An alternative document is the postal identity card. As the name implies, this document enables the bearer to conduct business at the post office here (also known as Philpost) with a minimum of hassle . But more than that, the postal identity card is accepted throughout the country as valid i.d. for transacting not only government-related matters but commercial purposes as well, such as banking and supposedly is even accepted as valid i.d. internationally.
However, whether one is an alien or a Philippines citizen, obtaining postal identity card involves a great deal of red tape. The following documents are required:
- A completed application form (original and duplicate)
- 3 photos (size 2" x 2")
- barangay clearance
- cedula (community tax certificate)
- your passport (or for Philippine citizens a notarized copy of your birth certificate)
- P350 (for a rush job, it's P550).
Postal identity cards are valid for three years. Mine expires at the end of this month, so today I trekked to the Quezon City Main Post Office to renew it. There was no else waiting for that service, but nevertheless I was impressed by the efficiency with which the clerk completed the task, especially considering her equipment for filling in the data fields on the card: a typewriter that looks as if it was already old when I was born (Such is the state of the art at many government offices.)
I must say that this experience in dealing with Philpost was quite different from previous encounters. But even if it hadn't been that easy, at least it's a task that I will no longer have to think about, especially whether or not I will be met with a co-operative attitude. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, dealing with officialdom in the Philippines is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.