Philippines

Why Philippines Could Be A Good Choice For Immigration

In the Pacific Ocean on the Southeast Asia, and the eastern rim of the Asiatic Mediterranean lies the beautiful archipelago – The Philippines. More than 7000 islands which makes the Philippines what defines it.  The islands that are distinguished in three main geographical parts from top to bottom is Luzon on the top, Visayas in the middle and bottom is known as Mindanao. This country has diverse ethnicities and cultures throughout the land. Manila, is the capital but the largest city is Quezon, both are situated in the urban areas of Metro Manila. The standard of living in this country is affordable and is known as one of the best place to stay in the world. Here you can also enjoy a vast range of flora and fauna. This country is some sort of food paradise, also has some top sporting activities, amazing night life and high level creative art scenes. Surrounding with beautiful countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and in the northern part it has China and South Korea. These are some of the most scenic countries just short flight away from here. Home to world renowned natural wonders and some 52,177 species of animals, Philippines has the highest rates of discovery of new animal species in the world. 

Philippines is among the world’s best places to Retire, with low cost of living.  According to the International Living report, one can comfortably live on $800 to $1200 a month in which housing, basic utilities, food, healthcare and taxes are included. However, the cost depends largely on where you live and what kind of space. Foreigners are welcomed here as a part of the culture and there is a government agency dedicated to retired expats. Other perks for retired expats include: Exemption from airport travel taxes, duty free import of $7000 worth of household goods and long-term retiree visa which does not expire. Expats can leave & return to the country without having to reapply for residency. 

One of the top-rated destination for expats, the Philippines also attracts people because of its warm climate, lots of job opportunities, friendly people, welcoming culture and of course low cost of living. 

Traveling information: 

In Philippines the rules and regulations for travel and immigration have changed during and after the Pandemic. You need a visa to enter this nation but this also depends on your native country. Countries like United States, Brazil, Israel and Germany do not need visa to enter this country and some have limit. There are different rules for vaccinated or non-fully vaccinated persons. If you are fully vaccinated or at least took one booster dose, then you need to give pre-departure covid-19 testing. If you are not, then you must provide a negative Covid-19 (RT-PCR) test prior 48 hours you must provide a negative covid-19 test administered and certified by a health care professional. Children are exempted from this requirement. Follow the Philippines department of tourism for latest advice and confirm the rules from your airline as it can vary between airlines. 

Within the country you can travel by Scooter or Mopeds. For public transportation there are buses, motorcycles like habal-habal or tricycle, Taxis, Ferries and flights. 

Documents to show at the immigration: 

  • You need a valid passport with atleast 6 months remaining and 2 blank pages.
  • A recent color passport size photo and a valid visa.
  • An onward or return flight ticket
  • A vaccination certificate, if needed.

For more travel advice please visit: doh.gov.ph  and travel.gc.ca

How to immigrate: 

Foreigners who want to settle down in this country can apply for the immigrant visa. Entry visa is also a pass granted by the Embassy to restricted foreign citizens for them to be allowed to enter the Philippines. This visa can have obtained from the Philippine Embassy, which has jurisdiction on the place of residence or origin of the foreigner. There are types of visa granted to non citizens whose country grants permanent residence and immigration privileges to Filipinos.

Visa information for immigration is mentioned below: 

  • 13a Non-Quota Immigration Visa by Marriage: This visa is issued to foreign citizens who did a valid marriage, approved by the Philippines law, with a Filipino. The petitioner should be the Filipino spouse for the visa. While waiting for the approval, applicant can stay within the country under a tourist visa.
  • Temporary Resident Visa (TRV): This is given to a foreign national whose native country does not have a reciprocity agreement in the Philippines but have contracted a marriage according to the country’s law, with the Filipino local. This visa gives permission to the applicant to stay in the country for five years after marrying the Filipino citizen. TRV can then be extended as needed.
  • Work Visa and Permits: Regardless of the compensation and duration of assignment in this country, all the foreign citizens need admission in the country for employment reason are required by the Bureau of immigration (BI) to get a work visa.
  • Tourist Visa: If you are planning to visit the country first and take a glance, then tourist visa is for you.

