Tag Archive: NSO


2 Feb 22 (1)

The President intentionally signed the Expanded Maternity Leave Act on February 20, 2019, one day before it would have lapsed into law.  That is good news!

What do we need to know about the new law?  Read this:

Previously on Maternity Leaves:

  • Female employees were entitled to 60 days of paid leave for normal delivery.
  • Cesarean deliveries are allowed up to 78 days of paid leave.
  • This is granted to all female employees, regardless of marital status, and applies even if the pregnancy did not reach its full term (miscarriage).
  • The privilege may be enjoyed by a female employee until her fourth pregnancy, including miscarriages.

The Expanded Maternity Leave Act:

  • The law grants 105 days of paid maternity leave to all employed mothers.
  • With an option to extend the period for another 30 days without pay.
  • Maternity leave will be granted to women at every instance of pregnancy.

We shall update this post as soon as the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) have been released by the DOLE.

Let us know your thoughts on this news.

References:

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net

https://www.philstar.com

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Here are some tips that can help you make the most of your appointment with the DFA for your passport application or renewal.

Before applying for a Philippine passport:

  • All applicants should secure an online appointment when applying for a passport.
  • The public is advised to secure their passports prior to booking their flights.  Flight bookings should only be made if passports are still valid for at least six (6) months.
  • A confirmed appointment is required for all applicants except for those who would qualify for the courtesy lane.
  • Applicants are reminded to be on site not earlier than 30 minutes on their selected date and time of appointment at their chosen consular office.
  • Personal appearance is required for all applicants.
  • Please be warned that dealing with fixers is at your own risk and expense.
  • Prepare all the originals and photocopies of the documentary requirements for passport application.
  • To ensure entry to countries with strict dress codes, all applicants are required to wear decent clothing for passport photo capture.  Plunging necklines, sleeveless clothing, spaghetti strapped tops, see-through tops, sando, tube tops, halters and the like are prohibited.
  • Jewelry such as earrings and necklaces and colored contact lenses are not allowed during photo capturing;
  • The DFA adheres to “No Escort” policy; escorts shall be prohibited from entering the DFA consular premises to accompany the applicants.

After Applying for a Philippine passport:

  • The applicant shall bring the passport receipt for the release of their passport.  In case of lost passport receipt, an Affidavit of Loss is required.
  • Check if all the data on the passport are correct before leaving the Consular Office.
  • For applicants 13 years old and above, immediately affix the signature on the third page of the passport booklet upon receipt of the passport.  For minors 12 years old and below, leave it blank.
  • If the applicant cannot personally claim his/her passport, an immediate family member or an authorized representative shall present an Authorization Letter or a Special Power of Attorney respectively, to claim the passport in behalf of the applicant.  Both documents should contain the name and photocopy of the ID of the authorized individual.
  • Passports unclaimed after one hundred and eighty (180) days will be canceled per Department Order No. 37-03.
  • Do not staple anything on the passport booklet especially the covers as it may damage the electronic chip and render the epassport unreadable.

Source: http://consular.dfa.gov.ph/passport

June 25a

My sister gave birth last March to twins.  It was her first pregnancy which means that she had to learn all the things that came with it, twice (changing diapers, breastfeeding, etc.).  She said that from the moment her doctor confirmed she was pregnant, she felt as if she was seeing, hearing, tasting, and feeling everything around her for the first time.  Poor girl.

After she gave birth and had somehow adjusted to the life of being a brand new mom, she realized she needed to accomplish one more important thing: she needs to register her babies’ births!

Since she hardly had time to sit and browse through the internet, I volunteered to help her find out how she can have her babies registered at the Local Civil Registry (LCR).

It was then that I came across www.citizenservices.com.ph, an informative website that has the complete (and simplified!) list of things you need to prepare and do when registering your newborn at the LCR.  The information I needed I found under their Mommy Helpline link and if you are first-time Mom, you might want to bookmark this page because they have ALL the things you need to know about preparing your children’s important documents and IDs (like getting his first passport!).   So I simply copy-pasted the instructions and sent it to my sister who was only too glad to receive any kind of help (poor thing!).   Well, in a couple of days after receiving my message, her twins’ birth papers have been registered by my brother-in-law.  Yay!

If you need the same information, click on this link and look under Mommy Helpline.

