Philippines: No Standards Is The Standard, Efficiency Is Relative

Is it not great with standards? That you can rely on that within a country they use a certain unit of measurement, or unspoken standards such as getting the main course before the dessert. As you probably have guessed, that’s not the case in the Philippines!

One of the first things that baffled me when i moved to the Philippines was the total lack of structure, effectivization and standards. All the buildings (the ones that does not like the walls have been burning) have different shades of colour. A baby blue building can be next to a pink house, only to advance in a mint green wall.
There seems to be not a single soul or smaller business who cares to the smallest degree that the walls looks like something from world war II. Instead of painting and cleaning, they build things that looks worn from the beginning, and so it remains.
The first time i ate at a Filipino restaurant i ordered some fish, prawns and so, but also a soup. The main course came first. Not in any particular order, or everything at the same time, but sporadically. I asked the staff that they forgot my soup but they responded that it will arrive shortly. Shortly i said? i have already gotten the main dish, the soup was listed as an appertizer. How can it be an appertizer when you get it after the main course? But see, the soup takes longer to make than cooking the fish and rice. Filogic. With a loss of words i let it slip. When the main course was finished the soup arrived. I was hoping for a creamy fish soup or anything that would be a good side dish. It was a bowl of boiled water, with some seasoning, a fish head and a bone from an animal i do not know. This took so long time to make? It tasted just like it looked. Completely bland and it was more like a kind of fish tea. Now i will not go into depth the food culture in the Philippines. The taste is subjective and the only thing i have a hard time with (except the taste of most of the food) is that many Filipinos eat the exact same food every single day. Rice for break feast, rice with some strange stew with everything in it for lunch and then there is the rice. Well it is an asian country.
Thinking this was a horrible service experience I assumed it was just a bad restaurant, but this is the mindset of basically all the Filipino restaurants i have visited, and all the Filipino people i have met.
Measurements of different kind is also kind of confusing. Instead of deciding on using the metric system or the imperial units, they thought, hey! why not use all the system that we have heard of? Its 2 kilometers to the nearest petrol station and a piece of fabric is 20 inches long. Making it a big confusion for example in the manufacturing business.
This applies pretty much in everything. They used to have three different papersizes for the printer at the office, before we determined that A4 was the only way to go for everyday use.
The bank system is flawed an inefficient. To check the balance of the company account, you are bounced around by 5 different people and 3 different lines in the bank. It can take an hour just for them to sort that out because they have 10 different forms for everything. Buying toothpaste can take 5 minutes because there is one person filling all kinds of protocols, one or two people helping this first person, and one person packing the product down in usually two or more bags, knotting them together, stapling receipts and fusing shit together with fusion power for all i know.
It feels like everytime i shop, no matter what it is, there are new challenges for the employees, like they forget how to do it every time.
standards piles of paperworkIt does not matter if your are applying for a working permit or a drivers license, They have an monstrous amount of paperwork, and mostly there are three or more papers you have to sign that are basically the same thing. This makes everything in this country as slow as a snail.
We bought a car when when we came here. The car was bought cash and all was fine. But when it was time to sell it the original seller had messed up. It was noted as a pay-off car instead of paid cash. The authorities said that it would be no problem to fix and it would only take a few days. It has been several weeks and it does not seem to progress.
It seems that whatever you do in the Philippines regarding applications and dealing with authorities, it just seems to be put on a pile in an office, never to be touched again.
The systems are completely un-refined and no one gives a shit about making any changes. No matter what you tell them about their flawed systems and slow treatment of paperwork, they are still oblivious to the problem and instead of saying that they will report it to the management to help improve it, they say some standard line like, ser, its policy or ser, thats our system.
This is only a small selection of flawed systems and lack of efficiency. This generally applies to all Filipino companies and authorities I have been dealing with.
Get your shit together and look over the quality of your systems and standards. You can not improve until you open your eyes and see the problems.
Published in Blatant Stupidiy, Filipino Stupidity, Utility Companies


  1. Profile gravatar of

    Everything you write about is my experiance too. But the Filipino feeling is “Oh well. You’re in the Philippines now.
    Wait until you build a house i.e. 3 inch nails by Kg., window screen is 30 inches wide. How many meters do you want? .Eventually I fired them. Cost me Php 300,000. for a “mistake” in the size. Instead of a 21 X 22 foot building on 10 foot piers. I got a 13x 15 room!! “OH, Sorry sir. But it’s just a mistake.”.
    Bought a car (Daihatsu van) took 38 monthes to get the papers in my name. Said it was the only one in the They did’t have a “prefix” So I had to stand in front of the office and point them out as others drove by. Had to take it to the police where they took a WIRE BRUSK and brake fluid to remove all the paint where the chassie number is imprinted. Then got angry when I ask if they would re paint it!

  2. Profile gravatar of

    Dude, this goes as well with the hiring process here in the PH and the stupid fucking HR.make a blog about it and same with the fucking tricycles lol

  3. Profile gravatar of diax
    diax Post author

    At our business the HR and all the employees are handled by philippinos so am lucky to not have experienced that! However i can definately see what you mean!

  4. Profile gravatar of

    You want a real laugh? Go to the nearest LTO. It’s a wonder that anyone in this country has a DL, registration, or anything resembling those documents. Its just complete confusion as if they have never heard of your request before and endless waiting.