For more information please visit: visasphilippines.com

People: 

Philippine nationals are called Filipinos. They have come from the population of Malay decent and from the mainland of Southeast Asia. The society is made up of more than hundred distinct, cultural and linguistic ethnic groups. Filipinos are friendly and courteous people. They are known about their hospitality. They just seem to be introvert at first and reserved but they are good to work with and if you know them closely they open up really quick, they have qualities like helpful, polite and fun loving. If you visit here with free mind, you will not feel like you are in a different country as people are lively and live their life to the fullest. It is normal to find strangers conversing or sharing stories to family, friends or foreigners about their hometown, country or family. Religions followed here are Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, etc. People here are open minded and there are no restrictions on following your own religion in this country. In this country crime rate is low and people especially girls or ladies can roam around at night without any hesitation. You can meet people and greet them with “Kamusta” means Hello. “Salamat” means Thank You. “Pasensiya Na” means Sorry.

Job offers:

Nowadays, people are dependent on the internet for almost everything. Like, searching jobs on the internet, especially when it comes to get a job outside the country. One of the ways to get a job in this country is to reach the employers directly or contact an agency which is in constant search of a potential candidate. Also there are many candidates competing for the same position. Some graduates finish the same course for the same post. The types of jobs that foreigners can apply to in Philippines are limited. The market is very competitive, even highly qualified professionals also find it difficult to land a job in this country. Job market in this country is also expanding as new industries are blooming up. Teaching English is also an option if you have a good command on this language. Foreign workers must get the work permit or visa first. Also a pre-arranged employee visa (9G), as directed by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration. Jobs where people are in demand, like Mining, Food processing, Construction, and Tourism Industries, etc. Also in Management, IT, hospitality and many other industries depending on your skill levels in those fields.

 How to get a job: 

  • Check your skills to work in Philippines
  • Choose a reputed industry
  • Understand the common employment practices
  • Find job through online portals
  • Meet with the employment agency
  • Meet people
  • Apply for the work visa

For more information please visit: work.chron.com

Unemployment rate:

The unemployment rate in Philippines has gone down to 5.2% in the month of July 2022 from 7.2% in the same month, last year, as the economy recovered further from the coronavirus pandemic. The approx calculated number of the unemployed population was more than 2.55 million, less than 3.23 million in the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of employed persons increase as 47.38 million, from 41.66 million the year before. The workman force rate increased to 65.2% from 59.4% in the month of July, 2021. In the month of June the 2022, the unemployment rate was 6.0%. After the pandemic the rate raised nut as the economy recovered further from COVID-19. This number has risen due to border restrictions were lifted. It is expected to rise further in the upcoming months. Unemployment rate is the share of labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment. The job vacancy rate is rising, though the rate of increase has slowed from the previous quarter.

For more information please visit: tradingeconomics.com

Economy:

Philippines economy is the 32nd largest economy in the world by nominal GDP according to the IMF and has the 3rd largest economy in the ASEAN after Indonesia and Thailand. This nation is one of the fast growing emerging markets. Philippines is considered as a newly industrialized country, which has an economy changing on one based on agriculture or one based more on the service and manufacturing. Economy of this country is dominated equally by the agriculture and the manufacturing sector with more than 75% contribution to the economy followed by the service sector with 20% to 25% contribution in the annual GDP of this country. The agricultural sector has very much contribution in the economy. The country’s primary export consists of semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipments, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits. The major trading partners with Philippines are Japan, China, The United States of America, South Korea, Germany, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Taiwan and Thailand. Imported items are machinery and transport equipments, mineral fuels, chemicals, electronic products, iron and steel, grains and plastic.

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Renting and buying of real estate’s for foreigners:

Renting:

Most Filipinos live in rented apartments, renting gives you freedom as you can move from one house to another after the lease is over. Renting a property to begin with will give you time to explore and find neighborhoods you like and get a real feel for the type of homes and apartments those are available. These flats has very cheap renting amount. Renting is not expensive as owning a property.

Mostly expats live in private residential apartments called condo or condominiums. Most lease agreements are made for 1 or 2 years. Renting or buying is a personal decision and will depend on your individual circumstances and long-term plans. For those in Philippines on a short-term assignment, renting may be the best choice.

