximum amount of contributions under the regular SSS program;
  • Have not filed any final claim under the regular SSS program.

How to Apply?

  • Download and fill out the online PF Enrollment Form from the MySSS portal (www.sss.gov.ph)
  • Bring the duly accomplished form to any SSS branch near you.
  • Your membership to the SSS PESO Fund account will be activated as soon as you make your first contribution.

How much to activate my account?

  • A member is allowed to make a maximum of P100,000.00 contribution per year or
  • A minimum monthly contribution of P1,000.00.  Any amount below the minimum contribution amount shall not earn interest and be subject to automatic refund.
  • Payments should be made in multiples of P100.00.

Your contributions to the PESO fund are invested in sovereign guaranteed investments with earnings based on:

  • 5-year T-Bonds
  • 364-day Treasury Bill rates
  • Earnings are tax free
  • Retirement and Total Disability Benefits – this may be paid in monthly pension, lump sum, or combination of both upon contingency.
  • Death Benefits – this shall be paid in lump sum
  • Early Fund Withdrawal – 35% of the equity may be withdrawn.

Pag-IBIG MP2  (http://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/pop/mp2.htm)

The MP2 program took effect in 2010, earlier than the SSS PESO Fund.  It is an alternative savings scheme for Pag-IBIG members with an opportunity to earn higher interest rates compared with the Pag-IBIG membership program.

  • Minimum contribution of Php 500.00 per month
  • Terms of 5 years, renewable
  • Flexible dividend rates but always higher than Pag-IBIG 1
  • Contributions and earnings are government guaranteed.
  • You can save as much as you can; unlike with SSS PESO Fund where you are limited to Php 100,000.00 per year.
  • For Voluntary, Self-employed, and OFW members, you need to have paid at least Php 200.00 to your regular Pag-IBIG savings for the month before making your first payment for your MP2.
  • For Employed members, you need to pay at least Php 100.00.
  • You may claim your total MP2 savings and dividends after 5 years.  You may also renew and continue your savings for another 5 years.
  • There is no maximum age limit set by Pag-IBIG for MP2 registration and an individual can have more than one MP2 account.

Similar with the SSS PESO Fund, contributions to the MP2 Program are apart from your monthly PagIBIG contributions.  Earnings from the MP2 are tax-free.  The program is open to non-OFWs and OFWs who are Pag-IBIG members.

If you are interested to begin your own MP2 account, you may enroll online via the Online MP2 Enrollment System, right here: http://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/memserv/

Non Visa Countries.jpg

What keeps you from grabbing that airfare promo? You know you want it, why don’t you get it? The most common answer one would get is: Hassle kumuha ng visa!

The Pinoy passport ranks 69th in the world for free entries. This can greatly discourage a first-time traveler from making an effort to apply for a visa in countries that require one. Only the promise of an employment or a family member pledging to pay for your tour can encourage you to step out and apply for that elusive permit to travel.

Oh but it doesn’t have to be that way. If we are to take things from a wider perspective, our Philippine passports give us free access to postcard-worthy islands and beaches, provinces rich in history and culture, centuries-old temples, flea markets and endless food trips in Southeast Asian countries. Places, sites, and experiences that other passport holders may need to pay dearly for to visit. Isn’t that good news? Sure it’s always exciting to travel to a different continent (like the US and Europe) but if you can’t summon the courage, time, and effort to work on your visa just yet, you can always visit our neighboring Asian countries.

To help you decide on which country to visit first, here is a list of visa-free countries for Pinoys I sourced from www.travelbook.ph.

Visa-free (no limits)

  • Colombia (Hello, Ariadna Gutierrez!)
  • Morocco
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (a southern Caribbean nation)
  • Suriname (a quaint country in South America)

Visa-free (limited number of days)

  • Bolivia – Visa-free for 60 days
  • Brunei – Visa-free for 14 days
  • Cambodia – Visa-free for 21 days
  • Costa Rica – Visa-free for 30 days
  • Ecuador – Visa-free for 90 days
  • Hong Kong – Visa-free for 14 days
  • Indonesia – Visa-free for 30 days
  • Laos – Visa-free for 30 days
  • Malaysia – Visa-free for 30 days
  • Peru – Visa-free for 60 days
  • Singapore – Visa-free for 30 days
  • Thailand – Visa-free for 30 days
  • Vietnam – Visa-free for 21 days

