The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is asking the public for understanding for the long queues and delayed processing of NBI clearances.
The bureau said it was currently experiencing “birth pains” as it shifts to a new clearance system after the contract of its former service provider expired on June 30.
The agency has adopted a new Biometric Clearance System to replace the technology of former service provider Mega Data Corp.
Mega Data had provided the NBI with the equipment and database management system for clearance applications in the last 32 years.
The NBI issues clearances to job applicants and travelers certifying that they have no pending cases against them.
Under the new system, which the NBI will own, data will be fully digitized instead of paper-linked.
At the Balitaan sa Tinapayan media forum in Sampaloc, Manila, on Sunday, Romel Papa, executive officer of the NBI office of the deputy director for technical services, explained that the long lines and delays being experienced by clearance applicants were not just due to the new database management system.
“The transition has just been difficult. We ask for your understanding,” Papa said.
He said other factors included the expiration of the agency’s contract with former main clearance outlet Victory Mall and delays in the turnover of a new building for clearance applications.
The NBI has had to open its gymnasium as the main clearance center for the meantime, but satellite centers can now be found in Robinsons malls in Manila, Pasig and Cainta; Ever Gotesco malls in Manila, Quezon City and Caloocan, and in some local government halls.