The NBI Clearance 2012 Experience

Since I’m incredibly OC (forever) and incredibly jobless (for now), I made a To Do list just so I can keep myself busy.  It covers everything from learning how to cook, repairing my psp to obtaining every single government ID out there.  And once I find a job, another set of pre-employment requirements will have to be completed so best to start early!

Here’s what I got:

SSS digitized ID – check

philhealth – got the number, no physical card

tin card – see philhealth ^

postal ID – none pero ang expensive

voters ID – registered voter but IDs take more than a decade as per kuya from Comelec district 4

nbi clearance – for renewal

police clearance – for renewal

I went with NBI just because.

The one I have is dated September 2008.  I remember this was renewed at the NBI satellite office in Megamall.  I went with my sister to complete her pre-employment stuff and I thought what the heck, nandun na rin ako.  But back then, it was a breeeeeeeeeeeze.  We were done in less than 30 minutes because it was computerized.


From online research, I found out that the NBI clearance process has been screwed up since last year.  (I lived under a rock for about 2 years so I had no idea.)  I also learned you now have to set aside a full day just to get a copy.  No more renewals too.  They are all new application requests now.  Regardless of what satellite office you go to, the process is the same.

I asked my mom to go with me.  The date was set for February 2, Thursday, 6 am at the Quezon City Hall.  My mom’s from Cubao and I live in Fairview so meet halfway.

On the fateful day I got up at 4am and prepared my stuff.  I had 3 packs of skyflakes, 2 fully-charged cellphones, 50 new downloaded songs and 30 pages of fill-in-the-blanks-quote-puzzles.  My mom got there first and she sent a message saying the line was so long.  At 6 freaking AM???  When I got there, saw my mom at the end of the line and saw where we will be spending the entire day WAITING,  something in me snapped and I said let’s just go to Ever Gotesco Commonwealth.  At least dun aircon!

The NBI clearance area in QC City Hall is at the back area, like a small and narrow side street/back street filled with food stalls/carinderias.  The only protection you’ll get from the sun or rain is a small plastic roof directly in front of the NBI clearance windows.   I couldn’t see if there was an actual “waiting area” as in one with seats because half of the people were lined up in front of the windows then another half formed a snake-like queue behind them and the same line continued to stretch all the way, almost close to Kalayaan avenue.  People were everywhere!  Some were sitting on the gutter, some of them on the street itself.  Ay di ko talaga kaya!  Time to move on.

We rode the jeepney to Ever Commonwealth.  The satellite office at this mall is in a cinema but since it was just 6:30 am, the mall was still closed.  We saw another long line running through the side of the mall and it was very clear where we had to go.   I asked around if there were numbers being given out but they didn’t have that.  So, we fell in line.

There were actually 2 lines by the time we got there.  The first line was directly beside the mall but it was too long so nag U-turn na ang line.  We waited here for about 2 hours.  There was a lady guard who went around inspecting if everyone’s requirements were complete.  She was also checking for the applicants’ attire because slippers, shorts and sandos are not allowed inside the mall.  I noticed she also had a clicker for keeping track of the number of applicants.  They only process 500 applicants per day.  1000 for QC City Hall.  When she passed us I had to ask her if aabot kami.  Sabi ni lady guard “Oo naman abot pa!”  Whew.

Around 7:30 am they started letting people in so the line finally began moving.

I made it to the first line na!

This waiting part was the hardest because we were waiting outside and walang maupuan.  My back was killing me by the time I got to the first line.

From here, we were led through a side entrance/fire exit which led to the cinema lobby. Hurray for air-conditioning!  A guy from maintenance was organizing the queue and finally we were able to sit down, on the marbled floor.


Parang premiere night lang.  Daming fans!

More hours spent waiting with the lady guard shouting out instructions and some people with lots of side comments and sniggering.  I took a nap while my mom took over the puzzle.  Yes I was able to take a nap right there on the floor.  Goodluck makaidlip sa kalsada sa city hall!