Visa-free (limited number of days plus special conditions)

  • Brazil – Visa-free for 90 days
    • for holders of diplomatic, official, and service passports, visa-free for:
      • Duration of tour of duty or
      • 180 days for official business or tourism
  • India – Visa upon arrival valid for 30 days (limited only to New Delhi and Mumbai airports)
  • Israel –
    • Visa-free for tourists (number of days of stay will depend on Immigration)
    • Visa-free for holders of diplomatic and official passports; visa is required for business.
  • Mozambique – Visa upon arrival valid for 30 days.
  • Palau – Visa-free for 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return/onward plane ticket)
  • Sri Lanka – Visa-free for 30 days, upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return/onward plane ticket)
  • Tuvalu – Visa-free for 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return/onward plane ticket)
  • Vanuatu – Visa-free for 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return/onward plane ticket)
  • Zambia – Visa upon arrival:
    • Three months for tourism
    • One month for business

So, who says you can’t travel? All you need is a valid passport (not expiring within the next six months), your suitcase, some cash, and an unquenchable thirst to soak up a foreign, sometimes strange, culture!

Bon voyage!

SSS Contribution Table.jpg

I am sharing the following table of SSS contribution as received from SSS recently.  If you are an employer, it would be wise to have a print-out of this table to serve as a reminder of the deadlines you need to meet in remitting the contributions of your employees.  This is also very helpful for voluntary members, OFWs, and self-employed individuals to stay informed in terms of contributions and record updates.

Be reminded too that as SSS members (and even employers who regularly remit their employees’ contributions), we are now strongly encouraged to have an online SSS account.  This will allow us to transact with SSS remotely, file our claims, benefits, and loans within the comfort of our homes and offices, and check updates in our accounts without having to go to an SSS office.  To create your SSS online account, visit this page: https://www.sss.gov.ph/sss/registrationPages/memberE1.jsp

Below are the Schedules of Contributions and Due Dates of Contributions tables for our reference:

Schedules of Contributions

2014_Contribution_Schedule.jpg

  1. The monthly contributions are based on the members’ compensation (please refer to the first column).
  2. The current SSS contribution rate is 11% of the monthly salary credit, not exceeding Php 16,000.
  3. SSS contributions are shared by the employer (7.37%) and the employee (3.63%).
  4. Self-employed and voluntary members pay the full 11% of the monthly salary credit rate (MSC) based on the monthly earnings declared at the time of the registration.
    • Minimum MSC for OFWs is pegged at Php 5,000.00.
    • For non-working spouses, contribution is based on 50% of the working spouse’s MSC but in no case shall it be lower than Php 1,000.00.

Due Dates of Contributions

paymentdeadlines (1).gif

For Employed Members

  1. Payment deadlines help you avoid penalties for late payments on contributions and member loans.
  2. If you are an employee-member, your employer must pay your contributions and member loans monthly in accordance with the prescribed schedule of payment which is according to the 10th digit of the Employer’s ID number.
  3. Late payments will result to penalties and delays in the processing of your benefits and loans.
  4. Frequency of payment is on a monthly basis for business and household employers.

For Self-Employed and Voluntary Members

  1. The prescribed schedule of payment is also being followed, (depending on the 10th or the last digit of the Self-Employed (SE)/Voluntary Member (VM) SS number).
  2. Frequency of contribution of SE and VM can be on a monthly or quarterly basis.  A quarter covers three (3) consecutive calendar months ending on the last day of March, June, September, and December.  Any payment for one, two, or all months for a calendar quarter may be made.

For OFWs

  1. Contributions for the months of January to December of a given year may be paid within the same year.
  2. Contributions for the months of October to December of a given year may be paid on or before the 31st day (or last day ) of January of the succeeding year.

Due Dates of Loan Payments:

Member loan payments must be made monthly following the prescribed schedule of payment which is according to the 10th digit of the SS ID/Number.

Source: https://www.sss.gov.ph/sss/appmanager/pages.jsp?page=scheduleofcontribution

Korea.jpg

Philippine passport holders are required to secure a visa in order to tour the beautiful and fascinating country of South Korea.  To some, this may sound daunting because of all the documents and IDs that you need to prepare.  But to those who have paid the country a visit at least once, they agree that South Korea is worth all the preparations.

