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Car Story

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You see the first guy bought the car for his friend who was a seaman from Liloan, and then he transferred the ownership to the Seaman guy, but when I bought it from the second guy he never gave me the first guy’s OR, so I’m driving my wife to the airport and I get a little bit bold and run a yellow light and the traffic guy waves me over.

“Can I see your license, please? Ok, your registration? This OR says 2017 (that’s when I bought my 2016 Kia Rio from the 2nd guy). I need to see the one in 2018. You were supposed to register it in January 2018.”

LiP Gift Shop

“I didn’t know Sir. I thought the registration was current. I’m taking my wife to the airport. I’ll take care of this right away. What should I do?”

“I am supposed to impound the car. The registration is expired.”

He rocks back and forth on the souls of his shoes. I realize I am wearing my high-tech, glossy purple sunglasses I bought on Colon Street for 350 pesos. I take them off so he can see the whites of my remorseful eyes. We are at an impasse.

“What should I do Sir? I will take care of this right away.”

He rocked back and forth some more, and let’s just say, “We worked it out”; I promised to take care of it at LTO later that day, and I went on my way to the airport.

The next day I get up and go to the Emission Test place because I know I need that. They also put some tape on the engine block numbers (they call in “Stenciling”), charge me 450 pesos and I’m off to the next place, my insurance company.

My insurance company is on Osmena Circle in Cebu City; I have to park at Robinson’s Mall and “hoof it” to the insurance building. I talk to a couple of pretty young women with piles of papers on their desks and they type me a “Proof of Insurance” document. Ching Ching, 650 pesos.

I read somewhere on the internet that your insurance company would “Help” with your registration. I thought that meant telling me, or even going with me to each step. I played the “Old and Confused” role to the max. It didn’t help. I mean I didn’t drool or anything; I just tried to look old.

“Next you have to take the car to NBIS??? and have the car inspected.” It turned out not to be NBIS but the LTO Inspection site.

“Where is it? Can you tell me?”

“It’s in Mandaue Sir. (Mandaue is a very trafficky suburb of Cebu City) It’s by the Mandaue Wireless.”

“I’m sorry I don’t know where that is.”

“Maybe you can look it up on a map Sir.”

So much for “Help from Your Insurance Company.”

I decide not to do it until the next day. I enlist my maintenance guy, Dodong, from the Condominium where we live. He sort of knows where the place is, but he’s happy to get away from his daily routine and help me. He’s a nice guy, and I like him.

We drive around the industrial part of the city; Dodong asks a few guys and then we arrive at the LTO Inspection site. I fill out some papers, transfer my “stencils” to another paper and then it’s time to see the cashier. Not too bad, 100 pesos.

Luckily the place isn’t too busy. They test the turn signals and other lights and run it through a pretty thorough inspection. We wait a bit more and then get the final document and off we go to LTO, clear across the city near the South Bus Terminal. The traffic is terrible for a Wednesday afternoon, but I’m stoked. We’re really making progress now.

We can’t park at LTO; no parking space so we go to nearby E mall and park in the basement and hike the 4 blocks to the Land Transportation Office. At LTO the guard takes my license and gives me a number. This is where being a senior citizen has its perks. Though there are 25 people sitting in the room to have their documents evaluated, I get “Special No. 3.”

First, the Cashier collects 992 pesos and tells me to sit down in the Evaluation Area. We twiddle our thumbs for about 15 minutes and they call my name. When I get to the window, thinking that I’m about done, the same lady says, “Here. First I’m going to give you back this money. This car doesn’t need to be registered until the end of three years. That’s not until next year.”

“What the hey?” I’m thinking. “I went through all this for no reason?”

She smiles and says, “Where is the original OR from the Original owner in 2016?”

“I don’t know Maam. “ I show her all the papers I have; I didn’t buy the car from him. I’m the third owner and I bought it from Owner #2; his name was Pepito.”

She runs off and has a conversation with another LTO guy down the hall. Then they conference with a third person, return to the window and tell me they’ve determined that the Original OR is lost and that I need to get a duplicate

“How do I do that?”

“Go to the next building to the Records Department and ask to see Miss. Gonzalez; explain what’s happened and…” She looks at me and sees my wincing face. “Explain what happened???” I grimace.

“Here, she nods; I’ll write her a note.”

Miss Gonzalez has more papers on her desk than the National Library, but she drops what she’s doing, reads the note as I try to explain to her the chain of events that brought me to her office.

“Wait a minute, she nods. I’ll have to talk to my Supervisor.” I’m afraid to let her out of my sight so I follow her to a third building. The Supervisor is in a meeting.

“Follow Me. We’ll look for the Assistant Supervisor.”

The Assistant Supervisor is in. We explain what has happened. I think he’s heard all these stories before. He says, “Make him a document with all the information that was on the Original 2016 OR and come back here.”

In twenty minutes she returns with a blue and yellow document that looks sort of official and tells me…

“Now all you have to do is take this to an attorney and have him make an Affidavit of Loss. Make sure it has the OR number on it. Just staple the two together and keep it in your car.” I thank everyone and remember to return my “Special #3” plastic Senior Citizen card to the guy who gave it to me.

And that’s how I spent my morning today. Finding an attorney, telling her the story and getting 4 copies of an “Affidavit of Loss.” 1000 pesos and 2 ½ hours.

The documents are in my car’s glove box.

When I got home I read some more online about vehicle registration; my license plate starts with the letter A and ends with the number 1, so I get to go through this whole thing again the first week of January. It’s Murphy’s Law. I think to myself,

“I wonder if all the people I met will remember me? ”

And “Note to Self…stay away from yellow traffic lights.”

Posted in

Rob Ashley

After travelling to the Philippines and SE Asia perhaps 15 times between 2007-2011, I decided to retire in Cebu and moved here in August 2011. Things changed fast. A month after I was here I met my wife Rachel; In 6 months I decided I was bored after having taught high school English and in a graduate school of education at a Portland, Oregon university for 30+ years; I looked around; I was hired as the Head of the English Department at a Cebu international school. Rachel and I got married; we bought a condo in Cebu City; we got two cats. After 3 years here I was offered a similar position at a Japanese international school, so we went to Japan. After two years there I was offered another position of Coordinator of Languages at a Vienna, Austria international school. Living in Europe was nice, but Rachel said, “It’s too cold here.” So, finally last August, we returned to Cebu for good, and I really am retired. I have learned that you pretty much take your life with you wherever you go. I have a PhD from the University of Oregon and I’m a diehard Oregon Ducks fan. Likewise an NBA Portland Trailblazers fan, so I am often up at 3 am on Sundays or Mondays to watch football and basketball games. Cebu is home now and many thanks to Bob Martin for LIP and the services and opportunities he offers us Expats.

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Rob AshleyPeter DevlinDavid HaldanePaul ThompsonLSD Recent comment authors
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Jack
Guest

Hi Rob The insurance company I use really does everything for me. They call around just before the registration is due,offer to bring the cars for a smoke test, (but I always drive myself), then the following day they come back with the new registration. The only difference was that last month the registration was due on my motor bike and they never called around. So I went to them and it turned out that the last time the registration was done, when they went to LTO they were told that the registration had another few months to go (I… Read more »

Rob Ashley
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Rob Ashley

Jack: Well my ins company didn’t quite meet the standard and they are the one Kia recommends here. ” Maybe you can find it on a map Sir” is like ordering ham and eggs and they bring you a frying pan, some matches and a pile of sticks. Thank God for my friend from the condo or I’d still be driving around Mandaue. Rob

Paul Thompson
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Paul Thompson

Rob;
The plastic license case they sell at the LTO have two sections, One for your license and receipt and the other for Peso’s. (LOL)

Rob Ashley
Guest
Rob Ashley

Paul: I definitely found the back section. What got to me is that the whole thing about the registration being expired was bogus. Drive safely.

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Rob:
When my car was new, it was registered for three years as they do here. I was stopped four time because no one explained to the traffic warden what the law is.
At a four way stop sign the car beside me and I left at the same time when it was our turn (4 lane road) I was pulled over and informed that only one car could go at one time. I asked if that same rule applied at traffic lights?.Crickets was all I heard as I was waved on.

John Reyes
Guest
John Reyes

Rob – I just love the exchange between you and the traffic guy upon being stopped for running a yellow light and found to have no current OR . You: “I didn’t know Sir. I thought the registration was current. I’m taking my wife to the airport. I’ll take care of this right away. What should I do?” Traffic guy: “I am supposed to impound the car. The registration is expired.” (Rocks back and forth on the soles of his shoes). You: “What should I do Sir? I will take care of this right away.” TR: Says nothing, but rocks… Read more »

Rob Ashley
Guest
Rob Ashley

John: He was definitely rocking and I responded in the greenback way. But at least I got my wife to the airport. The whole fiasco cost about 5000 with all the registration madness that wasn’t needed. What I told myself is that I’ve lost that much at Pagcor. Just a different slot machine. Rob

LSD
Guest
LSD

LOL Been there done that! But…”It’s more fun in the Philippines!”

Rob Ashley
Guest
Rob Ashley

LSD..sorry for not answering sooner everyone. I have been traveling. Well it is more fun in the Philippines generally but sometimes the systems are a bit crazy. Actually for all the carbon paper and typewriters and looking up things in giant books, things work pretty well. Thank you for your comments

David Haldane
Guest
David Haldane

Good story, Rob, and sounds pretty typical. Good luck next time…

Rob Ashley
Guest
Rob Ashley

David: Thank you…just a day in the life, you know. Sorry for not answering sooner. I am traveling and dealing with another crisis. It will be in my Tuesday post. Sorry about your crazy illness. I have had a few eye infections and the doctor says….”It’s just the Philippines.” Be well -Rob

Peter Devlin
Member

Hi Rob Wow, that’s quite a story! When I first bought my car, the process if reregistration was quite intriguing, especially having to go to a place to get the “stencilling” done. But other than that it was fairly straightforward. We went first to the emission test center, then for the stencil, then back to the test center with the stencil. We paid a single fee, and two weeks later went back to collect the registration. No visit to the LTO. No visit to an insurance office, Now every year we go back to the same emission test center and… Read more »

Rob Ashley
Guest
Rob Ashley

Peter: Someone told me about an emission place her that has a package and takes care of everything. As I have to do this in January again, I will probably use it. As I said to someone else, for all the carbon paper and typewriters and looking up things in giant books, things work pretty well here. I am frequently amazed. Thank you for your comment.

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