All day long yesterday, I was dreading our much-needed trip today to the Manila City Hall; we really needed certified true copies (CTCs) of our marriage contract, so I can start the process of changing my name (and status) on legal documents. I was preparing myself to battle the bureacracy and inefficiency often associated with dealing with government employees (beep-beep! “bato-bato sa langit…!”). I was even prepared to do a little begging and sweet-talking if that would make the local government employees wake up from their (notoriously) catatonic state, and hopefully give us the attention we need.
But darn, I was very impressed with how efficient the Manila City Hall employees were! Upon entering the cavernous building, we were greeted by courteous employees, who politely asked us if we needed assistance. There were no people loitering in the corridors, no bored-looking employees who give you an i-can’t-help-you-that-is-not-my-job line in a monotone. When we got to the cashier to pay for our requests, I expected to see ladies gossiping amongst themselves, not caring if the line in front of them reached all the way to Makati. Another shocker – the cashiers were very efficient, working very quickly even if there were just a few people in line. From filling out the request form to receiving the schedule for picking up our CTCs – the whole thing lasted 15 MINUTES (and that included waiting for 5 minutes for the offices/departments to open after their lunch break, since we got to the City Hall at around 12:55)! I was thinking, was I still in the Philippines?!:P
And best of all – every little window, every office door and every department was open to serve the eager public by 1:00PM SHARP – how’s that for giving “Filipino time” a new (and very much appreciated!) meaning?! 🙂
This post has a lot of exclamation points to show how impressed and happily surprised I am with the MCH’s efficiency. I am deeply sorry – ashamed of myself, even – for thinking the worst about their employees’ services even before I set foot in their building.
Maybe there is still hope for this country, after all. I believe we really can do it, one small step at a time…
Kudos to the awesome employees of the Manila City Hall! You guys rock! 😉