Documents:

  • Passport copy
  • Identity card
  • Proof of working in this country (Salary Slip)
  • Lease Papers

Buying:

As an owner of the property, it is your responsibility to pay mortgage, taxes and utilities. Those planning to be in this country for the medium to long-term may consider buying. It is always good to try before you buy a property. In the places other than the city centre, housing costs are comparatively lower, especially in the suburbs, surrounding prefectures and in other regions in Philippines.

Mortgage options for foreign residents are available, but with permanent residency or a spouse who is either Filipino or if you have permanent residency, along with an established work history in the country may open up access to more financial institutions.

Documents:

  • Passport copy
  • Identity proof
  • Mortgage papers
  • Bank Statement

For more information please visit: www.camella.com.ph

Climate:

The weather in Philippines is tropical and maritime. It has high temperature, humidity and plenty of rainfall. Climate of this country is almost as the climate of Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Belize, etc. This nation has two seasons ‘wet or rainy’ and ‘dry’. Here you will not experience the specific four seasons as this country is near the equator. 

Dry season: The dry season starts from the month of December and ends in the month of May. This season is subdivided into the cool dry season, which is from December to February and in the hot dry season, from March to May. 

Rainy season: The rainy season starts from the month of June and ends in the month of November. At this time this nation experiences heavy rain. Hence most of the locals or tourists like to enjoy the indoor attractions at this time like malls and museums. It is suggested to take an umbrella or a raincoat along whenever you plan to visit outside the house. 

For more information please visit: www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph

Languages:

Philippines have two official languages Filipino and English. Filipino is the standard version of Tagalog and the national language of this country. English is used in official documents of business, government, legal system, medicine and as a medium of instruction. Filipino Sign Language (FSL) is used by the deaf and mute people in this country. This sign language is also the official sign language of this country. A multitude of languages are used in this country as there are many minorities and immigrant from all over the world. Due to the expatriates and people born in the Philippines with other than Filipino ancestry, there are various foreign languages spoken in this nation. French, German, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean and Spanish are taught in some private and public schools. Here population speaks more than 120 distinct languages. Minorities are Cantonese, Indonesian, Javanese, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Malayalam, Urdu, etc. 

Other foreign languages spoken in this nation are Tamil, Malay, Spanish, Hokkien, Mandarin and Arabic. Road signs, public hospitals, Notices and Campaigns, etc are written in all the English or Filipinos languages. 

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Traffic:

The reason behind the traffic congestion in Philippines is the poor quality of transportation infrastructure such as roads, railways and public transport terminals. In the recent years the level of congestion has eased. The rush hours starts from 7.30 am to 9.00 am and from 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm on weekdays, as there are many people on the road trying to reach at their work place or education centre and in the evening people are in a hurry to reach home. On Saturdays, Sundays and non-working holidays, the traffic is a bit less. Traffic runs on the right hand side of the road, unlike many other countries in the world. There are many roundabouts in this country. The rule is to slow down when you are near a roundabout and give way to traffic on you right side.

There are a few streets that are routinely congested, and rush hour is quite packed on the expressways, but traffic flow is generally quite good. Generally the speed limit for driving in this country is 60 km/hr on most highways and 100 km/hr is the maximum. Maximum speed for cars and motorbikes in all the radial and circumferential roads are 60 km/hr and the maximum speed for trucks and buses is 50 km/hr. People ignoring these speed limits and caught speeding up will be charged and given demerit points, fine or face prosecution. 

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Currency:

The currency of Philippines is known as the Philippine Peso, also popular as it Filipino name ‘piso’. It is divided into 100 sentimo (centavos). The Philippine peso sign is denoted by the sign (₱), introduced under the American rule in place of the original peso sign ‘$’ used all over the Spanish America. Other symbols used are ‘PHP’, ‘Php’, and ‘P’. Notes and coins are issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Philipinas (BSP), also central bank. The paper currency is in six denominations ₱20, ₱50, ₱100, ₱500, ₱1000. There is also one paper currency which are rarely used and still in circulation ₱200. Coins are available in ₱1, ₱5, ₱10, ₱20. Coin of 1¢, 5¢, 25¢ is nowadays rarely used but are in circulation. Smallest currency unit is centavo and its local spellings, sintabo and sentabo are still used as synonyms in Tagalog. It is the most popular term over sentimo in other languages like Abaknon, Bikol, Cebuano, Cuyonon, Ilocano, and Waray. In the language Chavacano, centavos are referred as céns (séns).

