National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

The National Bureau of Investigation handles and solves high-profile cases that threaten national security. This government agency is managed by the Department of Justice and is designed in the likeness of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States. The main services include investigative, forensic, and legal for the safety and well-being of all Filipinos in the country.

In 1936, the NBI was established and since been selecting candidates using a stringent process in order to find the best NBI agents. The bureau and its agents operate with integrity, bravery, and nobility. In addition, it mandated to effectively enforce the law when it comes to truth and justice. It’s important to understand how this government agency works by knowing its functions and duties.

what is nbi national bureau of investigation

What Is the National Bureau of Investigation?

The National Bureau of Investigation or NBI is a Philippine government agency that is supervised by the DOJ. It is responsible for handling, detecting, investigating, and resolving major cases in the country, particularly the ones that hold public interest. The agency is a guardian of law as it was initially a brainchild of Jose Yulo and former President Manuel Quezon.

Generally, the NBI may also offer technical assistance during investigations and detecting crimes. The bureau works with the local and national police to provide services including law enforcement, individual identification, prosecution, national clearing, bullet testing, identification of firearms ownership, and identification of existing records of identifying characteristics and marks.

nbi logo

Functions and Services Offered by th NBI

In terms of principles of management, the NBI strictly follows certain guidelines, functions, and duties to the nation. The mission is to maintain quality investigative, legal, and forensic services with the help of advanced equipment and tools to pursue truth and serve justice. Moreover, the agency’s vision is to observe its mission in order to achieve a topnotch investigative institution that exhibits respect, commitment, and dynamism according to the law.

The main objective of NBI is to establish a modern and effective investigative service and become a world-class research agency that functions according to Republic Act No. 157. When it comes to values, the bureau practices the Two Pillar-Rule or the standard professional investigation method which requires thorough and judicial processes.

The legal processes include legal counseling, evaluation of investigative reports, and conducting studies and related researches for the advancement of the agency. For the quality policy, the NBI offers satisfactory services in terms of exemplary leadership, timely service to clients, dedicated employees, requirements that meet local and international standards, and ongoing innovation of in-house quality scheme.

Here are the key functions and duties of the NBI:

  • Investigate crimes and offenses against the laws in the Philippines.
  • Provide assistance whenever requested to investigate and detect crimes and offenses.
  • Serve as the country’s clearing house for any criminal records or information to be used in prosecuting as well as law enforcement entities.
  • Serve as the clearing house for all identification records of identifying characteristics and marks or firearms possession and ownership.
  • Offer technical assistance to law enforcement and prosecuting offices, courts, and other government agencies.
  • Assist in investigating criminal cases or offenses that hold public interest whether they are civil or administrative in nature.
  • Establish and maintain up-to-date scientific crime laboratory and conduct studies or researches to innovate the criminal investigation’s scientific proceedings.
  • Coordinate with both local and national government agencies in order to upkeep law and order across the country.
  • Issue subpoenas to encourage individuals to show up in the investigation as well as in the production of legal papers or documents.
  • Help in cases that involve mutual and extradition legal assistance based on the DOJ requests.
  • Build an NBI Academy wherein the bureau can recruit, train, and develop future agents and personnel.
  • Establish and maintain a Forensic and Scientific Research Center that will serve as the main hub for scientific and forensic study in criminal investigation, evidence collection, detection, and preservation.
  • Establish and maintain a Cyber Investigation and Assessment Center for data on cybercrime cases, computer information technologies, online threats, intrusion, and other criminal activities.
  • Establish and maintain a comprehensive, state-of-the-art, and integrated network of facilities and equipment for the continuing advancement of the NBI in the Philippines.
  • Maintain database for ballistic records such as possession of firearms, ownership, and identifying circumstances including deoxyribonucleic acid databank.
  • Establish an NBI Clearance and Identification Center which contains criminal and derogatory records as well as civilian identification reports.
  • Conduct intelligence operations with positive results..
  • Organize contract for the acquisition, possession, administration, disposition, ownership, acceptance, or lease of personal or real property under its name which is subject to the Justice Secretary’s approval.
  • Initiate the training of municipal and city peace offices based on their superiors in order to make sure they perform their duties o the btes of their knowledge and in the most effective way possible.

List of Current NBI Services

The following is a list of the existing NBI services according to different categories such as:

  • Intelligence Service
  • Investigation Service
  • Comptroller Service
  • Human Resource and Management Service
  • Legal Service
  • Information and Communications Technology Service
  • Forensic and Scientific Research Service

For the specific services that the bureau presently offers, here are some of the most common services you can take advantage of as a client:

  • Anti-graft and corruption
  • Complaints and records
  • Anti-fraud and action
  • Anti-human trafficking
  • Cybercrime
  • Digital forensic
  • Anti-organized and transnational crime
  • Anti-violence against women and children
  • Death investigation
  • Environmental crime
  • International operations
  • Intellectual property rights

How to Request for NBI Assistance

Regardless if the crime has already been committed or someone is just about to commit one, aggrieved persons or those who have useful information can contact the NBI to get some help. Here’s how you can reach out to the nearest NBI office for assistance or filing of complaint:

Step 1: If you’re within Metro Manila, go to the NBI Complaints and Recording Division to file your complaint or report an incident under oath.

Step 2: For those in the provinces, they can visit their local field office and let any agent or the chief know about the incident in order to file a formal complaint.

Step 3: If you can’t make a personal visit, then you can just send a formal letter to your local NBI Director in order to create a report.

Step 4: For cases that are under investigation conducted by local police, you can still get some help if you’re willing to mention in your complaint that your dissatisfied with how the case was handled by the authorities.

Video: NBI Clearance Online Registration Complete

In this video, you will learn about the latest guidelines when obtaining an NBI Clearance online. It contains a step-by-step guide on how to apply for this basic employment requirement without leaving your home. There are also other helpful tips to speed up your application process and easily get your NBI Clearance without the hassles.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I ask for an NBI assistance for free?

Yes, the services and programs that the NBI offers are free of charge whether you are from the private sector or from a government institution. However, obtaining an NBI Clearance will require you to pay for a minimum fee.

2. What are the different types of NBI Clearance?

The different types of NBI Clearance depends on your purpose such as overseas employment, local employment, visa application, and travel abroad.

3. What is the meaning of No Criminal Record in the NBI Clearance?

If you don’t have any criminal record or case pending, that only means you are not in the database of the NBI for any previous criminal case or offense. This is a sigh of relief, especially for those who are applying for a job.

4. What happens if you get a “hit” while acquiring an NBI Clearance?

In case you get a hit while obtaining your NBI Clearance, that means another person with the same name as you has a past criminal record or offense. You have to wait for a few more days to verify and clear your name before you cna get your clearance.

5. Can I still get an NBI Clearance if I have a criminal record or offense?

Absolutely, you can acquire an NBI Clearance even if you have committed a past offense or criminal record. However, it will show on your NBI Clearance and will significantly affect your chance to get hired if you’re applying for a job.


As a government agency that is tasked to become a clearing house for criminal cases and offenses, the National Bureau of Investigation remains an important cornerstone in the peace and order of the country. It seeks justice for the victims by conducting thorough research and investigation so that they will find the justice they deserve. With this guide, it’s easier to contact the NBI for assistance, while making sure that Filipinos can take advantage of a peaceful Philippines.

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