Expert Info

Posted by Anth0ny01
on 11 Jul 2016
I'm thinking of moving to the Philippines but I can't help but think of the life I might be giving up in my home country, Jamaica. Which parts of the Philippines are the safest? Does each house have clean drinking water & electricity available? Are faeces and urine paper and plastics handled responsibly and away from open sources of water to prevent pollution and infection? Is it easy to get a job after moving or is the job market preferential to locals? What if I learned to speak the language - will I still not be able to get the job because I'm not local? What sort of jobs or industries readily employ? What sort of wages can I expect to get? What's the least amount of pay that I should be willing to accept? If I choose to start a family, what is the age of consent for adults or for two people to consent to sexual activities? If I have children with that person out of marriage will they be subject to discrimination ie, not being able to own land, get a job, open a bank account etc.? Is there racism or unfamiliarity with races other than their own? Discrimination of any kind recorded or unrecorded?
Anth0ny01 on 14 Jul 2016 - 19:11
Thank you for responding. I have a few grievances with the answers you've provided. You mentioned how popular Manila is but does that mean its the ONLY safe place or are there others? You mentioned that most that choose to move there have to already be a part of an international company but are there no other opportunities for employment elsewhere that will readily hire regardless of being local or non local? I asked if there was any discrimination of any kind recorded or unrecorded but you didn't provde any answer. I'm trying to avoid racial, religious or socioeconomic discrimination or discrimination of any other kind. You mentioned that the age of consent to sexual activities for consenting ADULTS is 12? Upon reading this, I've asked in a number of chatrooms to Philippine natives and they say that its 21+. I believe that the information you've given is towards consenting TEENS or children at or about that age. Please, I don't know much about the country from where I am so I'd like for the information that you provide to be well researched.I would appreciate your input on the discrepancies that I've outlined. Thank you again.
Meagan on 13 Jul 2016 - 14:12
Hi Anthony,

Manila is the most popular area for expats in the Philippines. Be aware that Mindanao in the south of the Philippines is considered a dangerous place for foreigners and should be completely avoided.

Water in the Philippines is not suitable for drinking, but if you are staying in the city, particularly in an expat area, you should have access to running water and electricity. You can read more on the Expat Arrivals Accommodation in Philippines page.

Most expats move to the Philippines as part of a transfer within an international company as it's quite difficult to get work independently as a foreigner in the Philippines. The Working in the Philippines page has more info.

The age of consent in the Philippines is 12. As the culture there can be quite conservative I would say it is possible that she could face some discrimination, but it's difficult to say for sure. You can read more info on the Expat Arrivals Culture Shock in the Philippines page.

I hope this answers some of your questions. Best of luck.

Meagan on 15 Jul 2016 - 08:23
Hi Anthony,

Most expats do go to Manila, so that's why much of the information for prospective expats is focused on Manila. What area(s) were you thinking of? If you can give me specifics then it will be much easier to give you the information you're looking for as the Philippines is quite large geographically (there are over 100 cities).

It is very unlikely that you will find someone willing to hire employees from outside of the Philippines because that would require the employer to prove that it was not possible for a Philippine national to fill that role. Most employers are not willing to do this because it is a lot of paperwork and in most cases, it is indeed possible to fill the position with a Philippine national unless the job is extremely specialised. What industry do you work in?If I have that information I can give you information about the situation there with regards to your line of work.

There is only one age of consent according to law, and that age is 12. The only other law which may be of interest regarding age and legal sexual activity is that sex with anyone under 18 by using force, threat or intimidation is illegal - but if there is no use of force, threat, or intimidation, it is entirely legally permissible for someone between the ages of 12 and 18 to consent to sexual activity. That said, using force, threat, or intimidation to have sex with someone over the age of 18 is illegal, too, as it is considered rape.

As I said, the culture in the Philippines is quite conservative. Could you be more specific about what kind of discrimination it is that you're concerned about? I will say though that, sadly, there are very few, if any, places in the world where there is no kind of discrimination whatsoever.

