The office nearest us is the PhilHealth Pasig Branch, along San Miguel Avenue, two buildings away from the One San Miguel Avenue building (aka OSMA), right beside the AMA Computer School.
First visit's objective: To update our membership status.
Our experience: There are different queues -- merong for Membership, for Loans, for Payments, for Contribution Updates, etc. Get a number and form from the Information Booth.Tell them what you're there for. We arrived at 10am, and was served after four hours. Good thing we always have our books and magazines. There's a canteen right across the PhilHealth office so no prob about going hungry.
When our number was finally called (after four hours nga), we submitted our filled-up forms. The lady officer then gave us a document reflecting our new status. She also printed out PhilHealth IDs for us. The first ID she handed me reflected my single name. I asked that it be updated to my married name. Requirement: a copy of our Marriage Certificate. Meron ako niyan! Very Girl Scout? Lol. Total time of actual transaction (membership status update from "employed" to "voluntary" -- wala pa kasi kaming work contracts so hindi pa "OFW"): only twenty minutes.
Next step: To the cashier for our contributions.
The cashier asked for certificates reflecting our latest PhilHealth contributions. Yan, wala ako niyan. Lol. So we went to the Contributions Section. They checked our accounts. Unfortunately, our former employer's PhilHealth account is not updated, until 2009 lang daw. Uh-oh. So we have to go to the network and get our certificates of contribution. Hay.
We called our former employer to ask for the certificates. They were ready for pick-up the next day. Bongga.
Second PhilHealth visit: Contributions.
We arrived at 8am. Got a number for the cashier pila. Was served in less than ten minutes. Yey! We submitted photocopies of our certificates and paid in advance, until December 2012 na.
Lessons learned: Come early. This PhilHealth branch opens at 7am. Have all your IDs and documents ready. Be prepared to wait -- bring something to read or watch or play with (Hubby played chess on his iTouch). Or you can watch TV. This PhilHealth office's television was tuned in to GMA News TV. In fairness! Parang di rin kami nalayo sa trabaho. Lol.
Pag-Ibig Take Two
After our first visit, we were asked to come back for Merging naman.
We arrived at the Pag-Ibig Kamuning office, right beside the GMA MRT station (Southbound), at 9:30am. Got a number from the entrance guard. and was served in fifteen minutes. Was given a summary of our contributions. Filled-up a form. Photocopied receipts of our advance contributions (there's a photocopier in their office, don't worry.). Submitted everything to the Merging Counter Officer. And was told that in three days, merged na ang accounts namin -- account as employee and account as a voluntary member. Again, hindi pa "OFW" because we don't have our work contracts yet.
Was out of there by 10am. Yey!
We both agree our experiences with government offices have been OK. No major aberya except for the waiting. But even that is expected so we were always prepared for the wait. Confirmed: Happy people do not sweat the small stuff.