Why don’t you find out for yourself?  You might be surprised to know that securing a visa to South Korea is not as discouraging as you might think.

PREPARING AND COMPLETING YOUR DOCUMENTS:

The rule of thumb is to apply for your visa as early as you can; at the very least, one to two months before your planned trip.  This should give you enough elbow room to prepare all the documents you may need minus the stress.  A common feedback from tourists is that you have very little to worry about for as long as your documents are complete so it is best to invest time and effort in this department.

Here is the list of documents that Employed, Self-Employed, and Student/Minor applicants need to prepare

  • Duly accomplished copy of the Visa Application Form.  Make sure that all fields are filled out legibly and accurately.  If some fields are not applicable, write N/A.
  • 3.5cm x 4.5cm colored passport photo taken against plain white background.  Paste this on your Visa Application Form.
  • Your Philippine Passport with at least six months remaining validity.  Remove the passport from its jacket or holder before submission.
  • Photocopy of passport bio page (page where your photo and personal information can be found).
  • Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past five years (only if applicable; Korean visas will not be counted).  Not sure if the country is a member of OECD?  Check here!

Additional Requirements

These requirements depend on your employment status.

For Employed Applicants

  • Original Certificate of Employment printed on your company’s letterhead.  The letter must bear the following details:
    • Applicant’s designation/position
    • Date hired
    • Compensation
    • Office address
    • HR landline number (mobile phone numbers are not allowed)
    • HR Email Address
  • Original Personal Bank Certificate.  The following details must be included:
    • Account type
    • Current balance
    • Account opening date
    • ADB
  • Bank Statement
    • Original or Certified True Copy of bank statements/passbook for the last three months.
  • ITR or Form 2316 copy
  • Copy of PRC or IBP card (if applicable)

For Self-Employed Applicants

  • Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI.
  • Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit.
  • Original Personal Bank Certificate.  The following details must be included:
    • Account type
    • Current balance
    • Account opening date
    • ADB
  • Bank Statement
    • Original or Certified True Copy of bank statements/passbook for the last three months.
  • Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316

For Students and Minors

  • Original School Certificate
  • Photocopy of School ID
  • Photocopy of PSA Birth Certificate of applicant
  • Parents’ Documents:
    • If parents are employed:
      • Original Certificate of Employment printed on your company’s letterhead.  The letter must bear the following details:
        • Parents’ designation/position
        • Date hired
        • Compensation
        • Office address
        • HR landline number (mobile phone numbers are not allowed)
        • HR Email Address
      • If parents are self-employed:
        • Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI.
        • Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit.
        • Original Personal Bank Certificate.  The following details must be included:
          • Account type
          • Current balance
          • Account opening date
          • ADB
      • Bank Statement
        • Original or Certified True Copy of bank statements/passbook for the last three months.
      • Copy of ITR
      • Copy of PSA Marriage Certificate

Important reminders for the above cases (Employed, Self-employed, Students/Minors):

  1. Frequent travelers or those that have travelled as tourists to OECD member countries within five years are exempted from submitting the ITR.
  2. If invited by a Korean national, provide an invitation letter and a copy of your invitor’s passport or identification card (authentication is not required).
  3. If invited by a company in Korea, provide an invitation letter from the company and a photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit (authentication not required).
  4. Processing Time:
    • 3 Working Days (for applicants that have traveled to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourists).
    • 5 Working days (for applicants that have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years).
  5. Visa Fee:
    • 59 days or less stay in Korea – Free
    • 60 to 90 days stay in Korea – PHP 1,800.00

SUBMITTING YOUR REQUIREMENTS

When you are absolutely sure that you have completed all requirements, proceed to the Republic of Korea Embassy at the following address:

122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

Tel No.: +632 856-9210

Fax No.: +632 856-9008

No need to make an appointment; just visit the embassy between 9am to 11am, Mondays to Fridays.

IF YOUR VISA GETS APPROVED

Visas are released between 2PMto 4PM, Mondays to Fridays.

Make sure to write your name and contact number at the back of your claim stub.  Some applicants are required to submit additional documents or undergo an interview, so be prepared.  Dress appropriately and make sure you have the original copies of submitted documents.

