A Reminder of Philippine Government Service Quality

When a person in the Philippines needs to get documents or to ask help from the government, they usually expect to wait in line for a long time, prepare a lot of requirements, go through many steps, and get a headache. Yesterday I experienced this again when I went to Roponggi for the renewal of my passport.

When I entered the building I saw a man beside the door whose job (I think) is to help people who have questions. I asked him where I should go to renew my passport and he got a form in a cabinet, stamped on it, gave it to me and said “Window 6”. I already had a form because it was on their website so I told him this and he looked angry. He got my form, stamped on it and gave it to me without saying anything.

A woman in Window 6 checked my papers and told me to go to the cashier to pay so I did. But the cashier wasn’t there. I waited for her for a few minutes and when she came back she moved very slowly and talked to a colleague first before getting my payment. She didn’t say anything or look at me the whole time.

I went back to Window 6 and they told me to go in a room for the last step (signing and picture-taking). There weren’t a lot of people (about ten) but there was only one officer (the other officer wasn’t in his table), so I had to wait for about 2 hours before it was my turn.

The officers weren’t nice. There were some teenagers who have a Filipino parent but cannot speak or understand Filipino and the officers, who couldn’t speak Japanese, seemed angry at them and their parents for this. They talked very loudly and rudely at the parents and the teenagers.

When it was my turn nothing happened except, when it was finished, the officer threw my old passport and receipt at me so the receipt fell to the floor, and she didn’t say sorry (I saw it happen to other people too). I didn’t get angry because the experience wasn’t as bad as usual, but I wish I had a nicer reminder of my home country.