Online: List of Direct Hires with DOLE Clearances or OEC

If you are a direct hired OFW, and recently applied for an OEC, you can check if your name is already on the list of those whose clearances were approved. This list is available online. Go to the POEA website via the below link:

http://www.poea.gov.ph/hswclearance/hsws.html
 

Note: These Notice Numbers get updated regularly and will definitely change every time you visit.

The page will show you the main directory of Notices, each number representing a group or batch of applicants with approved OECs. These Notices will open as a pdf file, and also include an instruction on how to claim your OEC.

Click on each of the Notices to find your name, you can make the indicated date as a reference. For example, if you applied in September or early October 2017, your name would probably be under Notice No. 336 if your clearance is approved:

Under this notice, the clearances were received by POEA from DOLE in October 30, 2017.

If your name is not on any of the lists and you want to check the status of your OEC application, you can contact POEA directly at 722-11-44 or 722-11-55.

How to Get an NSO Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate Online

Did you know that this system has been in place since around 2012? I have been their regular “customer” since I discovered this process four years ago and was able to obtain birth certificates for myself, my siblings, and my parents. Last year, I also requested for my sister’s marriage certificate and I received it in three days!


Here’s quick run down of what you need to know about this online transaction:
– NSO delivers within the Philippines only, via Air21.
– Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates and Death Certificates: Php 350.00 per copy (inclusive of processing and delivery).
– CENOMARs or Certificate of No Marriage: Php 450.00 per copy (inclusive of processing and delivery).

You do not need to go to an NSO branch anymore, and endure the long lines and hours of waiting time. Here’s how to get your NSO certificates online:

1. Go to https://nsohelpline.ph/order-now
2. Select the type of certificate that you want to order:
– Birth Certificate
– Marriage Certificate
– Death Certificate
– Certificate if Singleness (CENOMAR)

3. Next, you will be asked what you need the certificate for. Just select whichever is applicable for you.



4. Fill out the application form. Make sure to be very accurate as any incorrect information may cause delays in the processing of your document. This is the form that you will need to complete if you are requesting for a birth certificate:


5. You will be getting an Order Confirmation towards the end, along with your reference number.


6. A text message will also be sent to the number that you provided. Additionally, you will be receiving an email with instructions on how to proceed with your payment. Payment can be done through different channels. Personally, I went to Bayad Center for most of my past transactions.

7. To check the status of your order, you can go back to the NSO Helpline website (https://nsohelpline.com/), and click on the Status button at the top. Enter your reference number in the box and click Submit.

8. Processing and delivery takes 3-4 days after you made the payment. In the event of unsuccessful delivery, you may follow-up your request through (02) 737-1112.

Since 2013, I have requested six certificates through this online ordering channel, the latest being in July of this year. I haven’t experienced any delays so far. I’d say it is very effective and extremely convenient!


DOLE Suspends Processing of OEC from November 13 to December 1, 2017

Update: POEA resumes processing of OECs, as of December 4, 2017.

For the second time this year, DOLE suspends the issuance of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) for OFWs for 15 days. This will start from November 13, 2017 to December 1, 2017 and covers new applicants only.

Screenshot from ABS-CBN News’ Twitter account

“Balik Manggagawa” or OFWs who are on vacation are not affected by the suspension.

Screenshot from ABS-CBN News’ Twitter account

Here’s the official statement from DOLE:

SSS Online Account: How to Register?

1. Go to the SSS official website at https://www.sss.gov.ph. It is recommended that you use the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE) as some features may not work in other browsers.

2. From the login page, look for and click on the “Click Here” button below the “Not yet registered in My.SSS?” callout.
3.
You will be asked to select one information from among those that you provided when you registered to SSS. Make sure to choose the information that you remember, such as the mobile number that you used when you registered.

4. On the next page, fill out the form with your personal information.
5. At the bottom of the form, enter the information that you selected from the previous page, if you selected Mobile Number, you will get this field:

Likewise, the fields for the other options look like these:

Savings Account Number / Citibank Cash Card / UBP Quick Card / UMID – ATM Saving Account
UMID CARD
Employer ID Number / Household Employer ID Number
Payment Reference Number / SBR No. / Payment Receipt Transaction Number

(NOTE: as mentioned above, you will only need to select one. I used mobile number for this example as that is the easiest to remember.)

6. Lastly, enter the auto-generated code in the box, check the Terms of Service acceptance, and click Submit.
You will get this message after clicking “Submit”:If you will not receive the email in 30 minutes, it may take up to 24 hours. In the email, you will be provided a link to activate your account. Make sure to use the recommended version or the latest version of IE to open the link. Upon activation, you will be asked to assign a password for your account.

