“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Defining your own home address in the Philippines

Barangay name centered around the company logo,
notice the green background with copper letters, this is original.
An interesting problem which I am struggling with for many years is to get a house number, here in the Philippines. So far however, no number, so I had to find my own solution. Most people here don't see it as a problem. The postman will find you anyway.

I have been to several town officials, including the barangay captain and officials in the town hall. They are all pointing to each other and to the Census (part of NSO).

My understanding is that when they (Census) are going around to count the number of people in each household, they attach a house-number to the house/gate if it is lacking one and add the household size. This is done every 4 or 5 years, but I have not seen them since we live here.

According to the Code of Conduct of the Philippines, book no. III, the following is said about this issue.
Local Government Code (Book III)
SECTION 447. - Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. - (a) The SangguniangBayan, as the legislative body of the municipality, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants pursuant to section 16 of this Code and in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of the municipality as provided for under section 22 of this Code, and shall:
       (xiv) Regulate the numbering of residential, commercial and other buildings;

Why do I want to have a number? Well, some organizations/companies abroad, including in the Netherlands, need a house number if you want to make use of their services. No number, means no service, e.g. for a foreign bank account or credit card.

So for many years I used the address of my sister in law in another barangay in the same town. The postman knows already, he brings the post directly to our house.

So what I finally did is I attached a (easy to remember) number to our gate and a kind of address sign, indicating our barangay, to make it very clear and probably raising many questions with my fellow barangay neighbors. So far nobody asked me what the sign really means.

The sign is a remembrance to my father.  He was director of a small factory in Germany, established by a Dutch company, called "Hollandse Signaalapparaten", a manufacturer of sophisticated military equipment. The plate was given to him when he was already retired and the factory was sold to a French company. I got it from my mother just a few months ago when I visited her and promised her to make it somehow public.

I used the circle company logo to complete the name of our barangay and attached the number to the fence. See the series about my father's biography here, it is however in Dutch. There you find also many details about the history of this company.

If the barangay is small as our own one, houses have sequential numbers and the address is: "### Barangay-name, Town-name". Bigger barangay's are divided in purok's, a kind of bystreet from the barangay road. So in that case the address is: "### Purok #, Barangay-name, Town-name". Large barangay's have just normal street names preceded by a number, then Barangay-name and Town- or City-name.

I am not the only one doing this. Just recently a new company was established along the same road 2 km's away in a neighboring barangay. They did the following, see the pictures.

Same road in a neighboring barangay

They just invented their own number


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