Payment Transactions:

There are various methods of payment used in Philippines. Payments can be made in this country through online, cash or cards, cheques, or by digital wallets. Cash is the original and the oldest payment method, used by more than 90% population. Credit cards are the most used online method at more than 30% percent population. Bank transfers are also used by most of the expats as well as locals. This nation is one of the fastest growing and most mobile driven e-commerce markets in the Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, Philippines has one of the lowest rate of card penetration amongst Southeast Asia. Some of the online payment methods used here are Bank Transfers, Convenience Stores, Over the Counter/ATM, Visa, Mastercard, etc. Cashless payment refers to electronic payment, covering everything from credit and debit card payments to digital wallets and virtual cards, mobile payment apps and IC cards payments. Apparently, it’s anytime you pay without physically handing over notes and coins. 

Payment Methods:

  • Cash
  • Credit Cards
  • Digital Wallets
  • Bank Transfers
  • Visa
  • MasterCards

For more information visit: www.adyen.com

Cost of living: 

According to a survey Philippines is one of the cheapest country in the Asian Continent and cost of living here is cheaper than eighty three percent of countries in the whole world. Average living cost in this country also depends upon your lifestyle or your current situation, like whether you are working or a student. Cost of living varies if you are staying alone or with your family.        

The average monthly expense for a single person is approximately Php 66,400 and the approx monthly expense will rise if you want to move along with your family of four people will be Php 1,32,900. Food is cheap compared to housing or dining. If you are staying in a city where you can go by bicycle or by walking to your university or office or live in a city with a good public transport system, then your cost of living will be much lower. Expense will also be low if you need smaller accommodation, than the bigger one.

Here are some products mentioned below, so that you will get a clear idea of the cost of living: 

Product

Quantity

Amount in (Php)  (Filipino piso)

Whole Fat Milk

1 lit

89

Eggs

12 (a dozen)

122

Tomatoes

1 Kg (2 lb.)

92

Chicken

500 grams (1 lb)

117

Dining (Lunch)

Full meal

235

Fast food meal

Combo

187

Bread

2 loaf

66

Internet

8 mbps (1 month)

1,679

Cleaning help

Hourly

814

Public transport ticket

Monthly

961

Doctor

Short visit

1,200

Movie Tickets

For 2

592

Utilities (heating, gas, electricity)

1 month, 2 persons in (900 sqft) flat

5,650

Utilities (heating, gas, electricity)

1 month, 1 person in  (450 sqft) flat

4,184

For more info visit: www.expatistan.com

Apartment Rent:

This country has some expensive apartments in the world. The major cities like Manila, Davao or San Juan, La Union have high rental cost than some cities in Asian Countries like Karachi, Dhaka, Hoi-An or Kanpur. At the same time Manila, Davao, San Juan have cheaper apartment rent if compared to the cities in America and Europe. It is possible for foreigners to get a posh and comfortable rental in Philippines.  To rent a property there are many websites available on the internet displaying the property with prices. You can also hire a real estate agent, they will help you find a place cozy and in the budget for you.

Fully furnished one bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost you approx Php28,325 and same apartment, outside city will cost approx    Php14,900. A furnished studio apartment of 2 to 3 bedrooms in the city centre will cost you approx Php55,800 and outside the city it will cost you approx Php32,505. Finding accommodation here is challenging so asking your colleagues, friends, shopkeepers or waiters in the nearby café or restaurants will be helpful. As you wander on the streets and see some sign boards of ‘To Let’ will also be useful. In many places renting a one bedroom apartment, in the city centre will cost around as much as a two bedroom apartment outside the city center. 