After logging in, it may take sometime for your SSS details to be displayed under the E-Services tab. All information sometimes appear as “null” at first. Don’t worry, they will auto-populate after a few minutes.

The online account is very useful for online transactions (of course). From there, you can view your SSS profile, employment and contribution history, details of your existing loan if there are any, or even to actually apply for a loan. You can find the instructions on how to apply for an SSS loan online in this article:

How to Apply for an SSS Loan Online


Buying a Condominium in the Philippines: In-House or Bank Financing?

In one of my previous posts, I talked about my experience in applying for a home loan to several banks in the Philippines. If you are deciding whether to go for in-house instead, here are some fast facts about these two home financing options.

In-House
– Shorter loan duration, normally 5-10 years
– Higher interest rates compared to banks, basically due to the short loan terms
– High approval rate
– Less paperworks and requirements

Bank Financing
– Longer loan terms, between 10-25 years
– Lower interest rates, each bank offers different rates, and may change every 3-5 years
– Approval depends on your capacity to pay, and credit history
– More paperworks and requirements

If you have the money, I would recommend going for in-house financing. You can’t get rid of the paperworks, but it is a lot lesser compared to when you apply for a home loan in a bank. While the terms are shorter, and interest rates are a bit higher, it would still be more practical in the long run.

Related Articles:
All the Costs You Need to Know When Buying a Condo
Buying a Condo Unit: What You Need to Know
Condo Living: Expectation vs Reality

Get a home loan from a bank if your priority is the lower monthly amortization. You may also find a bank that offers home loan promos such as rebates or low interest rates when you apply during a certain period of the year.

I went for bank financing because SMDC is not very keen at accepting in-house financing applications. They were not very enthusiastic about it when I inquired, almost discouraging me not to continue. Nonetheless, the chances of getting approved is high, at least according to the agents that I spoke with.

Are you also looking at these two home buying options? Which one are you more inclined to get?

How to Get a Health Certificate or Health Clearance from your City Hall

Did you know that you could get your pre-employment medical exam from your city hall? That is right, at least for most, if not all cities in Metro Manila.

From my two employments in the past ten years, I did both of my medical exams in a private medical clinic and were paid by the company. However, if you need a medical clearance and your would-be employer directed you to the city hall, you may find these information helpful.

Requirements

Make sure that you bring at least one valid ID (NBI clearance would do), and a cedula from your Barangay. You can get a cedula right at the city hall but often more expensive. In Pasig for example, it would cost you 180 pesos.

Nature of Work

You will be asked to declare the use or purpose of the certificate, and for non-food handlers or food servers, you will only need to comply with the basic procedures:

1. X-Ray – Php120.00
2. Drug Test – Php150.00
3. Photo Capture
for the Health Certificate – Php70.00

Payment

A receipt will be issued to you upon payment. Below is a breakdown of fees (from Pasig) as of October 2017. More or less this would be the same in most Metro Manila cities. 
Results

Health certificate/ID.

Overall, you may spend a good three to four hours inside the city hall for all the procedures. Results are normally released after a day. It could be longer for those whose jobs fall under the food industry. You will be issued with a Health Certificate in the form of an ID card.

Applying for a Home Loan in the Philippines

The biggest questions that I asked myself when I was looking for a condominium are; where should I apply for a home loan? Which bank will approve my home loan application? Which has the fastest home loan approval process? Is it going to be difficult? Or should I opt for in-house financing instead?

I went for bank financing, and at that time I had over four months to get a bank’s approval.
The realities started to sink in when I got my first rejection, it was from PSBank. PSBank was my first bank of choice because my friend who also applied to them a few months earlier got approved. I, on the other hand, never heard from them.

After two weeks, I anxiously submitted my application to China Bank upon the suggestion of my agent. I received a call after a few days for the usual verification process. Over a week later, the lady called me back and dropped the bomb – my loan application was denied because of an unsettled credit card debt with HSBC. I discussed this in this article:

How I Settled My Credit Card Debt

My biggest fear just came back to haunt me again. My agent was now asking me to call HSBC but I refused. I insisted that HSBC will no longer entertain me, and if they do, I might need to go through all the legal stuff which I was not prepared to do. The third rejection is from Metrobank, and next was UCPB. Both banks never get in touched with me; I imagined them literally throwing my application forms in the trash.

Four rejections in a row. That was my life already telling me to pay attention; it has almost gotten me into depression.

So which banks eventually approved my home loan application? And how fast?

First, I am giving a special mention to BPI.

My agent, being so patient urged me to try one more bank. He said he knows someone from the bank who could help. I started to not believe him anymore as that has been his usual line since we started. I completed the paperworks anyway, and he submitted them to BPI.

