Government Websites in the Land of the Average 85 IQ

The typical Filipino government website or online process is a lesson in stupidity or the ability to see past their noses. If you do business here you will find yourself on a one way street just trying to comply with the requirements or process.

An example is SSS, their version of Social Security. The process is that you must first pay the month’s withholding and the employer’s share which is about twice what the employees pay. You get an official receipt showing date, a reference number, amount, what month you are paying for, and little else. No employee names or SSS numbers on the form you turn in when paying.

Then you have to submit what is called a R3, a list of how much was withheld from whom. Used to be you could turn that in in person, now they are forcing almost everyone to do it online. So you log onto the site and open up the online collection list or R3 and enter the info from the receipt. Get one bit wrong, date, amount ,month it applies too and their system can’t find the payment. When that happens you use a different part of the website, after reading the instructions on how to set your browser so it will allow access because the frigging site doesn’t have a security certificate…. Now you can double check the details to see if they match the receipt.

Back to the R3 online form. Type in all the info, SSS number, name, employee contribution, and EC amount which is usually 10 pesos (no one tells you that, you learn by playing with the system till it accepts it and then you figure out why they had a column with 10 pesos in it on the contribution tables), It totals the amount of the employee contribution and EC payment as you progress.

But the employers contribution? Not there, nada, zip, zilch… hopefully your accountant had the monthly payroll computed right. Do the math on a scratch pad to see if everything balances and post the damned thing. About half the time their system will freeze and a half dozen times later it will take.

Six times out of ten the system will go down or crash before you get to that point and you will have to try again in a few hours.

But what if a mistake is made in the payment amount? Ten pesos too much or ten pesos too little? You are well and truly fucked at that point. There are no provisions for editing the amount on the contributions for the employees, the EC amount, or even the employer contribution, all have to match exactly to what the contribution table says or the system can’t handle it.

And yeah, staff made a 30 peso over payment last week and I know from experience it will take three trips to the local SSS office and three months of effort of dozens of man hours to fix one simple mistake. Normal countries know that things will happen and they reconcile the accounts quarterly and annually and don’t tie payments directly to the forms as far as having to match exact amounts.

The worst nightmare is losing the official receipt. Without the reference number, exact date, and exact amount you will never find the payment nor get credit for the payment. Pay again sucker, its more fun in the Philippines

Published in Blatant Stupidiy


  1. Profile gravatar of Idiotocracy
    Idiotocracy Post author

    Got an update from staff. We are officially banned from using the online feature for two months and no they can’t fix the 40 peso over payment. Meaning I’ll need to send someone down the next two months to file the R3 in person and pay through the bank system like we used to do.

    On a side note, one of our employees went down too to apply for a SSS ID card. They took her picture and told her three to five months to receive the ID.

    1. Profile gravatar of DingDong

      @provider-of-nosebleeds I did a vehicle registration this morning. I’ve been waiting for Number Plates for 2 Years! It seems that The Philippines has adopted some Arabic Vocabulary! – Number Plates (Just like Iraq Airlines) are now scheduled ‘Insha Allah!’ OR as the Russians would say ‘Нет новостей’ (No News)

      Thanks for the update on SSS. If it is any consolation, BIR are no different. I am almost certain that they deliberately Sabotage the system, as if everything were ‘Online’ and ‘Cashless’ there would be no opportunity for Scamming! So by having a dysfunctional Website, with non-existent links, and 1,200 DPI PDF Graphic Downloads, they force users to ‘Visit in Person!’

      1. Profile gravatar of Idiotocracy
        Idiotocracy Post author

        I agree, they keep the system screwed up so their budgets continue to grow and they remain indispensable. BIR has its own set of problems including the inability of the regional BIR office computer network to communicate with the national BIR computer network. The line is down…. has been for months, no budget to fix. That alone added six months to our import permit process which is going on its 15th month but we supposedly completed the last portion last month and they are estimating they will approve or reject the permit in another week or two. All that to get some freaking machinery, supplies, and materials to manufacture with. If we want to bring in solid wood we are looking at another three to six months because we then have to go through DENR.

        Cashless.. the local Customs office has a pay window separate from the other functions but has one guy that asks for a bribe, the last in a chain of about four or five desks that the papers travel through when submitting a bring in permit into the PEZA zone. We refuse to pay so he ignores the staff and leaves them waiting at the window till another customs officer walks into the office. Quite grumpy about that, staff says he grumbles every time that it is only 100 pesos and everyone else is paying.

    2. Profile gravatar of Donnie

      3 to 5 month’s is just a statement. When I filed last year around August (If I remember it correctly) its the same thing they said… and guess what, nothing up to this day. Some friends told me there are times it takes a year. Oh my, How convenient! Only in the Philippines!

        1. Profile gravatar of leavinglaspinas

          I’ve had “for registration” tags on my car since February. Now that I’ll be leaving in a few months I don’t plan to change them even if by some off-chance the actual plates become available.

          1. Profile gravatar of Mike

            the way things are here I would not be surprised if your back in Canada 3 years from now and the philippines embassy calls to and tells you to come in and pick up your plates.

  2. Profile gravatar of Idiotocracy
    Idiotocracy Post author

    When I moved into the PEZA zone I had to shut down a previous business, a partnership. Started working on that in early March of 2015 and in six months everything was done except for the BIR. THEY lost one of the tax returns and can’t complete the shut down on their end. Staff goes down once a month and are told to come back the next month as they haven’t found the return. They won’t accept our copy or even a certified true copy that we got to use in the shut down with the SEC. Won’t even trust their own paper work…they know the typical flip would spend hours fabricating a false document to avoid a few pesos in fees or taxes. Fucking retards.

    I have a customer that is somehow involved in the upper mid level Duterte administration. He made the mistake of asking me if I had seen any change in the bureaucracies since Duterte took over so I told him some of these stories. He replied back asking if he could forward them up the chain to give a reality check to the administrations. I figured fix it or fuck it up beyond use so gave permission and sent him some more examples. We all know what is going to happen, deny and deflect, but lord, what if he started killing bureaucrats instead of drug dealers? : )

    1. Profile gravatar of Mike

      One duterte supporter on youtube is telling me that du protects them, and is a great man. He says that 92% of filipinos support duterte, my wife disagrees with that. This filipino goes ion to say that the media is making up the story about the extrajudicial killing in order to smear duterte, they are not happening then goes on to support the killings. So I used the 92% against him after he supported the killings he denied were happening. I simple told him that 92% support is great! It means that if duterte starts killing stupid filipinos then 92% of the population will get whacked.