BAGUIO CITY - - Each country has “most googled product”. Guess what people are searching for in the Philippines? It’s to retire.
This is based on a map of the world with the “most googled product” as released by Fixr.com in 2015, Eric de Ausen Pati, officer-in-charge of Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) said during a recent |”tourism investment forum roadshow here.”
Most retirees especially those engaged in business settle in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, said Pati.
Cebu province is the second preference while a good number reside in Clark, Subic, Davao, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro and Baguio City.
Among reasons why retirees abroad want to stay in the country and make it as their second home include affordable lifestyle such that their pension could go a long way unlike if spent in their own country and they can send their children to colleges and universities and finish schooling and learn English.
There are investment opportunities, it is half-way home during winter season in their country and there are various places to spend weekends and do volunteer work.
Their presence has economic gains in an area, said Pati. “They consume goods and services like housing, food, entertainment, health services, pay taxes that support public goods and services, help finance joint ventures with local businesspeople, do businesses, and bring capital into the area.”
Pati presented some data recognizing the country as top destination apart from articles written in different international papers like The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post. It ranks 19th World’s Best Places to Retire by the International Living, Annual Global Retirement Index for 2017; ranks 17th as Best Countries for Raising a Family based on InterNations Survey for 2017; ranks 23rd Expat Destinations in the 2016 InterNations Survey; top 20 Best Foreign Retirement Havens in 2015 particularly Tagaytay & Subic according to Forbes Business Magazine; ranks 8th as Top Expat Destination in 2014 based on InterNations Survey; and ranks 7th among the 21 Best Places to Retire Overseas in 2014 by Live & Invest Retire.
Pati said retirees who would like to stay in the country could avail of the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) which entitles them to hold permanent residency with multiple-entry and indefinite stay.
More than 48,000 foreign nationals mostly married and brought their families with them availed of the SRRV Program.
They are mostly from China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, India, United States, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, according to Pati.
They are entitled to privileges such as exemption from the Bureau of Immigration Alien Certificate of Registration Card (ACR I Card) and likewise customs duties and taxes for the importation of household goods and personal effects up to US$7,000 worth, he added.
They are also acquainted through seminars and workshops on the way of living in the country, do business, learning Tagalog and other dialects, health care, financial management and even making a last will and testament. Activities are also prepared for them such as educational tours, sports fest, summer outings, Valentine gimmicks and different social responsibilities.
For more details, visit their website www.pra.gov.ph or emaile at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or contact them at Tel. No. 848-1418, Fax No. 848-1411 in their office in Manila located at Citibank Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. They also have office based in Cebu Satellite, Crowne Regency, Fuente Osmena. Satellite offices are found in Davao City, Baguio City and Clark in Angeles City.
PRA, an attached bureau of the Department of Tourism, is mandated to develop and promote the Philippines as a retirement haven and provide further best quality of life to the targeted retirees in the most attractive package. -- PIA-CAR