Relocation FAQ

Can foreigners buy property in The Philippines?

  • Although foreigners cannot own land in the Philippines, they can purchase units in condominium buildings, so long as foreign ownership in a single project will not exceed 40 percent. If married to a Filipino, a foreigner can buy land provided the title will be in his or her spouse's name.

Is electricity supply reliable and what are costs of consumption?

  • Supply of electrical power has become more reliable since the government embarked on a program utilizing alternative sources to generate power.
  • Electric power interruption may occur during typhoon season (June-November) but only for several hours for safety reasons and only in places where the typhoon directly hits.
  • Cost of electrical consumption is relatively on a high end in the Philippines compared to the other countries in the region. Basic charge per kilowatt hour is approximately US $ .20 (P50: US $1) which escalates directly as consumption increases.

How would you rate medical facilities?

  • Medical facilities are up to par with such facilities in the region. Many local doctors have and go regularly for extensive training overseas, both in the United States of America and Europe. Major hospitals are likewise well equipped with the latest medical equipment.

What are the average rents for apartments and/or small houses?

  • Location and square footage determine the rent amount. The average size of a two-bedroom condominium unit is 110-150 square meters. However there is availability of smaller units. High-end condominiums rents range from P160,000 to P180, 000 per month.
  • Single-detached homes rents, depending on house and lot size, with or without pool varies widely. However based on the average cost of houses preferred by international assignees, rent ranges from P75,000 to P250,000 per month.

Can foreigners open bank accounts easily in The Philippines?

  • Yes, it is relatively easy for foreigners to open local bank accounts. The Bank requires the following documents: Passport, confirmation of employment or the alien registration (ACR) and identification papers with a minimum amount of US $500 for a local peso savings or checking account and about US $1,000 for a dollar account.

Can my spouse/partner work in the Philippines?

  • In order for an assignee’s spouse/partner to work in the Philippines he/she must obtain a work permit. This permit has to be applied for by the sponsoring company in the Philippines who is hiring him/her following all the guidelines and immigration procedures and requirements.

What do I need to know about bringing my pet to The Philippines?

  • The Philippines has a 30-day �in house� quarantine for all animals. Pets brought into the Philippines should be accompanied by a health certificate by a veterinary authority from the country of origin and a valid certificate of vaccination against rabies. An import permit is necessary to release pets from the airport. If you are bringing a pet into the Philippines you or your moving company should contact the Philippine Embassy/Consulate in your area or visit the web site at www.embassyonline.com.

What should I do about electrical appliances?

  • Voltage in the Philippines is 220 and 60 cycles. Because of the difference in voltage, it is advisable not to bring stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers or dishwashers with you to the Philippines.
  • Foreigners accustomed to strict compliance with building codes will have to be aware of the lack of building codes and their enforcement in the Philippines especially for older housing developments. Do not, therefore, take it for granted but check such items as electric wiring, voltage, needs for convertors for appliances. Some foreigners tend to plug in more electrical appliances than Filipinos.

Relocation FAQ

When do I get a driver’s license?

  • Anyone with a valid driver’s license from their home country or an international driver’s license can drive in the Philippines for a maximum of 90 days. After this period a Philippine driver’s license is required.
  • Expatriates must have a valid visa for a minimum of 1 year to obtain driver’s license.
  • If the information on the license is not in English, it has to be translated before application.
  • Assignees will fill out an application form at the Land Transportation Office (LTO), pay an application fee and present a copy of their foreign license and passport information page as well as a copy of the page where the entry into the country is stamped.
  • The license will be issued right there.
  • The law requires that assignees have their work permit before applying for a driver’s license, as well as a tax identification number (TIN) or an alien certificate of registration (ACR).
  • Annexus Relocation Consultants will assist assignees through this process.

What can you tell me about ways to ease my transition to Filipino life?

  • Remember, it is warm and humid in the Philippines – pack lightweight, cotton clothing.
  • Shopping is easy in the Philippines and it is done more often than in the United States. People do not buy in bulk because they do not have the storage space and it will not keep in the tropical climate which ranges from 28 C – 33 C all year round.
  • Be prepared for the traffic situation in Manila especially during rush hour and rainy season where most of the streets get flooded – this is during the rainy months of June to November.
  • Length of day and night are pretty much the same throughout the year – sunrise from 5am to 6am and sunset from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

What are the initial problems I may encounter during the settling-in period?

