Allow me to wander away from my usual cooking and mommy-ing job for today and permit me to discuss my experience in the NSO (National Statistics Office) in Calasiao, Pangasinan.
Okay, first and foremost, I had to visit the NSO so I could secure myself a copy of my dad’s and my mom’s marriage certificate and whatever certificate pertinent to the SSS funeral and burial claim. If you need legitimate copies of your birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates or you’re curious to find out if your girlfriend or boyfriend is spanking single, and would like to get a CeNoMar (certificate of no marriage) the NSO is the place to go to.
If you are guessing where can you find the NSO center in Pangasinan and is planning to visit the place, follow my walk-through.
There is an NSO office in Pangasinan that serve people from San Carlos, Calasiao, Binmaley, Malasiqui and other peripheral towns. If your home is located in these areas, it is advisable that you visit the nearest NSO office nearest your place. One NSO office which is nearest is located in the 2nd Floor of Manuel Lim Building, De Venecia Road, Calasiao Pangasinan. If you are wondering where this place is, well, it is a stone throw away from the highway road called as the ‘crossings’ where the road going to Calasiao town proper, Dagupan and Binmaley crosses.
The landmarks are Chowking and Jollibee fast foods, facing each other from the other side of the road.
The NSO-Serbilis Calasiao building is about 30 steps away from the Chowking store.
At this point, let me warn you: If you plan to visit this place, make sure to come very early because although the office opens at 8am, people are already lined up as early as 4-5 am just to make sure they can finish processing their documents earlier. If you arrive later, let’s say 10am, or 11am, well good luck to you, you might as well cancel all your daylight appointments for that day because I’m telling you, you’ll surely spend the rest of it in that office. I arrived 6 in the morning and guess what, I was already number 129. That should give you an idea how many people go there every day and how busy the place is.
Okay, the building is like any other commercial apartment building from the outside. I entered a sort of a building parking area where lots of arrows are pasted on the wall, showing the direction to follow leading to the NSO center, you won’t miss it. Arrows are plastered all over the place.
Next, I followed a fairly low staircase leading to the actual NSO office where a long queue of people welcomed me to join them. Advice from the smart kitty, don’t forget to bring your own ball pen! They don’t lend ball pens there, if you don’t have, you’ll be forced to buy one.
Step 1 – Fall in line to get the request forms you need. A security guard will issue the forms for you. Just tell him what forms you actually need. Fill up the forms, make sure you write the correct information in the square spaces. After filling up the form/s, return to the twin queue (beside the security guard) to have your forms screened and be given a number stub. The screening officer will check if you wrote the correct information in the spaces provided in the request forms and will make you leave the line and redo the whole thing up if the information is incomplete. After checking, the personnel will keep your request forms and instead issue a number stub to you. At this point, you are done with step 1. Yay!
Step 2 – Paying for the documents. Go past the security guard’s table to enter a very busy place with lots of seated/standing people. These people are waiting for their numbers to be served by the cashiers’ window at the end of the room. The cashiers serve by 10s in consecutive order. There’s an installed lighted number box on the wall, showing which numbers are being served so you’ll know if your number’s already up.
This room is quite crowded (with equally frustrated people) and oppressively hot so you will want to find a spot near the electric fan or the windows. Only when the cashiers call out your number will you stand up to get in line. The long wait is a killer but the actual paying doesn’t take really long. They also request people to pay the exact amount. NSO Birth certificate, Death certificate and Marriage Certificate cost P125.00 per copy. They also collect a documentary stamp tax of P15.00 per copy, making you pay a total of P140.00 per document. An NSO certificate of No-Marriage is a bit pricier for P180.00 each plus P15.00 cost of documentary stamp. You are done at this point when they finally give you a receipt. Yipee!
Step 3 – Releasing section. After paying for your documents, you will transfer to another section of the building. This is the ‘releasing’ section. Go back to return to the security guard’s area and turn left to enter the bigger room. This room is rather ventilated and quite commodious compared to the confining cashier’s area. It also has lots of green mono-block chairs tied together, for what purpose, I don’t know. The window personnel will ask you to write your stub number on your receipt. So I wrote 129 in mine.
You will be tasked to seat yourself or wait until your name is called. By the way, by name I mean the name of the person in the documents you are requesting, so you had better open your ears and listen very well. If your name is Myla, and you’re requesting for a document in Manuel’s name, they will call out Manuel and not Myla. Also, if you are requesting your relative’s like your sister’s, your cousin’s, your niece or your nephew’s certificates, make sure to bring an authorization letter and a photo-copied ID from them. Otherwise, NSO Calasiao will not release the documents to you (even if they’re paid for). You should also bring your own identification card for good measure.
When the NSO personnel calls out your name, stand in line and get your ‘numbered’ receipt ready. Show it to him and receive your documents. You’re done. Get out of there and get your well-deserved snacks. This whole marriage certificate request took me some good 6 hours to finish.
Marriage certificate finished and done with, time to face the more difficult task of visiting the SSS office in downtown Dagupan. But that’s for another date, at this point, all I want to do is go home, hide my skin from the scorching sun and drink a gallon of ice-cold water. 6 hours inside the NSO Serbilis center turned me into a shriveled prune. I’m parched.
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