For more information please visit: www.expatistan.com

Taxes:

Foreigners are subject to pay income tax in Philippines on their Philippines sourced income only. In this country people who are compensation income earners, self employed ones and professional taxpayers (SEPs), whose annual taxable income is less than Php250,000 are exempted from the personal income tax band. Residents of this nation are subjected to pay tax progressively up to 32%. These people are taxed on all their net income generated from various sources within and without the Philippines. The tax rate is very low in this country. Personal Income Tax rate in one of the lowest tax rates in the world. First you need to know the tax residency and the number of chargeable income and then you must apply the progressive tax rate to it, in order to determine the Philippines income tax liability of a person. Foreigners also pay tax in this country but the tax liability will be according to your residency status. It is important as it shows the amount of taxes an expat pays in this country.

Residents are subjected to certain personal allowances and are subject to graduated tax rates from 0 to 32 percent. Non residents are not entitled to any personal allowances and are subjected to pay the tax. Concession is given on the employment income of non residents. 

For more information please visit: www.bir.gov.ph

Health Insurance:

Healthcare service in Philippines varies from good to very poor. Clinics and hospitals in the metro cities are usually of good standards, while in rural areas there is lack of investment and infrastructure. Healthcare system operates here through both the private and public hospitals. Healthcare is expensive for the locals, while foreigners can find it affordable here rather than their native country. Local staff in the hospitals and clinics is trained and can converse in English. This nation is one of the biggest producer and exporter of doctors and nurses. Meanwhile, healthcare in this country has suffered due to the departure of medical professionals. 

Public healthcare: All the citizens are allowed to go through the free healthcare under the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). This scheme is controlled by the Philippine Government and is funded by the local and national government subsidies and contributions from employers and employees.

Private healthcare: This healthcare system is available in almost every city of Philippines. Most hospitals are private and those who afford get excellent treatment. Specialized treatments are available at an affordable cost for foreigners with high standard of care. With a little more money you can experience more deluxe care in private rooms. 

Health Insurance: Employers provide health insurance to their Filipino employees through contributions to the PhilHealth and private health insurance providers. PhilHealth Insurance allows getting medical care for contributing members at any accredited hospitals in this nation. Expats can also purchase comprehensive private health insurance. 

For more information please visit: www.expatarrivals.com

Important addresses:

Ninoy Aquino International Airport:
Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila,
Philippines
Ph: +63 2877 1109

Manila International Airport:
Ground Floor Naia Terminal 1, Terminal 1 Departures Area Road,
Parañaque, 1705 Metro Manila, Philippines
Ph: +63 28879 5261

Francisco Bangoy International Airport:
4JJW+566, Daang Maharlika Hwy, Buhangin, Davao City,
8000 Davao del Sur,
Philippines
Ph: +63 82 234 0418

Magallanes Station (Train):
Epifanio de los Santos Ave, Makati,
Metro Manila,
Philippines

Gilmore Station (Train):
New Manila, Quezon City, Metro Manila,
Philippines

Paco Station
Pedro Gil, Paco, Manila,
Metro Manila,
Philippines

Embassy of Singapore:
505 Rizal Dr, BGC, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila,
Philippines
Ph: +63 2 8856 9922

Oman Embassy:
NAC Tower, 26 Floor, 32nd St, Taguig,
Metro Manila,
Philippines
Ph: +63 2 7958 5812

Embassy of Republic of Indonesia:
185 Salcedo, Legazpi Village, Makati,
1229 Kalakhang Maynila,
Philippines
Ph: +63 2 8892 5062

Embassy of Spain:
L27, Equitable Bank Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas,
Makati, Metro Manila,
Philippines
Ph: +63 2 8817 9997

Summary:

Philippines, an island country in South East Asia situated in the Pacific Ocean and is made up of 7,641 islands that are distinguished in three main geographical parts from top to bottom. This is a good place to work and live as this nation gives you a good healthcare, lifestyle and favorable atmosphere. It is the reason expats choose Philippines to settle down. Here you will not experience the four seasons but you will enjoy the weather as it is mild in dry and calm in wet seasons. This nation has the highest rates of discovery of new animal species in the world. This is an emigration country. In the previous year more than five million people emigrated. Still some of its islands are one of the densely populated islands in the world. There are many world famous places here you can visit in the rainy season. People are very hospitable, respectful and friendly. This country has very low tax rates compared to the rest of the world. This nation is famous for its colorful markets, beautiful houses and monuments, food and beverages. This country encourages foreigners, gives accommodation and makes it so much easier to work. This nation is rich in culture, fantastic people with excellent cuisine.

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