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Might be time to leave this year

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AngMoG
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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby AngMoG » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 12:46 pm

Hi Steve!

Yup, I moved to the Phils last year February, so my comments on top of what has already been said:
  • We did the mail forwarding thing for a month, since it is actually quite expensive for what are likely bills or sometimes spam/info mail. Worked fine, though previous experience with mail forwarding of Singpost has shown it is not very reliable in general.
  • I kept my SG account with Citi, no issues in changing the address and mobile number to overseas for the banking account. I am all electronic for banking side, so no mail coming here from them. Mobile OTP works fine. You can transfer easily between Citi SG and PH accounts afaik, but keep in mind that Citi PH only has about 5 or 6 branches in Manila, and interbank money transfers do not exist here.
  • One more thing about banking in the Phils: you should open an account with both BPI and BDO, the two major banks here. Their ATM networks are a bit unreliable, as are their payment networks, so it is good to have a backup in case one of them fails. If you are employed in the Phils, you are likely to need a salary account in either one of those two banks anyway.
  • For credit card, keep your SG credit cards! You need to be employed in the Philippines for about a year before you even qualify for a local one, with the exception of BPI's express credit - which gives you an available credit limit of 80% of your fixed balance (which you cannot withdraw, ever).
  • Buying property here is not a huge hassle bureaucratically. BUT: The Nr. 1 payment method for this (unless you pay in-full one-go in cash) is post-dated checks. (Same applies for rental, btw.) Which you can only get if you have a checking account. Which they may not give you right away from the bank side, seeing as you are a freshly arrived foreigner. (Even as a Filipino, the same applies.) The way I did it is go through my in-laws, and transferring them the monthly amount.
  • Most of our stuff was moved through balikbayan. It is fairly cheap, and in general reliable, though it may take up to 4 weeks for the boxes to arrive now. This obviously won't work if you plan on shipping furniture, though honestly unless those are heirlooms or very expensive furniture, it is hardly worth shipping - you can have anything you want made-to-order here if you are so inclined.

Steve1960
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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby Steve1960 » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 1:03 pm

AngMoG wrote:Hi Steve!


[*] For credit card, keep your SG credit cards! You need to be employed in the Philippines for about a year before you even qualify for a local one, with the exception of BPI's express credit - which gives you an available credit limit of 80% of your fixed balance (which you cannot withdraw, ever).
Did you hang on to the SG cards without an SG address?
[*] Buying property here is not a huge hassle bureaucratically. BUT: The Nr. 1 payment method for this (unless you pay in-full one-go in cash) is post-dated checks. (Same applies for rental, btw.) Which you can only get if you have a checking account. Which they may not give you right away from the bank side, seeing as you are a freshly arrived foreigner. (Even as a Filipino, the same applies.) The way I did it is go through my in-laws, and transferring them the monthly amount.
Presumably if I had the SG Citi account I could have Citi Phil raise a counter cheque for any property purchase? I need to find out


Thanks for all the info very useful

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby AngMoG » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 2:00 pm

Steve,

To add on to this a bit (I had to finish a bit quickly as I was going for lunch earlier).

I asked a good friend if I could use his address for the credit card. Citi only allowed an SG address, and there must be an address. Accounts can have a "hold all mail" indicator (I know from previously having worked in one), but Citi would not agree to use it.

Not sure if you can get a local checking account from Citi when you first move here, it is something you need to check out. Note that your being a customer of Citi SG means nothing to Citi PH.

Also, well, let's have a beer once you're in PH :)

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby Steve1960 » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 2:09 pm

Thanks, so it seems the biggest obstacle to buying a property will be having no paper cheques! :wink:

Looking forward to that beer I may need it after the family move. Will let you know when it is happening.

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 2:14 pm

Yea, Pay2Home is like this. Really really good rates, really fast, but you have to actually go there in person to finalize it. Not an option if he's in the PI already.

nakatago wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:If they're very large and infrequent, you'll get a slightly better rate paying for a wire from DBS using their Philipines Remittance. Needs to be large enough due to the xfer fee. It's also not instant, but usually same business day before 3pm.


