Categories
How-To Guides

Getting an OMB Certification, Permit, or Clearance

It’s been a while since my last blog. In this post, I will share my not-so-pleasant experience of getting an OMB certification or permit for the CDs I’ve purchased from South Korea.

Shopping Time

So, it was last month (October), when I bought different CD albums from an online store in Korea. Prior to that, I did my research and found out about the OMB policy on importation of storage devices such as CDs and DVDs.

According to the blog and Facebook posts I’ve read, I may need to get an OMB clearance or import permit prior to the release of my package. That is if customs will require it. (fingers crossed)

I ordered 40 albums in total. Per the OMB website, the consignee of a shipment or package containing 6 or more of CDs and DVDs needs to get a permit or license whichever is applicable.

My items are for personal use, so I applied for a permit instead of a license.

The online store I bought the CDs from separated my order into two boxes and shipped them via DHL. I wouldn’t have known if I did not contact them. There’s no additional shipping fee, so it’s OK.

They shipped my order in the last week of October (28th), and it arrived here in the Philippines after two days. Before that, DHL forwarded it to Hong Kong.

After its arrival, it was immediately processed for clearance. Guess what? Both boxes were held for clearance. :D

I did not ignore the possibility of getting a permit. That’s why on the same day that the store shipped the boxes, I’ve emailed OMB at omb.centralized@yahoo.com. I got that information from their official Facebook page.

Getting an OMB Certification, Permit, or Clearance (Day 1)

I’ve sent them a letter of intent in PDF format. I addressed it to their new chairman or CEO.

On the following day, October 29, 2020 at 3:12pm, I’ve received a response.

They sent me a sample copy of the letter of intent (assuming they rejected my drafted letter) and an affidavit of undertaking. The latter is new to me because no blog nor a Facebook post mentioned something about it. I thought I just need to submit a letter.

In their response, they told me to send a copy of the waybill and my identification card. So, I had to submit four: letter of intent, scanned copy of my ID, an affidavit of undertaking, and a copy of the waybill.

I have never accomplished an affidavit of undertaking before but I had to in order to release my package from customs.

Just to share, the affidavit of undertaking that they forwarded to me is like a form that needs to be filled out and notarized. It is like an attestation that the package or shipment you have declared on it or say the items in your box are for personal use only. Not for commercial or distribution purposes.

Mine has been notarized a couple of kilometers away from home. I spent more than 700 pesos I think for that document alone. haha! But I’m so happy that this experience taught me how to get a notarized document. It’s cool.

Day 3

I don’t want to waste time. So, I readied and submitted the requirements to them on the following day (October 30, 2020 at 4:17pm). I then received a response after the long holiday.

They responded to me on November 3, 2020 at 4:30pm. Unfortunately, I’ve submitted a wrong document. Instead of a copy of the DHL waybill, I’ve sent my order invoice from PayPal.

I don’t know what they need exactly, but after a few minutes of pondering, I remember DHL sent me an email with a scanned copy of the waybill and the commercial invoice.

I haven’t mentioned it earlier. However, while communicating with OMB via email, DHL also sent me an email on November 2, 2020. They informed me that in order to resume the release of my box, I need to get an OMB clearance. Take note, they used the term “clearance”.

Also, in the email, they informed me that if my box is not cleared in 30 days from its arrival, they will tag it as abandoned.

To clarify, customs put just one box on hold. They released the other box the following day from the arrival.

Going back to OMB, I immediately forwarded to them the PDF file that DHL sent me.

Before I proceed, let me just share that some blogs or online posts I’ve read mentioned that we can apply for a clearance in advance as long as you have a copy of the tracking number. Based on my experience, this is possible if you have a copy of the waybill also. If I knew it’s a requirement, I should have informed the store to send me a copy.

Day 12

I dunno what happened to OMB, but I only received a response on November 9, 2020 at 4:47pm. One thing I noticed is that they usually reply in the afternoon and that they are not quick in responding.

In the email, the person I’m talking to just acknowledged receipt of the document and that’s it. No setting expectation or whatever. lol I don’t know when will I get my permit exactly, how do I pay for it, whatever.

Days passed by including Typhoon Ulysses without getting any emails from them. I followed up to no avail.

I’m near the deadline and so frustrated for getting no feedback. So, I tried to approach CCB or Call Center ng Bayan for assistance. They are quite fast in replying and they endorsed my issue to OMB heads. Sadly, nothing happened. It’s funny that they endorsed my complaint to the previous chairman. haha!

Again, the deadline is near.

To my surprise, someone from their office with a different email address got back to me regarding the payment. It was on November 17, 2020 at 8:18am.

