Magic #2 – Proving I’m not a criminal

I took to the NBI Clearance Center at Robinsons Place Manila, in hopes of getting my NBI clearance (duh) which certifies I’m not at odds with the country’s justice department.

Unlike the first time I queued for it (in a sultry alley at the back of Quezon City Hall in 2007), this time the queue was quick and with people few. Ventilation and acoustics — despite the center being in the mall’s basement — were also adequate. No sweat, no noise. And no fixers. In less than an hour, I had my form encoded, my biometrics taken, and my joy at such ease abruptly cut off as the clerk slipped back my receipt with the stamp:

Date of Release


On the bright side, though, applying for an NBI clearance has now become so easy. It’s practically just part of my grocery list today.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that releasing the clearance has to take time in my case, because the database might have detected somebody else who also has my name and — heavens forbid — used it in vain.


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