And off you go!  Annyeong!

Sources:

http://embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr/english/as/embassy_philippines/visa/requirement/index.jsp

http://www.willflyforfood.net/2015/02/20/how-to-apply-for-a-south-korea-tourist-visa-for-filipinos/

Mommy Burnout.jpg

In my hunt for topics that are meaningful to parents — official documents, IDs, passports — things that are most often required in children’s schools and other activities, I came across some useful tips for Moms too.  I’m sharing it here for all the Moms out there who need a minute or two of peace and quiet.  Share your tips too!

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You know it all too well. You wake up with a nagging headache, you go through the breakfast routines, make sure the kids are up and ready for school, the husband fed and his clothes pressed. By the time the brood is out of the crib, you feel tired already. You sit down with your coffee and tablet and browse through your Facebook timeline. Before you know it, it’s lunch time! You have less than five hours to breeze through all your errands before you need to pick up the kids. And you realize you are still in your pajamas: tired, hungry, and with a string of chores waiting to be done.

All of us are guilty of prioritizing the least important things in our to-do list, mainly because these are the easiest and most fun to accomplish. Anything that requires us to go online is almost always welcome; we call these our “happy-to-be-interrupted” excuses. Checking an email or a text message in the middle of putting away the groceries or waiting for the dryer to sound off would sometimes be the gateway to a 30-minute session on Twitter or Pinterest. And that’s thirty minutes we can never take back.

And then again, there are the habits we have developed over time that have somehow become normal. We thought that as we age, we need less time to sleep and rest. We think we are capable of hurling everything in the washer and get everything – from clothes, to beddings, to curtains and pillows – washed, dried, and neatly piled in closets and drawers.

At the end of the day, we are extremely exhausted; sadly sometimes, irritable and withdrawn from our families.

What are these things that cause you to be tired beyond your capacity as a mom? Let’s find out together and see how we can replace these with more positive activities:

1.Checking your email every time your phone sounds off.

Decided on a specific hour of the day (not upon waking up!) to check and reply to emails; prioritize between urgent and important.

2. Cleaning everything all in a day.

Unless you’re having visitors over, schedule your clean-ups so that you have one or two areas that you will focus on each day. Do not try to clean the whole house, put everything in order, dust, and organize all in one weekend.

3. Reading your Facebook feed when bored or tired.

When you need to cool off from your chores or take a break from running to the grocery store and putting everything away, take a quick nap or read a good book instead of browsing through Facebook. It is filled with links that will encourage you to stray farther and farther from your main goal which is to rest.

4. Not getting enough sleep and waking up too late.

When you were younger, staying up late was pure bliss. Whether spent in the comfort of your room, curled up in bed with a book or a night out with the girls, the evening hours were your best friends. But now that your days are filled with mommy duties, any opportunity to snooze is always welcome. Go to bed early whenever you can; wake up a bit later than usual during weekends. You deserve it.

5. Waking up and checking your email first.

Allowing yourself a few undisturbed minutes in bed after you are fully awake makes a lot of difference; you feel more relaxed and energized. Save your online tasks for later.

6. Lulling yourself to sleep with a game from your tablet or phone.

The same reason why you should not check your email first thing in the morning; you don’t want to go to sleep feeling disturbed and agitated because you failed to meet your goal in that time management game you recently downloaded. Make your room a place of rest and relaxation.

7. Too much junk food in-between meals.

Stock up on cereals and fruits instead. Junk food such as chips are loaded with sodium that promote water retention in the body. You wouldn’t want all that extra baggage with you, do you?

8. Not drinking enough water.

Don’t wait until you are thirsty before you drink water; thirst is the first sign of dehydration. A 700ml drinking bottle will help you monitor your water intake throughout the day better than when you drink with a glass. Three refills of your 700ml bottle ensures that you’ve had at least two liters of fluid for the day.

9. Filling your calendar with too much to-do lists.

Some people feel more in-control when they have endless to-do lists on their planners. But if you can organize your lists to make it easier to read and cross out as you go through your day, that’s better.

10. Leaving the TV on while you do your chores.

Try playing some upbeat music you are familiar to instead of letting the TV drone on the whole morning.

Try these simple tricks daily and see how it can help improve your energy level. Be able to do more without exhausting yourself too much. Always remember to keep a positive spirit before your exit your bedroom every morning.

