Red tape, according to Web WordNet 2.0 is a “bureaucratic procedure: needlessly time-consuming procedure”. Many an office procedure is bogged down by it, under the guise of ‘documentation’.
To add to my seemingly unending frustration with PLDT, here is yet another instance of red tape. They refuse to have me as a postpaid landline subscriber because the house I am about to occupy, my father’s house, is NOT in my name. This despite my having provided them with a copy of the real estate tax receipts in my father’s name, my birth certificate which of course contains my father’s name and which also states that I was BORN in that same house which I would now like to have a PLDT landline. No, this documentation is not enough for the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.
They will honor a Contract of Lease, as they first told me, to prove that I am a new occupant of the house, and unrelated to the previous tenant. So they want a piece of paper that says I am renting our own house from my father. Sure, I can cook one up no problem, but why should I? It’s my father’s house that he’s put my husband and myself in charge of. What can be simpler?
The sad thing here is I have no other alternatives. Globelines does not cover our area, and neither do Bayantel nor Digitel. I am reduced to making do with PLDT’s prepaid Telesulit, which rules out even dial-up internet access via prepaid cards, as the expense will be double.
(edit, Wed 06 April 2005) Here’s the succession of emails between myself and PLDT Customer Care (which I am really tempted to call Customer I-don’t-Care):
29 March 2005 / I have been trying to apply through your online facility but the .asp page keeps generating errors and my application has not gone through. I hope that applying through email will work just as well.
Last Name – Gaerlan
First Name – Maria Marina Victoria
Middle Name – Kapauan (and so on)
to which they replied, roughly 24 hours later (not bad):
30 March 2005 / Dear Ms MARIA MARINA VICTORIA KAPAUAN GAERLAN,
Good day! We checked our records and found out that the telephone number 2-8513965 under the name of ELLEN E VALENA at 9472 ALEJANDRO ST, BALTAO SUBDIVISION, BGY VITALEZ PARANAQUE CITY was permanently disconnected due to non- payment of its outstanding account.
Should you be a new tenant of the above address, we are prepared to reconsider but will need a copy of the Notarized Contract of Lease or Deed of Sale. Please forward the documents to our Fax # 864-3461 attention: Customers@pldt or send us a scanned copy thru e-mail. Upon receipt of the same, it will still be subject for evaluation and approval.
For your reference, your account number is 171736307.
P.S. For further clarification, please feel free to call our Customer Service at 171.
31 March 2005 / Dear Customer Care,
Thank you very much for your reply.
Ellen Valena is indeed the previous tenant of 9472 Alejandro. She and her cohorts have abandoned my father’s house last 29 March 2005. If you have the time, please consult my blog entry about the matter at this URI: http://bambit.kusangpalo.com/?p=84
The house is owned by my father, Oscar F. Kapauan, who is now a resident of Cebu City. He has put my husband and myself in charge of the house and it will be our residence henceforth.
For purposes of facilitation, would you prefer a copy of the deed of ownership in my father’s name, plus my own papers of identification, such as my birth and marriage certificates?
Please let me know so that I can acquire the necessary papers you require.
Thank you very much.
Maria Victoria Kapauan-Gaerlan
So I consult with my dad, who is now retired and settled in Cebu, and he promptly sends me what we feel is the next best thing: a receipt from the esteemed City of ParaÃ±aque, attesting that he has paid the real estate tax for 2005 for the house on Alejandro Street. The Deed of Ownership is sitting quietly in a safety deposit box where we feel it should not be disturbed unless absolutely necessary.
So I email this to PLDT on 31 March, along with a scanned image of my birth certificate with the following details: that the address 9472 Alejandro and 15 Alejandro (in my birth certificate) is one and the same house, the renumbering occurring after ParaÃ±aque became a city.
I received this reply from PLDT:
5 April 2005/ Dear Ms Maria Victoria Kapauan-Gaerlan,
Good day! We regret to inform you that the Deed of Ownership must be under the name of the applicant so to process your application for a telephone line.
Should you have further inquries, please feel free to email us back or please call our Customer Service at 171.
Let me get this straight. PLDT allowed Ellen Valena to have a postpaid landline in her own name because she was a TENANT, who had managed to present a notarized contract of lease. PLDT will NOT allow me, the daughter of the OWNER of the house to have one, because of my inability to provide them with the same document. A tenant can easily abandon the premises such as Ellen Valena did with my father’s house, leaving all utility companies with whopping unpaid bills, disappear without a trace with the same utility companies not knowing where to get their money. They certainly will not get it from my father, as Ellen Valena owes him at least three months in back rent. But a mere tenant will have a bigger chance of getting a PLDT postpaid line than the daughter of the owner.
But since I, the daughter of the owner of the house, cannot provide them with a Contract of Lease, PLDT will not allow me access to their postpaid service. They will not give it to someone who has provided proof of relationship to the owner, who in turn has provided proof of ownership of the house that stands on the address in question. I would have been better off, they seem to say, if I had manufactured a Contract of Lease, have an unsuspecting notary sign it, and present it to PLDT, as per their requirement.
I don’t see the logic in that. Anyone who does is welcome to point it out to me.