OK! So, they told me to pay 150 pesos via Landbank. In the email, there’s an instruction in a PDF file and an assessment slip that shows the breakdown of fees.

It was an easy pie. Good thing I can pay with my UnionBank account. There are many options on the website, but the major banks are missing.

Again, I don’t want to waste time. I immediately made a payment and sent them back the assessment slip and a screenshot of my 150 peso payment plus the transaction fee. Yap! I did not pay just 150. I think 170 or 180.

So, now the questions is, what happened after I made a payment? Did I get my clearance or permit immediately?

Day 23

Of course not! haha. I only got it on November 20, 2020 at 12:23pm. They did not reply back to my last email. However, they sent me a separate email with my certification attached to it. It’s a PDF file. I thought they will require me to pick it up, but thankfully, they sent it to me digitally.

The document is not labeled as a permit nor a clearance. It’s a certification which says that the recipient can have his/her shipment released and that OMB do not object to it. lol

I immediately forwarded the file to DHL who then responded to me quickly. They told me that they will process the release of the shipment which they did. The sad news is they only told me this time that I have to pay customs fees of P4,221.00. :(

But they did not deliver my package immediately! It took them two days. Also, I paid the tax in cash.

Lesson Learned from Getting an OMB Certification, Permit, or Clearance

Will I put myself on the same situation again? Nope! I’ll better buy CDs or DVDs and keep it at six pieces or below per box only.

If you are reading this and you are importing KPOP albums as a group manager, if customs require you to get a certification, you need to get a copy of the identification of each of your customer. :| I just read it on the previous email that OMB sent to me. If not and if you are a minor who purchased some items, your parents need to execute the affidavit on your behalf.

Of course, the list of requirements is updated from time to time. It is best to contact them first to confirm.

As per OMB’s latest posts on Facebook, getting an OMB clearance, permit or license will take 5 business days. But were not sure about that! haha

Note that getting an OMB clearance, permit, license, or certification is not just for CDs and DVDs. Other storage devices such as SSD, HDD, SD card, etc. are also regulated by them. If you will import, export, distribute, sell, or whatever the said items, they or any other government agency like customs may require you to get a clearance, permit, license, or certification from them first.

Categories
Business

Txn after cut off BPI

What is Txn after cut off in BPI Online or mobile app?


Same with posting of credit card transactions, any transaction using a BPI account, say a Savings account, will have a pending or “Txn after cut off” status first. BPI then posts the transaction details after one business day or longer depending if the transaction was made over the weekend, a holiday, or whatever.

Based on my experience, the details of transactions made on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday are posted every Tuesday, but that may not be the case all the time. Factors like system issues, upgrades, holidays, etc. might cause a delay.

Here’s an example:

I made the 10 peso transaction on Saturday and the 3,999 payment on Monday:

It just shows the same status: “Txn after cut-off”

Now, the system posted the transaction details for both on Tuesday:

I usually ignore the dates when checking transactions. However, in this case, I noticed that BPI did not post the exact transaction date for the 10 peso amount. I made it last Saturday (August 1). But then, the app shows August 3 same with the card payment

—-

If you noticed an unrecognized transaction with “Txn After Cut Off” status, it’s best to contact BPI right away. They can check what the transaction is for; same with pending credit card transactions.

Categories
Business

GrabPay account number: what to use?

This is me guessing what a GrabPay account number is.

So, lately I placed my usual monthly grocery order through GrabMart. What I usually do is pay with my credit card through GrabPay.

I only add the exact amount for every purchase including any discount.

For “this” particular order, everything went well until the store, Robinsons supermarket, texted me and said that one item off my grocery list is out of stock. So, they asked permission to removed it which I immediately approved.

It was too late to request for a replacement. So, the app notified me of the removal and price update.

The system removed the discount for missing the target amount after the update, and so I have to pay an additional 10 pesos. Meaning, I have to top up again or else my account will remain restricted (unable to use GrabPay but Cash).

The order went through though and the rider delivered the groceries to me within an hour.

The system did not send me the receipt as usual, but sent me a payment failure notification instead.

I don’t want my account with a restriction nor a balance, so I transferred the amount from my BPI account for free.

Transferring money to GrabPay is the same with other bank. I just had to enter the amount, account number, whatever.

It was my first time, so I have no idea what my account number is.

I then remember using my phone number to add funds to my PayMaya account. So, I thought it would be the same for GrabPay since customer service usually ask for my registered phone number whenever I contact them.

So, I tried and it worked!

Much to my surprise, the Grab app sent me a notification as soon as I tap on the Submit button on the BPI app.

So, what is GrabPay account number?