Until next week, Mommies! Happy weekend!

SSS Benefits for OFWs

SSS for OFW

In our neighborhood, a compound of about 15 homes, more than half have family members working abroad as OFWs.  Last Christmas, almost all of them came home to spend the holidays in the Philippines.  And for the first time in a long time, our neighborhood was once again alive with laughter and endless kwentuhan, some even lasting until the wee hours of the morning. Sabi nga ng kapitbahay namin, titiisin nila ang lungkot ng mga ilang buwan, minsan taon pa, dahil wala naman kapantay ang saya kapag dumadalaw ang mga kapamilya nilang nagta-trabaho sa malayo.  I can’t help but agree.

Like ordinary private employees in the country, OFWs are also entitled to social security protection and benefits from the Social Security System (SSS).  Often, OFWs overlook or disregard their SSS membership thinking that they can save on their own anyway.  Others think that being an OFW actually disqualifies you from being an SSS member that is why, they cease making SSS contributions or updating their statuses.

The SSS has gone far and wide in educating the public about the importance of ensuring that you are gainfully protected against the hazards of illnesses, disability, maternity, retirement and old age, and even death.  Bilang mga “bread winners”, whether you have your own family or you are single but stands as the head of your family, hindi dapat huminto ang maginhawang buhay ng iyong pamilya dahil lamang hindi mo kayang mag-trabaho dahil sa sakit o nabawasan ang kakayanan mong mag trabaho dahil mayroon kang karamdaman o nag retire ka na.  Kung ang SSS ang sandigan ng mga employees at self-employed individuals dito sa Pilipinas, ganun din dapat ang tingin ng mga OFWs dito.

May SSS benefits nga ba ang mga OFW?

Let me share my research on this topic that is especially dedicated to our modern-day heroes.

Ang bawat OFW ay entitled sa Regular OFW Coverage Program ng SSS.  Ito ang itinuturing na first layer of protection para sa mga kababayan nating nagta-trabaho sa ibang bansa.  Sinisiguro nito na mayroong tatanggapin na pension ang mga OFWs pagkatapos nilang mag retire.

Ang pangalawang layer of protection ng SSS para sa mga OFW ay ang SSS Flexi-Fund Program. Narito ang summary ng mga features ng programa na ito:

  • Gives returns that are higher than fixed-income instruments.
  • Tax-free
  • Low cost of investing
  • No annual management fees
  • You can pay whenever it’s convenient for you:
    • No interest fees in case you miss a payment
    • No payment deadlines
  • Can be paid anytime (whether annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or intermittently)
  • Can be withdrawn anytime, in partial or in full.
    • May pre-termination charges kapag nag withdraw ang member bago maka kumpleto ng isang taon; pero pagkatapos nito, maaari nang mag withdraw anytime.

Ano ang guaranteed benefits ng Flexi-fund Program para sa mga OFWs?

  • Average of SSS’ short-term placements o ang 91-day Treasury Bill rate.
  • Annual incentive benefit on top of the guaranteed benefit.
    • Para sa mga hindi nag-withdraw sa loob ng isang taon.
    • Ito ay nagbabago depende sa long-term bond placements.

Papano ko ma-enjoy ang investments ko sa Flexi-fund after my retirement?

May tatlong options ang investor to get their Flexi-fund earnings:

  • One-time lump sum
  • Part lump-sum, part pension
  • By annuity or converting everything into pension. This option allows you to received two kinds of pensions: one from the regular SSS fund and one from the OFW Flexi-fund.

Papano ako magi-invest sa SSS Flexi-fund?

  • Optional ang enrollment sa SSS Flexi-fund; hindi ito mandatory tulad ng Regular OFW coverage.  Ang Flexi-fund program ay exclusive para lamang sa mga OFW.
  • Kung dati ka nang SSS member (may SSS number na at nagco-contribute na sa SSS), kailangan mo lang i-reactivate ang iyong membership bilang isang OFW.
  • Kung OFW member ka na at nagbabayad ng maximum monthly salary credit for OFWs, pwede ka nang mag enroll sa Flexi fund program.
  • Visit the SSS website at sss.gov.ph at mag download ng kopya ng Flexi Fund Enrollment Form.  Fill out the form and send it to ofw.relations@sss.gov.ph.  Hintayin ang mga email notifications o tawag ng SSS.
  • Kung nahinto ang iyong mga contributions ng mahabang panahon, hindi mo kailangang mag back pay o bayaran lahat ng mga taon na hindi ka nakapag contribute.  Kailangan mo lang ituloy ang contributions mong muli.