FYI to future readers:

Remittance services still offer the best rates, fastest transfers and lowest fees as long as you stick with reputable firms (e.g. iRemit or Metrobank). I used iRemit which charged me < 5 bucks and the money would be in my Philippine bank account the following banking day. Then again, I only transferred a thousand or two at a time.

I'm not sure though how you will do it with a very large amounts; worth giving them a call to ask, I think, along with any limits that may trigger any money-laundering documentation requirements (again, I found this out the hard way but resolved it right away with phone calls, office visits and running around).

Western Union can also do direct to bank account transfers (not just for shady 409 scams but also for legitimate purposes as well). They're more expensive than remittance services but less so than banks. Again, check relevant legal limitations. In some countries, you can use a bank debit/credit card instead of physically showing up at an agent with cash.

But when it comes to banks, I'm almost sure about Citibank being the most seamless.

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nakatago
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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby nakatago » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 2:22 pm

Steve1960 wrote:Thanks, so it seems the biggest obstacle to buying a property will be having no paper cheques! :wink:

Looking forward to that beer I may need it after the family move. Will let you know when it is happening.

Tell the agency you're paying cash

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby Steve1960 » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 2:25 pm

haha yes of course foreigner carrying a big bag of cash around Manila :shooting:

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby Primrose Hill » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 3:58 pm

Steve1960 wrote:haha yes of course foreigner carrying a big bag of cash around Manila :shooting:

Like the Godfather. handcuffed it to your wrist :mrgreen: =D>

AngMoG
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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby AngMoG » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 4:33 pm

Steve1960 wrote:haha yes of course foreigner carrying a big bag of cash around Manila :shooting:


I have actually talked to somebody who has done that. But I would definitely not recommend that. Somebody just has to see you receiving that much money in the bank (which it will take quite some time to count), and go out and notify somebody about it.

I think best idea is to clarify payment methods up front, before you sign anything.

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby nakatago » Wed, 14 Jan 2015 5:36 pm

Steve1960 wrote:haha yes of course foreigner carrying a big bag of cash around Manila :shooting:

I paid part of my condo in "cash."


Bank transfer. I took them a while to cross reference my transaction but I showed them multiple times my transaction number.

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 15 Jan 2015 1:07 am

nakatago wrote:
Steve1960 wrote:haha yes of course foreigner carrying a big bag of cash around Manila :shooting:

I paid part of my condo in "cash."


Bank transfer. I took them a while to cross reference my transaction but I showed them multiple times my transaction number.


Philippines still believes in Cash, and it does get a bit hairy, when you withdraw and sometimes the bank counter staff says a bit too loudly, "that is 300,000 sir .. " and you just want to dash out of the bank and grab the first taxi that passes by and run ..

They do have some rules like no mobile phones or no full face helmets allowed, in banks, but still a few hit and runs happen !!! AngMoG is right, still hits do happen, and few people have their own car and driver just for the above reason.

Even bit comical when I went to collect a refund from the hospital, the amount duly returned to be in 500 peso notes, all 100,000 of them .. !!!

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nakatago
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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby nakatago » Thu, 15 Jan 2015 5:44 am

Yeah, finance in the Philippines is weird:

* banks are very strict about enrolling other accounts in online banking; they require hand-filled and signed forms; to avoid fraudulent transactions
* and yet people can just come in person under false identities to launder money, i.e. politicians. they just use passbook-only accounts
* cash is king but sending money through text is very popular; you can also pay utility bills that way
* also, bank note designs are released very often and old designs should be out of circulation right away
* those institutions that you'll have an account dealing with money have websites that break down if you look at them funny--I'm looking at you, my hedge funds.
* a real estate agency that is a major bank's sister company did not have an account to which you can transfer money or pay any bills to. And yet, there are resorts in the back of beyond that would accept payments via deposit into their account
* some banks won't allow you to deposit into an account that was not opened in their branch. or if they will, they will charge you for it.
* if you have large amounts of money, the bank is suddenly willing to relax certain requirements or are more accommodating with your requests
* some landlords prefer you give them post-dated checks for the rest of your lease from the very beginning
* some people complain if they get paid monthly instead of twice monthly, as if they get less money that way