Lesson learned, GrabPay account number for transferring funds from BPI is my registered phone number

Categories
How-To Guides

Enroll Citibank Credit Card to BPI

I had to enroll Citibank credit card to BPI recently. That would help me pay my bills online which is convenient than taking a trip to a bank, department store, whatever.

So, here’s what I did to register the card.

Time needed: 3 minutes.

I already have an existing BPI Online account, so all I have to do is to enroll the Citibank card.

  1. Signed in to my BPI Online account. Note that card enrollment via app is currently not possible.

  2. I went to the Main Menu > Other Services > Manage Recipients

  3. Tapped on Add New Recipient

  4. I chose “Biller” > “Citibank”, then typed in my 16-digit card number in the reference box

  5. Reviewed and confirmed biller details

  6. Requested for an authentication code

  7. Entered and submitted the code sent to my registered mobile number

  8. Enrollment is successful!

That’s it! That’s how you enroll Citibank credit card to BPI.

I can pay immediately, but I pay on the bill’s due date. :)

Categories
How-To Guides

Google Sheets: How to move cell data with comment to another cell?

I’m not good in Google Sheets, however, I use its basic functions for organizing work-related information.

Recently, I had to polish an old spreadsheet so it would be easier for me to find the information I’ll need. To do so, I had to move cells from point A to B with everything intact such as comments, cell format, data, etc.

It was a challenge to me because I don’t have an idea how to move a comment in a cell to another one. Copy-paste won’t work!

So here’s what I did to accomplish the task:

Time needed: 1 minute.

In Google Sheets:

  1. Cut “the cell with a comment, etc.” that I want to move to another cell.

  2. Jump to the cell where I want to move the data

  3. Then, paste.

Now, I know!  

Categories
Business

ERC email address | Lodging a complaint

What is ERC email address?


Filing a complaint against an electric power distribution company like MERALCO? You can shoot ERC an email at consumer@erc.gov.ph.

Their contact number is (02) 8689-5389.

Categories
Business

How to activate BPI credit card?

How to activate BPI credit card?


If you just received your first BPI credit card, there is no need to activate it manually on the app, by text, or whatever. Your card is pre-activated and ready to use.

If you already have an existing BPI Online account and you’ve provided the same registered email address during your BPI credit card application, BPI most likely added it to your account automatically. No need for manual activation, registration, or enrollment.

Categories
Business

How to enroll biller in BPI app?

How to enroll biller in BPI app?


Unfortunately, enrolling a biller in BPI app is not possible as of the moment. If you already have a BPI Online account, you can do it on the BPI Online website instead. Just go to the Main Menu > Other Services > Manage Recipients > Add New Recipient.

Note that username and password for both BPI Online and app are the same.

Categories
How-To Guides

PLDT chat support through Messenger

Do you need assistance with your PLDT Home account? Billing issues? Repair? If yes, I’ll share here how to contact PLDT chat support via Messenger.

Alternately, you can phone them at 171 using your PLDT landline or a Smart SIM for free.

What are the requirements to get in touch with a PLDT chat support agent?


You need a PLDT Home account number and its associated landline number. Also, you’ll need a Messenger account and the mobile app.

How to contact PLDT chat support?

Time needed: 1 minute.

This is how to contact them via Messenger:

  1. Type “PLDT Home” in your Messenger’s search bar.


    Select the same option in the screenshot. That is PLDT’s chat bot. However, you can chat with their agent.

  2. Type “Agent” then press enter.


    This tells the system that you are requesting a chat.

  3. If you get the same automatic response in the screenshot below, find the “Ask us a question” option, then tap it.


  4. Enter “Agent” again, then tap Proceed.


  5. Enter the ten digit PLDT Home account number.


    If you entered an incorrect account number, the system will give you an option to enter it again.

  6. Enter the landline number associated with the PLDT Home account number. You should include the area code. For example, 0288881234.


    Again, make sure that the number is accurate.

  7. Once the system validated the information, tap Proceed to connect to a PLDT chat support agent.


    Like this:

Based on my experience, the system usually connects me with an agent within a minute. However, this may not be the case all the time.

That’s it! Chat with them in Messenger!

Categories
Review

Nestle Fresh Milk Price and Nutrition Facts

1. Wanna know Nestle Fresh Milk price in the market?


It’s in my grocery list a few days ago. Based on the receipt from Robinson’s Supermarket (via GrabMart), a liter of Nestle Fresh Milk is ninety one pesos.

Note that the price may vary in other store.

2. How many calories are there in a serving of Nestle Fresh Milk?


Based on the packaging, there is 160 calories per 250ml of Nestle Fresh Milk. For micronutrients, see picture below: