An Initial Milestone
Trip Start Feb 20, 2013
64Trip End May 09, 2013
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I spent Tuesday morning doing project visit with Ate Wimwim, as director she monitors each project site throughout the year to check in on any problems or updates. By lunch time we were back at the community center in Bliss. I was feeling quite ill when I woke up and by the afternoon I was getting the chills in the air conditioned center. So I decided to take a 2 hour nap break at my home stay, which thankfully helped my fever subside.
I came back to the center at 5 pm to do a craft with some of the sponsored children. I brought a few foam crafts from Oriental Trading to do with them during my stay, because they have enjoyed them so much in the past. I finished at 6 pm and spent the rest of the evening trying to relax so I would be well rested for a busy Wednesday yet again
Wednesday morning my first stop was the Bureau of Internal Revenue, to hopefully get the final signatures on our land documents. Unfortunately when they checked their database for our payment, it again was not reflected in their account. Thankfully the officer told me if I was in a hurry I had an alternative option, although it did require me to go all the way to the BIR office in downtown Tacloban. Since I am obviously in a hurry to get things started, I chose the alternative option over waiting another day or two or three for the money to appear in their accounts.
Before heading downtown I made a stop at the Attorney's office to make a final payment for the survey and request a sketch of the survey for the building permit we are currently gathering paperwork for. Ate Wimwim met me there with good news from the Municipal Office of Palo. She stopped by the office to request that we be granted the right to begin construction prior to approval of the building permit, since it will take quite a while for the subdivision to be processed (up to two months). The good news is they said yes! So we requested material lists from the contractor in hopes that we can buy some of the materials by the end of this week. It looks like we will literally be breaking ground next week
After leaving the Attorney's office in Palo, I headed to the BIR office in Tacloban. When I arrived the officer I needed to sign off on our payment was not in, and after 45 minutes his coworker arrived. I hoped that he could sign the documents, but at first he told me he was only in charge of payments made through another bank and I would have to wait for his coworker to arrive. Another 30 minutes later he started chatting with me about my work here in the Philippines, and admitted that he was ashamed I had to wait so long. After chatting for a bit he offered to drive me to the bank so he could confirm the transactions and then sign off on the paperwork. We did just that and after a quick signature upon our return from the bank I was on my way back to the BIR in Palo, a good 20-30 minute ride on the jeepney.
When I arrived, the majority of the staff were having their lunch break...despite a new law requiring government offices to remain open during the lunch hour. I needed two more signatures for our land documents to be fully complete, so I was not about to leave without the signatures. I waited for 10 minutes before the first man arrived to sign, and another 20 minutes for the second woman to be available. I was given a claims slip and told to call back at the beginning of next week, at which time they will hopefully have the official land title document prepared for us.
So all in all it was a successful day, I feel like we have finally reached a milestone in the project. But then again the real hard work is yet to come.