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June 19 (1)

It is that time of the year when dengue mosquitoes seem to be more active in hunting their prey.  Young and old alike can fall victim to these pesky insects that carry the deadly dengue virus.  It is no secret why emergency rooms are never without a patient exhibiting the early signs of dengue fever.

Does PhilHealth cover dengue fever cases?

Yes.  That is why it is important that you keep your PhilHealth account updated because you never know when serious illnesses might attack.

PhilHealth’s coverage for dengue fever is based on the severity of the patient’s case.  There are simple cases of dengue and there are those that are listed as severe.  PhilHealth coverage will always be based on the attending physician’s final diagnosis.  Below is the list of case rates for dengue fever:

DESCRIPTION

CASE RATE PROFESSIONAL FEE

HEALTH CARE INSTITUTION FEE

Dengue without warning signs: Dengue fever (DF) Dengue hemorrhagic fever Grades 1 and 2; Dengue hemorrhagic fever without warning signs. 10,000.00 3,000.00 7,000.00
Dengue with warning signs; Dengue hemorrhagic fever with warning signs. 10,000.00 3,000.00 7,000.00
Severe Dengue; Severe Dengue Fever; Severe Dengue hemorrhagic fever. 16,000.00 4,800.00 11,200.00

To avoid inconvenience and delays in your claims, make sure that your PhilHealth contributions are updated every month.  You never know when diseases may strike and your only assurance of financial assistance during times of emergency is a flawless record with PhilHealth.

Keep your homes and yards dengue-free and make sure that your children are protected against mosquito bites while they are in school or at play.

If you have questions about PhilHealth, send us an email and we will do our best to find the answers for you.

Source: www.philhealth.gov.ph

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June 14

My brother’s SSS account has been in question for quite a few years now due to a salary loan that has remained unpaid since 2009.  I told him about the ongoing loan restructuring program being offered by the SSS and advised him to take some time off from work so he can visit an SSS office and have his loan reviewed.  Problem is, he works for an international firm that requires him to travel out of the city, and sometimes out of the country, most of the time.  On the days that he is in Manila, he spends most of his time in the office catching up on his reports and other paper works.  Next week, he is scheduled to travel to Beijing and will not be back until September.

So how does one take advantage of the SSS Loan Restructuring Program if he is almost always out of the country, works abroad, or for some reason, is not able to physically visit an SSS office?

Good thing the SSS now accepts Letter of Authority from the applicant so he or she can simply send someone else to file his application through a representative.  All he has to do is send an email to the SSS informing the department that he intends to have his loans reviewed through a representative.

How does this work?  Read this!

Requirements for the Authorized Representative:

  1. Email request of the member-borrower.
  2. Scanned copy of the Letter of Authority.
  3. Scanned copy of two valid identifications cards of the member-borrower.
  4. Photocopies of two valid IDs of the authorized representative.
  5. Printed email showing both email addresses of the member-borrower and of the authorized representative.

Authorized representatives may also do the following in behalf of the member-borrower:

  1. Accomplish the LRP application form.
  2. Sign in “Conforme” portion of the Statement of Loan Balances for LRP and Disclosure Statement.
  3. Sign the promissory note.
  4. Receive the Notice of Approval.
  5. Pay the restructured loan based on the agreed term.

How about OFW members who also wish to avail of the SSS Loan Restructuring Program?

OFW members may personally file their applications at any SSS office in the country (if they are home) or have their spouse or relative file this for them.  If he or she is going to send a representative to do this for him, he needs to execute a Special Power of Attorney or SPA.

  1. The representative must bring two valid IDs, with one or both showing the representative’s signature and photo.
  2. Fill-out the Loan Restructuring Application form (MLP-01263) with black ink (only).
  3. Secure a copy of the Statement of Loan Balance for Loan Restructuring Program; you can get this at the nearest SSS branch in your area.
  4. Accomplish an Affidavit of Residency that will prove that you live or work in an area that is declared to have been under a state of calamity. Have the affidavit notarized. This is no longer required for members who already have a Calamity Loan or Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP).
  5. Submit all duly accomplished application forms and other requirements at the nearest SSS office or Foreign Office (if OFW is filing abroad).

The SSS has made the Loan Restructuring Program more accessible to everyone, so make sure to grab this opportunity to straighten out your loan accounts with the department.  This will help secure your future claims from the SSS, including and most especially, your pension.

Have a great day!