Papano kung hindi pa ako OFW member ng SSS?

Pumunta lamang sa pinaka malapit na SSS branch at kumuha ng Overseas Worker Record Form (SSS Form OW-1). Fill out the form at mag submit ng kahit na alin sa mga sumusunod na documents at IDs:

Huwag pabayaan ang iyong SSS contributions kahit na isa ka nang OFW.  Hindi matatawaran ang peace of mind lalo na’t mas mataas ang risks na hinaharap ng isang tao na nagta-trabaho sa ibang bansa.  Consider investing in SSS’ Flexi-fund Program as a means to prepare for your future.

Source:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65NwA-AKY2Q

http://www.ofwguide.com/article_item-1898/SSS-Benefits-for-OFWs.html

Japan.jpg

Acquiring a visa to visit Japan as a tourist has become easier and more convenient for Filipinos.  Previous tourist visa holders are actually granted visas valid up to five years while tourists are now able to stay up to 30 days!  If your documents and IDs are complete and updated upon application, you are almost always guaranteed to be granted your visa and be able to take that long-awaited trip to the Land of the Rising Sun!

So how easy is it really to apply for a Japan tourist visa?  Well, here you go:

Tourist Visa (No Guarantor)

  1. Updated Passport
    • Passport will not be accepted if lamination of the photo part is broken.
    • Must have at least two blank pages left.
    • Must be signed.
  2. Visa Application Form 2012
    •  This is also available upon entry at the Embassy and at the offices of accredited agencies.
  3. Photo
    • 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background
    • Paste the photo on the printed application form.
  4. PSA Certified Birth Certificate of the applicant
  5. Marriage Contract (if the applicant is married)
  6. Detailed Itinerary
  7. Bank Certificate
  8. Income Tax Return – Form 2316
    • Original and Photocopy

Document numbers 4 and 5 must be issued within one year upon application/submission. In case of non-record, the applicant must submit a Certificate of Non-Record along with the copy from the Local Civil Registrar.

Visiting Relatives Visa (With Guarantor)

  1. Updated Passport
    • Passport will not be accepted if lamination of the photo part is broken.
    • Must have at least two blank pages left.
    • Must be signed.
  2. Visa Application Form 2012 – this is also available at:
    • The Embassy website
    • Entrance of the Embassy
    • Through accredited agencies
  3. Photo
    • 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background
    • Paste photo on application form
  4. PSA certified Birth Certificate (to prove relationship)
  5. PSA certified Marriage Certificate (if applicant is married)
  6. Reason for invitation from Guarantor residing in Japan.

IF GUARANTOR IS JAPANESE, submit the following:

  1. Family Registration (Koseki Tohon)
  2. Residence Certificate (JUMINHYO)
    • Both must have been issued within three months.

IF GUARANTOR IS NOT JAPANESE, submit the following:

  1. Residence Certificate (JUMINHYO)
    • With description of his / her family relationship with all Family members from the City Hall,
    • Photocopy of Passport (all pages) or
    • A copy of Residency Card.

Other Requirements:

  1. Bank certificate (if applicant shoulders the trip’s expenses)
  2. ITR Form 2316 (Original and Photocopy)
  3. Letter of Guarantee – MIMOTO HOSHOSYO
    • Should guarantor pay for some expenses of the trip
  4. Income Certificate from City Hall – SHOTOKU SHOMEISHO
  5. Tax Return Certificate from Tax Office – NOUZEISHOMEISHO: form 2
  6. KAKUTEISHINKOKUSHO HIKAE or Bank Certificate (YOKIN ZANDAKA SHOMEISHO)

Your application must be filed through accredited agencies; the following are listed in the Japanese Embassy website:

  1. UHI
  2. Discovery Tour, Inc.
  3. Rajah Travel Corporation
  4. Reli Tours and Travel Agency
  5. Attic Tour Phils., Inc.
  6. Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation
  7. Pan Pacific Travel Corporation (for with Japanese Guarantor)

Visa Validity and Processing Time

The average processing time is one week; it may take longer especially when submitted requirements are incomplete. There are instances when the applicant may be required to submit additional documents or appear personally for an interview. Case in point, it is important that you submit the complete and accurate set of documentary requirements.