Anth0ny01 on 18 Jul 2016 - 03:31
Thank you for responding. I think I should make it clear that I have never been to the Phillipines before so I have no particular place in mind to live. I think it would be better if you provided a top 5-10 listing of the safest places there. When you provided Manila as the most popular among expats, it seemed like it was the only option. If there are other places, I would like to know what they are. I can Google search the rest on my own and contact you with any concerns or queries. On the matter of employment, what if I became a citizen, would the qualifications I'd have garnered be useless? Would I still not be able to get the job. Oh, and by the way I work in software engineering/systems analyst, but any computer related field would suit me just fine. On the matter of discrimination, I'm not sure what the culture is when it comes to people of other races or religious beliefs, but I am Black (Caribbean) and Christian. I don't want any form of racial profiling/stereotyping or religious persecution. On the matter of sexual consent, just to clarify what you've said, only 12-18 year olds can have consensual sex with others of the same age. It is illegal or becomes a crime when force, intimidation or threat is used between 12-18 year olds. For someone who does not fit in that age range, ie. 19+ upwards, it is illegal and a crime for them to engage in sexual activities - through treat, force or intimidation - with 12-18 year olds, but it is perfectly legal if none of the actions stated above were committed? If this is true, then at what age does the government treat its citizens as adults? Is that 21+ like I mentioned before? In my country, if you are 18, not only is it your age of sexual consent but an indicator that you are an adult in the eyes of the law. Could you give me some more information? Thanks in advance.
Meagan on 18 Jul 2016 - 09:22
Hi Anthony,

Apart from Manila, here are some other places you might consider doing further research on as places to live: Quezon City, Puerto Princesa, Cebu City, Iloilo, Davao City, Baguio City, Makati City, and Roxas City.

Note that some of these areas are in the province of Metro Manila - this is not the same as the city of Manila which I referred to earlier (although Manila is of course part of Metro Manila).

Approximately 90% of the population in the Philippines are Christians with the vast majority being Roman Catholic. Whether you are Catholic or not you would still be in the most common religion in the country broadly speaking so I think you'd be fine there. Also, people in the Philippines do have a reputation for being very friendly so that helps too. As a black man, you may get a few stares every now and again simply because Philippine-born nationals are rarely black (or white for that matter) but I wouldn't think you'd face major problems. I'd imagine this effect would also be less pronounced in places where the expat community is large.

It would be a struggle to obtain citizenship, I think, as you would have to reside in the country for 10 years (or 5 years if you marry a Filipina) and meet a number of other requirements as outlined here.

You may find this helpful in guiding your job search. Another option would be to start your own business in the Philippines, which is a common route taken by expats there, especially if they can't find a job. The Expat Arrivals Doing Business in Philippines page has more information on the business climate there.

As I understand it, anyone aged 12 and up can legally consent to sex. Up to age 18, there's a law which seems to be aimed at making sure adults in power or in positions of influence don't use that position to "seduce" the under-18 whether by threat, intimidation, etc. Here's the exact wording of this law: "the age of sexual consent is 12 for all, but contacts with minors (under 18) are an offence, if the minor consents to the act for money, gain or any other remuneration or as the result of an influence of any adult person." The age of legal majority is 18+.

Anonymous (not verified) on 25 Aug 2016 - 00:59
Anthony, I lived in Angeles City Philippines for 5 years and have just recently returned to the states. I have never been to Jamaica before, but I think you might find the Philippines similar. The weather is pretty constant with highs around 80 = 85 F and humidity above 50% year round. Temperatures do not lower much in the evening. There are basicly two seasons, hot and rainy. There are areas in the big cities that are unsafe, just as most metro areas around the world as there are areas that are totally safe. Being Jamaica would put you in a somewhat unique situation. As you are not European, American, Japanese, or Korean. Those are the major visiting countries to the Philippines and their citizens are considered to be wealthy and possibly an easy target for exploitation. Indoor plumbing and electricity are available in most developed area, but in most instances there is only cold water. Flush toilets follow the same pattern. If you want a hot shower you will have to purchase an on demand electric water heater. The price of electrical service is quite high and depending on the rent you pay for a place it may be almost as much as your monthly rent. Any recycling is minimal. Local water systems are usually not potable and you must purchase bottled water from the hypermarket or a private water purifier. The cost of this water is reasonable. It is not easy to get a job, and as a matter of fact, I would suggest that you not consider moving to the Philippines unless you already have a secure income such as a pension or employment that you can continue out of the country. You will be in the Philippines on a tourist/travel visa and are not allowed to work. If you secure employment before moving to the Philippines, then your employer will be responsible to secure a work visa for you. Be wary of scams in the situation. Learning to speak Tagalog is not necessary as much of society in the cities speak English in varying degrees. Most higher education is taught in English. If you want to look for an "under the table" job, there are many schools teaching English to Japanese and Koreans that want to employ "native speakers". If you work for them you will also be at risk of being expelled for working on a tourist visa. Teaching English you could expect a salary/hourly from 10,000 to 45,000 php a month. Getting married and starting a family is a very complex process full of pitfalls and hurdles. Maybe some more information later......hope this helps

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