BPI called me and my brother (who is my co-borrower) after three days. The next week, they came back and advised me to get a Letter of Full Payment from HSBC. This is the bank clearance that I was talking about in this article:

How to Get a Bank Clearance for your Credit Card

That gave me the strength to ask; will my application be approved if I submit a clearance? The answer from the other line was a positive YES! And so days later, I decided to make that call. And the rest is history.

BPI eventually accepted my application but the total approved amount is less than what I needed. It turns out that they did not include my sister as a co-borrower, and me and my brother’s combined salary only qualify for a certain loan amount. To be fair with BPI, they kept my application active for at least a month and was regularly contacting me if I wanted to proceed.

UnionBank to the rescue!

With my permission, my ever persistent agent filled-out the UnionBank application forms himself and submitted them to UnionBank. He has copies of all my supporting documents so he did not even have to meet me that point.

Their process is quite traditional. On the first week, an agent actually visited me at my apartment and conducted a C.I. and background investigation. Someone also went to our hometown in the far-flung province, and looked for my brother at our Municipal Hall where he works. My sister who is working abroad also had to give his employer’s email address for further checking. Overall, it was lots of work but quite fun. After all that we’ve been through, we readily complied to all their requirements.

On the third week, I finally received the best news I would hear that year.

Overall, UnionBank was quite strict but after having been denied by four banks, I did not feel being subjected to a long process anymore. My home loan was booked after two months, and before 2016 ended, I made my first monthly payment.

You might wonder, why didn’t I try BDO? For some reason, I did not think that BDO will approve my application. It was probably due to the quite strict and long process that I went through when I applied for a checking account with them a year earlier. I maybe wrong though, anyone who have positive experiences with BDO in terms of loans? Or do you have a similar story? Feel free to share by leaving a comment below.

How to Get a Pag-IBIG MID Number?

You will need your Membership Identification Number or MID when making transactions with Pag-IBIG. If you do not have an MID number yet, follow the steps below to obtain one. You can get it in less than 15 minutes.

1. Visit https://www.pagibigfundservices.com/ and click on “Membership Registration”.

2. On the next page, click Continue.

3. Enter your complete name, date of birth, and the code on the box then click Proceed.

4. Fill-out the form completely. The form has eight (8) tabs, you cannot proceed to the next tab without finishing the previous one.

5. Double check all the information that you entered before clicking Submit. Make sure that the mobile number and email address that you used are active.

6. Click “Print MDF” to view Membership Identification Number (MID).

7. Your membership form will open as a PDF file. As of this writing, there is no option to save this file. You may choose to either print it or simply copy your MID number (this is located at the upper right hand corner of the form).

Related posts:
PAG-IBIG Home Loans: What is the Maximum Loan Amount?

The MID number is required when you need to get a Pag-IBIG ID or loyalty card, and when applying for Pag-IBIG salary and home loans.

Do You Have an MRI for Your Home Loan?

I was checking my loan amortization yesterday when I noticed the “MRI Premium” beside fire insurance. I’m sure the bank representative discussed this when I was signing my loan documents, but with hundreds of papers to be signed, I could no longer remember what this is (it took me an hour to sign all the documents!). All along, I thought fire insurance and MRI are one and the same. Obviously, I was wrong.
So what is a Mortgage Redemption Insurance or MRI?

It is basically a form of life insurance, or we could say, an insurance for our home loan. This means that in the event the borrower dies, the remaining balance of the loan will be taken care of by the insurance company (because it is insured). So the family of the borrower won’t have to worry about choosing to pay for the remaining balance, or have the property foreclosed.

Do we really need an MRI? 

Upon learning what an MRI is for, I felt better now that this is included in the monthly amortization of my home loan. Just like fire insurance, MRI is an inclusion to home loans from most (if not all) banks in the Philippines. If you do not have a life insurance, an MRI would be a good alternative.



But what if you have a life insurance, can you use that to replace an MRI?

PhilLife Financial discussed this in this article:

http://phillife.com.ph/how-to-avoid-paying-premiums-for-mortgage-redemption-insurance/

To quote a portion of their article;

“If you have an existing life insurance plan, you can negotiate with your bank by telling them that instead of the MRI, you would rather assign the bank as your beneficiary, allotting a portion of the sum assured to cover the amount you owe.

For instance, if you have an insurance plan worth P2 million, and the amount you owe the bank is, say, P800,000, you can ask your life insurance provider to assign P800,000 in favor of the bank. You can present this to your bank as proof that they will still get the money you owe in case something happens to you.”

I do have a life insurance with SunLife, but I haven’t really considered talking to my bank regarding this. I assume that they would not accept this option, since the MRI is a mandatory inclusion to the home loan.

Are you also paying for an MRI? How much?