I hate post-dated checks; I'm just so glad I won't need them anymore and that the relevant institutions I deal with now support online transactions. Welcome to the 21st century, bitches.

ecureilx wrote:
nakatago wrote:
Steve1960 wrote:haha yes of course foreigner carrying a big bag of cash around Manila :shooting:

I paid part of my condo in "cash."


Bank transfer. I took them a while to cross reference my transaction but I showed them multiple times my transaction number.


Philippines still believes in Cash, and it does get a bit hairy, when you withdraw and sometimes the bank counter staff says a bit too loudly, "that is 300,000 sir .. " and you just want to dash out of the bank and grab the first taxi that passes by and run ..

They do have some rules like no mobile phones or no full face helmets allowed, in banks, but still a few hit and runs happen !!! AngMoG is right, still hits do happen, and few people have their own car and driver just for the above reason.

Even bit comical when I went to collect a refund from the hospital, the amount duly returned to be in 500 peso notes, all 100,000 of them .. !!!

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 15 Jan 2015 5:59 am

nakatago wrote:Yeah, finance in the Philippines is weird:

* banks are very strict about enrolling other accounts in online banking; they require hand-filled and signed forms; to avoid fraudulent transactions
* and yet people can just come in person under false identities to launder money, i.e. politicians. they just use passbook-only accounts
* cash is king but sending money through text is very popular; you can also pay utility bills that way
* also, bank note designs are released very often and old designs should be out of circulation right away
* those institutions that you'll have an account dealing with money have websites that break down if you look at them funny--I'm looking at you, my hedge funds.
* a real estate agency that is a major bank's sister company did not have an account to which you can transfer money or pay any bills to. And yet, there are resorts in the back of beyond that would accept payments via deposit into their account
* some banks won't allow you to deposit into an account that was not opened in their branch. or if they will, they will charge you for it.
* if you have large amounts of money, the bank is suddenly willing to relax certain requirements or are more accommodating with your requests
* some landlords prefer you give them post-dated checks for the rest of your lease from the very beginning
* some people complain if they get paid monthly instead of twice monthly, as if they get less money that way

I hate post-dated checks; I'm just so glad I won't need them anymore and that the relevant institutions I deal with now support online transactions. Welcome to the 21st century, bitches.


Add to it, some banks dont' allow you to have your own ATM PIN (Yes, it is still in existence .. in some bank / branches)

And if you have a million $ property, valued as such, you will be extremely lucky to borrow anything over 200K using the property as collateral !

Ah, Steve1960, buying property, most deeds are practically non-existent, and it is very normal for person A to buy a property, build a house and then person B turns up demanding the property be handed over

be very very very very careful when buying property, especially landed houses !

Steve1960, hope you are not amused about the above ;)

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nakatago
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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby nakatago » Thu, 15 Jan 2015 6:08 am

ecureilx wrote:Steve1960, hope you are not amused about the above ;)


Married to a Filipina; I think he saw this coming when he did the paperwork so they could get married. :cool:

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Re: Might be time to leave this year

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 15 Jan 2015 7:42 am

nakatago wrote:
ecureilx wrote:Steve1960, hope you are not amused about the above ;)


Married to a Filipina; I think he saw this coming when he did the paperwork so they could get married. :cool:


I think foreigners marrying Filipinas are having it easy ..

A colleague from Cebu has gone back, for his 3 day Pre Marriage Seminar, and there is another 3 days seminar .. before even applying for is marriage leave, he has to give up so many of his annual leave !


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