  • Having settled in your new home, you are ready for close encounters with Philippine terrestrials, so to speak. Few, if any, cope without some form of house help and here you may encounter problems. The househelp has always been a part of the Philippine life, as far as existing historical records can take the Filipinos.
  • It is fair that at least one third of the problems faced by foreigners after the initial settling-in period revolve around the household help. Why? Because the average American or European is unprepared by training or background to handle household staff. Even a woman who has previously employed maids may not be aware of the intricacies of navigating in Philippine cultural waters.
  • Following are some pointers: - Be very specific on tasks and schedules expected from them – give detailed instructions. - Better still, post reminders in their work area until they have fully understood your expectations. - They are used to limiting their activities in the area and rooms assigned to them; they feel comfortable this way. - After giving instructions, ask them to repeat what they have understood – this will avoid mis-communications due to language barriers and nuances. - A good number of household help is available from accredited agencies; good meaning they can converse and understand conversational English, know general cleaning and basic cooking, how to take phone calls and messages and can baby-sit and serve as surrogate mothers to toddlers and young children.
  • Other problems may occur with telephone, cable and other household needs. It is good to keep in mind that response to requests for service may not be as immediate as you are used to in your home country.
  • When choosing household help ask for the guidelines on what general questions to ask depending on the position one is looking for.

When do I get a driver’s license?

  • Anyone with a valid driver’s license from their home country or an international driver’s license can drive in the Philippines for a maximum of 90 days. After this period a Philippine driver’s license is required.
  • Expatriates must have a valid visa for a minimum of 1 year to obtain driver’s license.
  • If the information on the license is not in English, it has to be translated before application.
  • Assignees will fill out an application form at the Land Transportation Office (LTO), pay an application fee and present a copy of their foreign license and passport information page as well as a copy of the page where the entry into the country is stamped.
  • The license will be issued right there.
  • The law requires that assignees have their work permit before applying for a driver’s license, as well as a tax identification number (TIN) or an alien certificate of registration (ACR).
  • Annexus Relocation Consultants will assist assignees through this process.

What can you tell me about ways to ease my transition to Filipino life?

  • Remember, it is warm and humid in the Philippines – pack lightweight, cotton clothing.
  • Shopping is easy in the Philippines and it is done more often than in the United States. People do not buy in bulk because they do not have the storage space and it will not keep in the tropical climate which ranges from 28 C – 33 C all year round.
  • Be prepared for the traffic situation in Manila especially during rush hour and rainy season where most of the streets get flooded – this is during the rainy months of June to November.
  • Length of day and night are pretty much the same throughout the year – sunrise from 5am to 6am and sunset from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

What are the initial problems I may encounter during the settling-in period?

  • Having settled in your new home, you are ready for close encounters with Philippine terrestrials, so to speak. Few, if any, cope without some form of house help and here you may encounter problems. The househelp has always been a part of the Philippine life, as far as existing historical records can take the Filipinos.
  • It is fair that at least one third of the problems faced by foreigners after the initial settling-in period revolve around the household help. Why? Because the average American or European is unprepared by training or background to handle household staff. Even a woman who has previously employed maids may not be aware of the intricacies of navigating in Philippine cultural waters.
  • Following are some pointers: - Be very specific on tasks and schedules expected from them – give detailed instructions. - Better still, post reminders in their work area until they have fully understood your expectations. - They are used to limiting their activities in the area and rooms assigned to them; they feel comfortable this way. - After giving instructions, ask them to repeat what they have understood – this will avoid mis-communications due to language barriers and nuances. - A good number of household help is available from accredited agencies; good meaning they can converse and understand conversational English, know general cleaning and basic cooking, how to take phone calls and messages and can baby-sit and serve as surrogate mothers to toddlers and young children.
  • Other problems may occur with telephone, cable and other household needs. It is good to keep in mind that response to requests for service may not be as immediate as you are used to in your home country.
  • When choosing household help ask for the guidelines on what general questions to ask depending on the position one is looking for.