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
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
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
How-To Guides

Western Union: How to Claim an International Remittance in USSC

Are you going to claim a remittance from overseas in Western Union? In this guide, I will share with you how to do it.

Take note, there are lots of Western Union agents scattered across the country, but in this post, I am going to introduce just one which is USSC. FYI, I’m not an employee of that company. I’m just claiming remittances most of the time through them.

Before I discuss the procedure step-by-step, I’m going to explain first the requirements. Read on.

What to Bring

1. Yourself [Personal appearance] – If you are the receiver,  or whose name appears on the sender’s form, you should be the one to encash the remittance. If you are wondering if you can send a proxy, the answer is nope.

2. A valid ID – This is a hot topic in most of the guides I have posted on this blog, and as much as possible, I want to be clear on this subject.

Please refer to this list of accepted IDs by USSC. Take note, I’m not referring to all WU agents. Just USSC.

  • Philippine or a foreign passport
  • Unified Multi-Purpose ID [UMID for short]
  • Driver’s License
  • SSS ID – the previous SSS ID before UMID. I think it is blue.
  • Senior Citizen Card
  • GSIS eCard Plus
  • Employee ID [government or private company] – preferably digitized.
  • Voter’s ID
  • Postal ID
  • NBI Clearance [not yet expired]
  • Student ID [for customers below 18]
  • Seaman’s Book
  • OFW Card issued by OWWA, POEA, or DOLE
  • Professional or PRC ID
  • IBP [Integrated Bar of the Philippines] card
  • PhilHealth ID card
  • TIN [Tax Identification Number] card issued by Bureau of Internal Revenue
  • DSWD Certification
  • Police Clearance
  • Alien Certificate of Registration
  • Firearm License

USSC reserves the right to ask for additional proof of identification. If you are in doubt of your ID’s validity, much better to bring two. No photocopy.

3. Remittance Information

The important details to take note of when claiming a remittance are the Money Transfer Control Number [MTCN], sender’s complete name, originating country, and the remittance amount [in Philippine Peso or other foreign currency like US dollars]. They must be written on the form accurately.

There are some USSC branches, like in Robinsons’ Galleria, that are particular when it comes to a remittance info. Before, a teller in that branch surprised me by asking the complete company name who sent money to me abroad. I only provided the general name excluding the Ltd. which I often do in other branches. For Pete’s sake, he really asked for that missing info. I held my breath as he almost returned the form to me because I am not blurting out the correct word. I thought the transaction will be declined. The good thing is the question turned into a funny guessing game and I was able to mention the magic word. Now that you are aware that this kind of thing happens, always remember to take note of the sender’s complete name, or better request a scanned or photographed copy of the form that he/she or the company’s representative filled out if possible.

Save a copy of the remittance info on your smartphone or a small piece of paper.

Categories
How-To Guides

How to Convert Prepaid Load to Gcash

Aside from going to outlets to deposit money to your GCash wallet, you have an option to convert your Globe airtime credits or prepaid load as well. You’ve read it right! In this post, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to do it using the GCash app.

GCash app is compatible with Android [Froyo and above], and iOS 7.0 or later devices with SIM card slot. Take note, it won’t work on an iPod Touch.

Install the application before you follow the guide below. You can download it for free from Google Play if you’re an Android user, or via App Store if you’re using an Apple device.

Reloading a GCash Account Using Prepaid Load

Note: Make sure your gadget is connected to the internet [WiFi or cellular data network] and the SIM card where your GCash is registered is inserted. Otherwise, you will get an error. You will not be able to access another account other than the one associated with the SIM card in use.

1. Open GCash app on your Android or iOS device.

2. Enter your account MPIN, for example 1234, then tap Log In. You will be redirected to your account dashboard afterward.

3. Tap Cash-in at the lower-left hand corner.

4. Tap Prepaid load to GCash.

5. Select the amount you’d like to convert to GCash.

Proceed to the next page.

Categories
How-To Guides Software

How to Position or Drag Pictures Anywhere on MS Word?

Are you having trouble positioning images on MS Word? If yes, follow the steps below on how to freely drag pictures anywhere on your document.

Positioning Pictures on MS Word

This guide is applicable to Microsoft Word 2007 users. If you are using 2010 version, the procedure is still the same. The only difference is the user interface is changed. If you are using 2013 which is the latest one, kindly search for a guide online about “how to wrap text around a picture”. I haven’t purchased yet the 2013 version that’s why I won’t be able to confirm if the process is same with 2007.

Step 1: Open your document in MS Word.

Step 2: Click the picture you want to position in the document.

Step 3: Go to Format tab then select “Text Wrapping”

By default, when you click on a picture, the Format tab (Picture Tools) will open up automatically in the toolbar. All you need to do is find Text Wrapping option.

Step 4: Choose Behind Text.

Step 5: Drag the picture in the corner or anywhere you want to place it.

Alternative Option

There’s another way of positioning images on Microsoft Word. There’s an option called “Position” in Format tab as well. It is located beside Text Wrapping. You may also use that feature to position images on your document with text wrapping.

