What is the local currency?
Philippines Peso (Php)
What denominations does it come in?
Notes (pesos): 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000
Coins (pesos): 1, 5, 10
Coins (centavos): 5, 10, 25
What is the best way to exchange currency?
You can change money in the airport on the way in but not at the most competitive rates. US dollars are the easiest and most reliably hard currency for exchange here. Our tips are to check on the Internet for the exchange rates on that day so that you know what you’re aiming for. Try money changers like Edlins, which are in many streets in the main towns, but best to choose a busy one, which indicates good quality and reasonable rates. Western Union can help you with getting money into the country and out again. The currency exchange counters at major branches of SM department stores, e.g., SM Glorietta in Makati on the first floor, can also help. Banks are less likely to assist. The Philippines peso is currently not hard currency so is difficult to change back into US dollars or similar. Be aware of this on your departure.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash is used more often here than in the US or Europe for example. Credit cards are also used quite extensively. As identity theft is prevalent in the Philippines, it is best to request a photo credit card from your local bank and know where it is at all times. Cash is always welcome.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
While some of the smaller shops do not accept credit cards, department stores and most larger shops and restaurants in the city will accept them. However, many establishments charge a surcharge (2 to 6 percent) for using a credit card. You may want to check before agreeing to pay with a credit card. Also some shops, smaller hotels and service providers will not accept credit cards or even checks.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Rent is usually paid one year in advance by check. Utilities can be paid either with cash or check directly to the utilities company, or a standing order can be issued to debit your bank account. Bills can also be paid through ATMs and through Internet banking (if your local account will support this). Shopping malls usually have a counter where you can pay all your utility bills, too. A good example is in SM Glorietta on the first floor.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
You will need a passport (endorsed with a non-tourist visa) and/or an Alien Registration Certificate. In addition, you will need a photo ID, such as a locally issued driver's license or a credit card with photo and some proof of address in the Philippines. Usually it is very difficult to open a bank account locally until you have your resident visa unless your company can introduce you to their bank.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
Not generally, but there are many banks coming in to the Philippines that may provide this service, for example, Maybank from Malaysia.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
No restrictions that are known.
What are typical banking hours?
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (some banks operate until 4 p.m.). Banco de Oro is open during weekends if location is inside the Mall.
Closed on Saturday, Sunday and on public holidays.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, however, ATMs are usually only available in major tourist and business areas of Manila. Maestro and Cirrus are two systems most commonly available, but not all ATMs accept international credit cards. Take care to plan ahead for your cash requirements during peak holiday seasons as ATMs can run out of cash at these times.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
ATMs around Manila are often off-line, which means you can't withdraw money. So it's a good idea to always have a small amount of cash with you. Many, especially local, banks will cap the daily withdrawal 20,000. This means that, particularly at the beginning of your time in the Philippines, you may need an alternate source of hard cash to help you set up home and business here without relying on ATM withdrawals.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.