The world is now a small place when it comes to financial matters. Here in the Philippines, you will find the same variety of financial instruments available as you would in North America, Europe or elsewhere. Many banks here also have business relationships with some of the larger foreign banks and financial institutions. The world’s biggest insurance companies offer investments here through a variety of banks.
The center of the financial industry is located in Manila. They have banks throughout the Philippines. The main banks include Metro Bank, BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) and China Banking Corp. The largest in terms of assets is BDO Unibank. All of these have branches in Dumaguete. They offer all traditional banking services such as checking, savings, and investments. Many foreigners have their pensions and other foreign monthly payments sent to their bank accounts in Dumaguete. The favorable exchange rate, (example US $1 usually converts to at least 50 Philippine pesos) as well as easy access to funds makes this a popular choice for foreigners.
It’s important to have a relationship with a knowledgeable accountant, especially if you need to file taxes annually in your country of origin. Even if you have previously used an accountant or tax filing company to annually prepare your tax returns, it’s important they are aware of any tax liabilities, or tax relief, you might have now because of living here. They also should be knowledgeable on how the income tax department in your original country views your tax position when you are formally domiciled in a new country. We can refer you to accountants who specialize in working with foreigners.
If you are working here and earning an income as an employee, or if self employed, you need to file Philippine tax returns. If you own property here you also need to be aware of the taxes you need to pay quarterly to the city. Taxes also need to be paid when you sell property. This again confirms the need to have a solid relationship with a skilled accountant who can guide you through the maze of complexities that exist. We will refer you to two accountants from which you can select.
While most investments available internationally are also available here, if you already have a trusted relationship with an adviser, it may be best to stay with that adviser. Regardless, you have now come to the time in your financial life when you have moved from accumulation to preservation of your capital. What’s different in Dumaguete is investment advisers are not independent practitioners. They usually work with one bank and are limited to offering investments that bank has chosen. We will refer you to two banks. You can meet with them, then decide what’s best for you to do.