Categories
Google How-To Guides Web

Adding Custom Fonts on Google Docs

In Google Docs, there are hundred of stylish fonts to choose from. It is one of the reasons why I prefer it over Microsoft Word. It is very simple, easy-to-use plus all the things that I need are on it.

By default, ‘My Font’ list for all users is comprised of 17 fonts. Those are the common fonts that you can see from other word processing software like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. If you are bored of those and wish to add more, you can do so by following the steps below.

Adding Custom Fonts on Google Docs

Note: You can only add custom fonts in a document, presentation or drawing.

Step 1: Log-in to Google Docs. http://docs.google.com/

Step 2:  Create a new document by clicking Create button at the left side of the homepage. Select Document as file type.

Step 3: A new tab will open in your internet browser. Click on Font drop-down arrow beside Font Size.

Step 4: Select Add Fonts… It is the last option in the list.

Step 5: A small window will pop-up. Type in the name of your desired font in the search box then click Find button (the one with microscope icon)

Not all fonts are supported by Google Docs. There are some fonts available on Microsoft Word which aren’t available on Google Docs.

Step 6: Click the font you wish to add. When you click on a font, it will be added to ‘My Fonts‘ automatically.

If you want to remove a font from My fonts list, click X mark beside it.

Step 7: Click OK once you’re done.

You can check the newly added fonts by clicking the fonts list in the formatting toolbar. Those are highlighted so you’ll know what you’ve just added.

Currently, it’s not possible to upload a custom font from other website to Google Docs.

Categories
How-To Guides

Tracking a Package Shipped via LBC

Whether you are the sender or the receiver, tracking an LBC package is as easy as pie. There are three ways (or probably more that I’m yet to discover).

You Need This

Knowing a package’s whereabouts is not possible without the essential information.

The most common information needed to track a package is the tracking number. LBC provide one for every shipment, and it is usually provided to the sender.

Here’s an example:

This is an official receipt from LBC where a tracking number is printed. In this example, the tracking number is located below the barcode.

If you are the sender, you can easily track a package using that number. However, if you are the receiver, you should get that information from the sender, merchant or seller. Feel free to request a picture of the receipt as proof of shipment.

Tracking numbers are deleted from the system. Not just sure about the time frame.

How to Track an LBC Package

Do this if you have a tracking number:

1. Go to lbcexpress.com.

The website can be browsed on any working web browser on a PC, tablet, or smartphone.

2. Type in or paste your tracking number in the “Track an LBC Padala” box, then press, Enter, Go, Return, or whatever on your keyboard.

That’s it! If the tracking number is correct, the delivery status and/or information will appear on the next page. Otherwise, verify the tracking number, then try again.

An update does not reflect on the tracker real time especially for newly-encoded packages. You can try again after a few hours.

The standard delivery time frame for domestic shipments is one business day (Mondays to Saturdays), but it may be deferred.

No Tracking Number?

If you do not have the tracking number, but can provide other information such as the sender’s name, recipient’s name, delivery address, shipment date, etc., please call LBC’s customer service at 858-5999 if you are in Metro Manila. Otherwise, dial 1-800-10-8585-999.

Please note that mobile calls are subject to regular rates unless you are subscribed to a promo. It is best to contact LBC through landline. Alternatively, you can send them a message through Messenger, though it takes time to get a reply.

What if the Tracker is Down?

Your options are:

– To send a message to LBC through Messenger.
– To call them at 858-5999 (Metro Manila) or 1-800-10-8585999. If you’re using a smartphone, just copy the number then paste it into your dialer .

In-Transit Requests

If you want to make an adjustment to an in-transit package, you may contact LBC through the methods provided above. For example, you wish to pick up the package at a particular branch instead.

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P.S. Should you need assistance, feel free to email me here. Make sure that your email address is valid if you want to hear from me. If you want, you can also inquire through the comments section below. You may also read the inquiries from other readers.

Categories
Business How-To Guides Web

Track Western Union Money Transfer Online

Track your Western Union Money Transfer whenever or wherever you are online through Western Union Tracking website.

Tracking your money transfer online is easier, quicker and more convenient than to call or email customer service.

You can check status of a money transfer in just a minute.

To get started, all you need is the Money Transfer Control Number a.k.a. MTCN and the sender’s name.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to track money transfer online.

Track Western Union Money Transfer

Step 1: Go to this webpage.

Step 2: Enter all required information and click Check Status. See screenshot below.

Money Transfer Tracking – Western Union

If the sender has two first names, enter it on the first box. You can enter the middle initial as well if the sender wrote it in the form.
See example below.

 

In the event that the link in Step 1 is down, you may track your MTCN here.

Enter the MTCN in the box provided, select your country then enter the expected amount.

Track a Transfer page – Western Union

Click Track Transfer.

You’ll see the money transfer status in the next page.

Here’s a list of the common statuses of Money Transfer.

1. Available for pick up by the receiver

2. Picked Up

3. W0131 We do not have an order with the provided information. Please verify your information and click Check Status.