For over a year now I have been pursing an import permit, something advertised by the PEZA zones as a benefit of locating in one of the Free Trade Zones. What the Marketing Department doesn’t tell you is how long and convoluted the process will be or that along the way there will be numerous road blocks caused by failures of their own system such as regional BIR offices being unable to share filed tax reports with the national BIR office.
So after a while you just expect delay and hassle and several days digging out the real requirements for filing any particular bit of paperwork. One such irrational flaw in their import permit processing is the AMO process, Account Management Office for Customs. Now by this point you were long ago registered with the BOC (Customs) but six months later in the process you find that you have to register once again with a different department of Customs and why the idiots can’t simply share the already stored data is beyond me.
One of the requirements is a Certified True Copy of the CPRS, Client Profile Record System or something along those lines. This is the information that you filed six months ago, stored on Custom’s own computer system. But how do you go about getting a Certified True Copy of the CPRS? Where do you go? The private company that inputs the data into the CPRS, the BOC, the marketing department at the PEZA zone? The first step is to email the private company that manages the CPRS data, the ones that you sent the info to for “storing”. A few days later you will get an email back telling you that the AMO requires a fresh copy of the CPRS and that it has to be a certified true copy. Okay…. you reply back requesting that they file a fresh copy as you have no access to their system and God forbid the minion sending the email thinks to do so on her own and you ask again how you obtain a certified true copy.
A few days later you get another email congratulating you on having the CPRS info stored once more. No mention of how to get the elusive certified true copy. So another email goes back saying thank you, but how and where do I obtain the certified true copy of the CPRS?
By now you KNOW that every single page of requirements must come from the regional office of the government department involved. If it is a BIR document you know that first you head down to the regional BIR offices, pay a few hundred pesos for a copy that is stamped certified true copy after the dweebs find your original document, compare it to the three copies that you brought in at their request, and if they match they make the required number of certified true copies from the original. The first thought is why do they ask you to bring in three copies of your copy of that document when they plan on locating their original copy, seeing if your copies match, and then they print and charge you for new copies? But eventually you leave the regional office with some freshly printed, stamped, and sometimes ribbon festooned certified true copies, if they can find their original copy. This might be one trip, it might be five trips, roll the dice and keep your temper in check.
So back to the AMO requirements. After about six emails, carefully wording your questions on exactly where to go to get the certified true copy of the CPRS you get the answer that you were looking for:
“Oh, sir, you just stamp it certified true copy with your name on it. If you don’t have a certified true copy stamp you can have an attorney or notary public notarize it for you.”
Now after a year of this you understand why certified true copies are required, because the flips will cheat and fabricate documents rather than deal with their own bullshit system. Why register a business and pay BIR taxes if you can have someone fabricate fake permits? You know that the Philippines government is in an un ending war to collect taxes as there is no rule of law and the people have little fear of being prosecuted unless someone is being made into an example. But hidden within their system like dog turds in the banana pudding bowl are requirements and processes to get requirements that simply cannot be fulfilled. Some bureaucrat or legislator wrote the requirements without checking to see if they could be followed. And their solution is not to change the regulations or the requirements but to allow people to bypass the requirements or provide an affidavit stating why said requirement is impossible to fulfill.
At the end you are left wondering why they won’t accept a printed out email from the CPRS system, a system they have access to, but they will accept it if you spend a few hundred pesos on a rubber stamp that states it is a certified true copy.