Government transaction is one thing I hate the most. Just the thought of the long wait time, poor customer relations and confusing processes make me tired.
I had to get an NSO authenticated copy of our marriage certificate and that of my daughter's live birth certificate. The night before visiting NSO, I already set my mind for the worst. I arrived at NSO Lipa City office at around 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. NSO Lipa is located at the Fiesta Mall Complex in Maraouy. I wasn't suprise to see tons of people at the waiting area. I am glad, however, to see each window labeled with Steps 1 to 9. If you are a first timer, it will not be hard to identify which window to fall in line first. This actually lessens the red tape in government offices. Who would need a fixer if one understands the process, right?
You have to get a request form at window 1, first. Make sure that you mention to the clerk what specific document you are requesting. If you are requesting for an authenticated birth certificate, you will get a white form. Pink form is for marriage certificate. Make sure that you bring a valid ID and your own ballpen, too! On step 2, an nso personnel will check if you filled out the form(s) properly. Do not forget to fill out the fields at the back. Once you get the thumbs up on window 2, prepare PhP 145.00 and pay on windows 3, 4 or 5. An extra copy costs PhP 75.00. After payment, do not forget to secure a receipt. It usually takes an hour or two to get the docs you requested after payment. I bought myself a coffee while waiting and got my docs at 4:00 o'clock. If you are requesting a birth certificate of your child, note that your kiddo must be at least six months old.
In contrast to what I expected, the entire process was very smooth. Yes, there were long lines on each window but the employees were very efficient. It only took 15 minutes to obtain a request form to the payment process. Mommies can perhaps do the grocery while waiting! :) And with that, I give NSO Lipa a five star rating on overall convenience factor!