The queue would sometimes move as soon as the people in front were given a form then they would be led inside the cinema.  Another announcement from the lady guard said we had to wait to get our own application forms before we can leave the line then just come back.  They placed the date and a number on each form to identify your place in the queue.  Warnings were also given left and right to closely look at the other applicants because madami daw sumisingit.

We got our application forms around 9:30 am.  I was number 342 and mom was 343.  Imagine ha, we fell in line around 6:30 am.  Apparently some people already lined up at 5 am.  We had to be back at exactly 12:45 pm because lady guard will be calling out the numbers and if you’re not present during the call out then you can’t go in anymore. We were told the form is only valid for that same day so we shouldn’t get any ideas about using the form on a different day.  To kill time, we were advised to go window shopping or play bingo.

The mall was still closed so we answered the forms instead.  You have to strictly follow the samples posted.

Otherwise, pagagalitan ka ng clearance people.  But seriously, how hard is it to follow an actual sample??

I went around the mall by myself (mom was too tired) then early lunch at Jollibee to kill time.  By 12:30 pm we were back at the nbi clearance area waiting for our numbers to be called.  By this time, a lot of the applicants were already tired and grouchy so however organized and orderly the first half of the day was, it was the complete opposite in the afternoon.  Even though we all had numbers and it should have been easy forming the same lines, everyone was crowding around the cinema entrance.  It was bad enough the guard didn’t have a megaphone with her so she had to shout out the numbers amidst the noise of the people and the nearby Tom’s World.  CHAOS!!!

Somehow we heard our numbers then fell in line again, this time we were inside the cinema entrance.  You know that area between the person who gets the tickets then the cinema doors?  We squeezed ourselves in there until we were allowed to go inside.

The clearance processing area is literally inside the cinema.  The screen and the seats were all still there.

The “windows” were in front for payment, encoding, picture-taking then release of clearance.  It was pretty well-organized except for one thing.  Every time ONE person stood up to make a payment, we all had to move seats.  This meant we were barely in our seats for 3 seconds before we had to move again.  It was both funny and stupid.  A lot of other applicants were thinking the same thing so they just remained standing.

And finally, finally, we made it! Around 2pm, it was our turn.  We went through the process BUT we both have to go back February 16 for the release of the documents.  Arghhhhhh.

Clearance is still at 115 pesos.  You need 2 valid IDs (sss, tin, police clearance, passport).  There’s really no dress code for the picture BUT some satellite offices may be more strict than others.  For ever commonwealth – no slippers, no shorts, no sandos allowed inside.  Opening hours are Monday – Friday from 8 am onwards.  They process only 500 applicants per day.

If you’ve decided that you really need that nbi clearance then best be armed with LOTS of patience.

Good luck!


About Thea

Its MY time to explore the Philippines!


  1. Pingback: No Benefit in Impatience | Littering Letters

  2. marygrace apit

    high school id lang ang meron ako. . . pede nd kaya un. . .

  3. i tried QC Hall this afternoon. Got there around 2pm’ less people, less waiting time. by 4 pm i was on my way home, but i have to go back for my NBI clearance 2 weeks from now.

  4. henz

    nag download po ako ng application form s nbi website
    if ever po ba na may copy na ako di na ako pipila?
    or nid ko pang pumila para mabigyan aq ng queuing number?

    about po s requiremtns 2 valid id (school id and sss number plang po meron ako tingin nio ok na un?)


    mam..pwede poh bah magrenew ng nbi kahit ala nah ung nbi nah expd.. nah pwede poh bah un

    • You actually don’t need to bring your “old” NBI clearance anymore. The new “backward” system doesn’t allow for renewals anymore. Everyone who needs an NBI clearance will have to go through the entire process for new applications.

  6. carla

    why did you had to go back on the 16th? cant the clearance be released the same day?

    • Good question. I really got no idea why I had to go back on a different date. Most other people before me got theirs the same day. I’m not sure if may hit kasi I’ve gone through the clearance process multiple times before and I always got the form right after. This experience was a first.

  7. Dave

    thank you! I read your post a day before I went to Ever for NBI clearance. You were like my survival guide 🙂

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