NSO: Slow Service, Fast Money

I went to the National Statistics Office (NSO) today to get some birth certificates. I arrived there at around 12NN and finished the whole process by 5PM. It was a grueling five hours of sitting at multiple queues.

NSO calls their service NSO Serbilis (Quick Service) but they lied. My goodness! Just for the first three steps (Securing an Application Form, Verification and Payment), it took me three hours. Another two hours for the releasing of the birth certificates. Thank you to my friendly seatmate at the waiting area, I did not die from boredom.

Here are some up and downs of NSO’s services:


1. There are no Fast Lanes for senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), pregnant women and applicants with their children. They are being prioritize and there was this time that there are so many senior citizens, the whole queueing process was delayed. There were thousand applicants. That’s for real! My number was 4013 and as more priority applicants came, the process is delayed longer. NSO should set up a Fast Lane for priority applicants so that other applicants will not be delayed (and die from boredom or fatigue).

2. Unlike other government institutions, NSO doesn’t have any service outlets that’s why all applicants flock in their central office. No wonder why the applicants reach more than 6,000. For real! The higher the number of applicants, the slower the application process is. My seatmate at the waiting area traveled all the way from Bulacan just to get some certificates. I heard other applicants are from the provinces too. NSO should really set up service outlets nationwide for more efficient and applicant-friendly services.

3. NSO’s online delivery service is way too expensive. If you apply personally in NSO, you will pay PhP140-PhP195 per copy of a certificate. On the other hand, if you apply online, you will pay PhP350. NSO’s online process is, of course, faster and your order will be delivered right at your doorstep after two to three days. The manual process is slow but you will receive your certificate right after the tiring queues. You have your options: (1) cheap and tiring but immediate results or (2) expensive and easy but you’ll wait for two to three days. I guess NSO doesn’t set up service outlets so that applicants that are far from their central office will apply online. Easy money there!

4. Long and Multiple Queues. Well, that’s a real problem in government services. They will let you fall in line for like three to four times when they can do all the process in a long table where you need to just transfer for every step. Easier for us, but boring for them, I guess.

5. We pay PhP140-PhP195 for a yellow (pretending to be an expensive gold) photocopied (pretending to be original but only certified) certificate with a documentary stamp tax. I overheard one applicant saying, “This is it? They just Xeroxed the original!” Well, NSO’s photocopying service is indeed expensive. I realized, NSO generate a large amount of income for this. Imagine, every day, they have thousands of applicants, so, they get half a million just for a day! NSO should be audited.


1. NSO’s waiting area is not air-conditioned but you’ll not perspire that much since there are numerous electric fans. In fact, the wall fans are big and there are water sprinklers in front of the fans that sprinkle water every once in a while. The mist is so refreshing or as we Filipinos say it, it’s presko (cool!) I hope you would not get colds though. That’s all for their Up! Ha!

So, NSO is slow but the money goes really fast.



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