I had to provide details on what sort of employee background checks are performed by companies hiring in the Philippines. I found out that online searches on Google and Yahoo about the NBI Clearance and Police Clearance we use do not have (m)any concise definitions on them.

Instead, the top search results are mostly/only about the procedure to acquire them. Even the official website of the National Bureau of Investigation does not define their NBI Clearance! Wikipedia came up empty, too. So here goes my own definition:

Usually, companies here in Manila require applicants to provide them with two kinds of background checks or “clearances”. They are, an NBI Clearance and a Police Clearance.

The NBI Clearance is provided by the National Bureau of Investigation and its satellite offices around Metro Manila and in the provinces. The NBI Clearance cross-checks an applicant’s name against the NBI database for any filed criminal record or civil case. A “hit” occurs when the name matches that of a person with a known/recorded case. Hits can be cleared upon cross-checking a person’s name with more details such as fingerprints and birth certificate.

The Police Clearance is obtained from the Philippine National Police (PNP), which usually has a satellite office at the City/Municipal Hall. Where the NBI Clearance is checked against the database of the NBI, the Police Clearance is checked against the database of the PNP.

To compare the two clearances mentioned and put them in a western perspective, the NBI Clearance would be like having a “clean record” at the FBI. The Police Clearance would be like having the same from the State Police.

Companies hiring in Metro Manila usually require applicants to provide them with both NBI and Police Clearances that have been issued within the last six months.

I hope this helps. Feel free to add or correct information posted above.

Related websites (try looking for definitions here!):
National Bureau of Investigation [Official Website]
National Bureau of Investigation [Official Website]
Philippine National Police [Official Website]

P.S. Yes, it seems that the NBI has TWO “official” websites.