… like me. I’ve been scarce online because I’ve been trying to get my documents in order like renewing my passport, id’s, clearances and stuff in aid of, (not legislation, which is the buzzword in politics right now) opening up a paypal account and boy, it’s been such an ordeal. It’s a bit frustrating how much bureaucratic red tape I have to wade through just to open a simple account. Well, anyway I’m posting this for anyone who might find the info useful for whatever reason. I’m not an expert on this, I’ll just share from what I experienced and what I have done in the simplest way I understand it so you may find it useful or not.
Since this post is about paypal and opening up a verified Paypal account in the Philippines, the objective is not just to sign up at Paypal but to have a verified paypal account. I’ve been signed up for years but haven’t done anything with it because of many restrictions for Philippine-based users. Now Paypal has become more Pinoy-friendly and allows us not only to pay(send) money for online purchases/transactions but also to receive(withdraw) money as well. It still has a long way to go but I’m just glad that this option is made available to us Pinoys already.
(Note: Generally a paypal account becomes verified only when you have added a credit/debit card to your profile and completed the expanded use process. Read more about the benefits of being verified here.)
Here are some tips on what to do or not do based on my experience.
- Read. Read as much as you can on the topic. There are a lot of helpful discussions online at the pinoymoneytalk forum or read Chikai’s blogsilog for more details to help you. Don’t forget to read all the way through so you don’t miss out on the steps. I didn’t so unfortunately I wasted time and transpo money going back and forth to complete requirements I forgot.
- Write. You need to write down or print out the information you gathered. It’s not a cool thing to be waiting in line for hours or traveling 20 kilometers to your destination only to find out you forgot your cedula number or your barangay clearance or so and so’s contact number etc. Major bummer!
- Gather all the required documents and place them in one container or folder and keep them there for the whole duration of the process until the task is completely done. Imagine how frustrating it would be to be finally in front of the person you are submitting your documents to only to find out that your documents are in the folder you left at home because you switched bags today.
- Plan your itinerary and try to locate the addresses of the offices or agencies you need to go to. Most of these offices have websites already so just click on their contact us tab to get their office address or phone numbers. Call them up and inquire before you go. Verify if what you have gathered is what they require because sometimes the requirements listed online are not what is followed in practice. Try to do all you can in the location you are in. I live far from these offices so I made sure that I didn’t have to go back there once I left.
- Submit and Smile. You’ve finally accomplished #1 to #4 and it’s almost your turn to be attended to by the not so amiable clerk in front of you. Try to be as polite and as cool tempered as possible so that your papers don’t end up at the bottom of the pile even if you feel like screaming at the poor service you are getting (unless you intend to never ever go back to that establishment or you wait till that person gets promoted or fired).
- Wait. Your papers are finally in and all you can really do is wait so just wait…. and wait… hmmm wait…. still waiting….
- Follow-up. So you’ve done the waiting game and it’s been weeks since you’ve submitted your papers just pick up the phone and call them because the likelihood of them calling you is zilch. Don’t forget, be nice. You don’t want to keep waiting for another six weeks.
- Tip#8 is not done yet because I haven’t gone past #7 but most probably what I’ll be doing is Celebrate and blog like crazy.
I am going via the Unionbank EON Cyber account route although you could also enroll your own regular credit card and now your local bank account code to get verified. Here are some useful links to help you get started on the requirements:
- Unionbank EON Cyber Account
- DFA (passport application requirements)
- Philippine Information Agency (postal id application requirements esp for students or unemployed/self-employed who have no employer’s id)
- Miscellaneous Downloadable government forms
If you don’t like to sift through all that government stuff, you can also get it simplified right here.