 

Reference: www.sss.gov.ph

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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 11

Getting a ticket for a traffic or vehicle regulation violation means you will not only have to stop and spend a good 15 to 20 minutes negotiating with a traffic enforcer but also that you will have to pay the prescribed fee for the violation you committed.  It is both a pain in your schedule and your pocket that is why most drivers do everything in their capacity to avoid (or sometimes, evade!) these violations.

Among these violations are driving without a valid license which will cost you Php 3,000, reckless driving at Php 2,000 for the first offense, and parking violations that start at Php 1,000 for the first offense.

Today we will feature the violations that have stiffer penalties (translation: they cost a fortune!); these fines are so dear that the average Pinoy driver’s only means to pay for it is by completely avoiding the violation altogether.

  1. Driving a right-hand drive vehicle – Php 50,000

So your car was imported from Europe… big deal.

You should not be driving a right-handed vehicle in the Philippines unless you have Php 50,000 to spare for LTO.  This violation was only recently added to the list when car smuggling became a rampant case n the 2010s.  Also, driving a right-hand vehicle in the Philippines could pose more risk to drivers and pedestrians.

Should you insist in driving your RHD car in main thoroughfares (and you get caught!), your precious car will be impounded until you are able to have it corrected (translation: made into a left-hand drive vehicle).

  1. Driving a vehicle that has defective devices or is installed with improper or unauthorized accessories – Php 5,000

That’s not a collective amount, mind you.  You will be fined Php 5,000 for EVERY violation found in your car.  Example: your signal lights are not working, that’s Php 5,000; you have a carrier on the roof of your car that does not meet the standards of the LTO, that’s another Php 5,000.

  1. Passengers not wearing seatbelts – Php 1,000 (private cars), Php 3,000 (PUVs).

This law (yes, it’s a law!) that is meant to protect you from harm (similar to the law on the use of helmets for motorcycle drivers and passengers).  And so if you get penalized for not obeying this particular law, you are actually being fined for not loving your life enough to save it by wearing a seatbelt.

If a traffic enforcer sees you or your passenger not wearing your seatbelts, the driver will be fined the corresponding fees for private cars and PUVs, plus the driver’s license will be suspended for a week.  Ugh if you are a PUV driver.

  1. Smoke Belching – Php 2,000 (first offense)

If you and your car cause other drivers and pedestrians to cover their noses when you zoom past, you are smoke belching.  It also means that your car is in bad shape and should not be allowed on the road.

Should you insist, you will be fined Php 2,000 and who knows how much more after your first offense.

  1.  Fraudulent registration of your car – Php 3,000

The LTO would know when you have overlooked or failed to renew your car’s registration.  On the other hand, your car’s registration is one of the first things a traffic enforcer or the police look for when you are flagged for a traffic violation.  If your papers are not updated, then better prepare for a hefty fine and the risk of you not being able to drive your car for a year.

It is never wise to forego your responsibility in renewing your car’s registration; you will always end up spending more.

 

Source: www.lto.gov.ph

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June 08

My passport is due to expire this month so I really made it a point to have it renewed before the end of May.  It was pretty difficult to get an appointment slot through the www.passport.gov.ph website but I finally was able to secure one last June 2, 2018.

This was not the first time I got an appointment online that is why I was mildly surprised when I received an email from the DFA, instructing me to pay for my passport first, before they can confirm my appointment.  I had to do it fast because if after 48 hours and no payment is posted under my appointment, the slot will be up for grabs in the passport again.

I want to share my experience in today’s blog, to help those who may still not be aware of the DFA’s slightly new process of securing appointments, especially if you chose to have your passport renewed at the DFA Aseana branch.  This new process will be implemented in other DFA branches until they have covered all branches by August 2018.

Step 1: Visit the www.passport.gov.ph to schedule your appointment.

You have to have stable internet connection (and a lot of patience and perseverance!) to get this done.  Also, it would be best to have your old passport handy when filling out the online forms.

Step 2: Pay your passport processing fee at any of the DFA’s authorized Payment Centers.

You can pay at WalterMart, Bayad Center outlets, Villarica Pawnshops, 7-11 stores, ecPay, and Western Union outlets.  I paid mine at the Bayad Center in Robinson’s Ermita.