Your accredited agency shall provide you updates on the status of your application.  Visa application is free of charge in the Philippines.  In the unfortunate event that your application be denied, reasons for denial will not be disclosed; you may re-apply after six months.

Usually, a tourist is granted a total of 15 days’ stay in Japan, counting from the date of his arrival. If purpose of visit is to see relatives residing in Japan, visa is allowed up to 90 days.

If you are planning on traveling to Japan soon, do check out the weather and find out what is the best season to visit. Most people would want to see the famous cherry blossom trees, known to be at its most beautiful during the months of April and May. But there are a lot of other sites you can enjoy if the said months don’t work for you.  Enjoy your visit!

Arigato!

Sources:

http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/

http://www.wanderlass.com/others/visa-challenge/japan-visa-philippine-passort.html

How to Apply for a UMID Card

UMID.jpg

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!

Government and private employees, self-employed individuals, and OFWs are encouraged to apply for a UMID card.

Here’s how:

  1. If you are a government employee, apply at the GSIS Enrollment Center.
  2. If you are a private employee, self-employed, or an OFW and are already a member of SSS, proceed to the nearest SSS branch.
  3. If you are both a GSIS and SSS member, you need to apply at GSIS.  As a GSIS member, you will need the ATM functionality of the UMID card – a feature that is not present in UMID cards issued by the SSS.

Here are the documents and IDs you need to prepare when you visit your respective enrollment center:

  1. Bring any of the following primary valid IDs:
    • Valid passport
    • Driver’s License
    • Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and
    • Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book or Seaman’s Book.
  2. Kung wala ka ng kahit na alin sa mga IDs na nabanggit sa itaas, bring any TWO of the following documents:
    • NSO Birth Certificate
    • Company ID
    • Postal ID
    • Philhealth ID Card
    • GSIS Card
    • GSIS Certificate Membership
    • Tax Identification Card
    • Voter’s Identification Card
    • Marriage Contract
    • NBI Clearance
    • Police Clearance
    • Senior Citizen ID
    • PagIBIG Member’s Data Form
    • Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration Card (OWWA)
    • IDs issued by local government units (e.g. Barangay, Municipality, or City)
    • ID cards issued by Professional Associations
    • Baptismal Certificate
    • Alien Certificate of Registration
    • Transcript of School Records
    • Permit to Carry Firearms issued by the Firearms and Explosive Unit of PNP.
    • Temporary License issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO)
    • Permanent Residency ID
    • Certificates from:
      • Office of the Southern/Northern Cultural Communities
      • Office of Muslim Affairs
    • Certificate of Licensure/Qualification Documents/ Seafarer’s ID and Record Book from Maritime Industry Authority
    • Certificate of Naturalization from the Bureau of Immigration
    • Bank Account Passbook
  3. Download the UMID card application form, accomplish with correct and accurate information.  Bring the filled out form along with your identification cards and documents to your chosen enrollment center.
  4. Upon submission, your application form and identification will be verified.  After this, ID picture and finger print capture na.  Papipirmahin ka din sa signature pad; this will appear on your UMID card later on.
  5. Your UMID card will be sent to you by mail in 30 days.  If you are applying at an SSS branch, they will give you your UMID application slip bearing the date when you will receive your card.  Kung hindi mo ito matatanggap within the said period, maaari kang mag inquire sa pinakamalapit na SSS branch o sa GSIS office kung saan ka nag apply.
  6. Kung ikaw ay GSIS member o pensioner at may eCard Plus ka na, required ka pa din kumuha ng UMID card.  If you are a pensioner, your UMID card will be delivered to your home address.  If you are a GSIS member, your UMID will be delivered to you by your Agency Liaison Officer.
  7. For GSIS members and pensioners, you need to activate your UMID cards because it has ATM functionalities related to your GSIS transactions.  Private employees or those who applied through SSS need not activate their UMID.

Apply now!

Source: http://www.iweb.ph/how-to-apply-umid-card#

 

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