Here’s my actual experience at that branch:

The teller told me that my payment will post after 24 hours.  I got a bit worried because I had a 48-hour deadline to beat and already, I was beyond 24 hours at the time I was making my payment at Robinson’s.  The teller said that I need not worry because anytime my payment posts, DFA will see the exact date and time when I made the payment and they will know that I paid before the due date.  My appointment was on a Saturday, I was making the payment on a Tuesday – about 3 days ahead of my appointment.

It took me a few minutes to decide if I should hand my payment to the teller or if I should search for a different payment center that can promise me real-time posting of my payment.  In the end, the teller was able to convince me and so I handed her my payment of Php 1,250 (Php 1,200 for the passport and Php 50 service fee for Bayad Center).  She issued me a receipt and instructed me to keep it and bring it with me on my appointment.

Step 3: Print out the confirmed appointment packet that will be emailed to you after you have paid your passport processing fee.

This one I got a few minutes after I left Robinson’s; I printed the documents as soon as I got to the office and attached the receipt that the teller gave me earlier.

Step 4: Personally show up at the DFA consular office on the date and time indicated in your appointment.

Bring with you a copy of your confirmed appointment packet and other required documents and IDs such as you NSO birth certificate, NSO marriage certificate (if you wish to change your maiden last name to your married last name).

More Information:

What is the DFA ePayment Portal?

This is an upgrade to the Online Appointment System that enables passport applicants to pay their passport processing fees through selected payment centers nationwide and eventually through the use of credit and debit cards, and through over-the-counter cash transactions in selected banks.

When will the DFA ePayment Portal be launched?

  • ASEANA: First week of June 2018
  • NCR: On or before the first week of July 2018
  • Nationwide: On or before the first week of August 2018

How does the DFA ePayment Portal work?

Those who are renewing or applying for Philippine ePassports will now be required to prepay the passport processing fees using the DFA ePayment Portal as part of the Online Appointment System.

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit passport.gov.ph and schedule an appointment
  • Read all the reminders carefully before agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of the Online Appointment System.
  • Choose a DFA Consular Office where you wish to apply for or renew your passport.
  • Pick the date and time when you wish to apply for or renew your passport.
  • Fill out all the required fields by providing the information being asked.
  • Carefully review all the details of your application before clicking SUBMIT.
  • Choose your desired passport processing type (expedited or regular processing) before clicking PROCEED TO PAYMENT.
  • Take note of the reference number that will be emailed to you.
  1. Proceed to your preferred Payment Center to pay the passport processing fee.
  • Present your reference number at the Payment Center upon payment of the passport processing fee.
  • One reference number corresponds to one transaction. If you are paying for multiple reference numbers, you need to pay separately for each reference number.
  • Keep the receipt that will be issued to you.
  1. A confirmed appointment packet will be sent to your email once the payment has been successfully processed. Click the link to your passport appointment packet and PRINT OUT the following contents that you need to bring with you during your scheduled appointment.
  • Checklist with your indicated schedule.
  • Confirmed Application Form with the bar code, appointment reference number (ARN), and eReceipt number.
  • Two copies of the eReceipt.
  1. Personally show up at the DFA Consular Office on the date and time indicated in your appointment and make sure to bring a printed copy of your confirmed passport appointment packet and other required documents and IDs.

Is the payment reference number specifically assigned to one payment center?

No, a reference number is universal to all payment centers so you can conveniently pay at any of the authorized payment centers.

Can I use my payment reference number more than once? 

No, a reference number can only be used once.

Where can passport applicants pay their passport processing fees? 

  • Applicants can pay the passport processing fee through any of the following Payment Centers.
    • Bayad Center
    • ecPay
    • Pera Hub
    • Robinson’s Business Center and Department Stores
    • Waltermart Department Store
    • 7-11
    • USCC (Western Union)
    • Villarica Pawnshop
    • Other Payment Centers as well as the credit/debit card payment facility will be made available soon.

 How much do applicants have to pay? 

Passport applicants will need to pay Php 1,200 for expedited processing and Php 950 for regular processing.  A Php 50 convenience fee is charged by authorized Payment Centers on top of the processing fees.

Can the convenience fee and passport processing fee be refunded in case the applicant fails to show up during his/her scheduled appointment?

 No, a refund cannot be processed.

How do I get in touch with DFA in case I have questions or concerns about the ePayment Portal?

 You may call the DFA help desk at 02-234-3488 or email them at info@passport.gov.ph

 

Source: www.dfa.gov.ph

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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 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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