Engage In Philippines

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About Philippines

Capital City

Manila

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of the Philippines is 117,337,368.

Currency

The currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP). The currency symbol is ₱.

Exchange Rate Calculator

USD

Overview

The Philippines is a captivating archipelago located in Southeast Asia, consisting of 7,107 islands strewn across the western Pacific Ocean. From the southern borders of China to the northern tip of Borneo, this diverse nation showcases a tapestry of vibrant cultures and breathtaking landscapes. Its unique geographical position places it in close proximity to major water bodies such as the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait. With Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia as its neighboring countries, the Philippines serves as a melting pot of diverse influences and a gateway to Southeast Asia. Embarking on a journey through the Philippines reveals a fascinating tapestry of regional dialects and languages, reflecting its heritage of over a hundred ethnic groups. The country’s picturesque terrain showcases a blend of mountainous landscapes and narrow coastal lowlands, offering both ecotourism opportunities and stunning beach getaways. With a mixed economic system that blends private enterprise, central economic planning, and government regulation, the Philippines has become a member of prominent regional organizations such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Whether exploring historical sites, indulging in delectable cuisine, or immersing oneself in the warm hospitality of the Filipino people, the Philippines is a captivating destination that promises a truly unforgettable experience.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

According to the Labor Code of the Philippines, employees hired to perform activities that are usually necessary or desirable for the employer's usual business are considered to be regular or permanent employees. If an employee has worked for more than one year with the same employer and in the same role, whether continuously or intermittently, they are considered to be a regular employee. If an employee is hired for probation and continues to work after probation, they become a regular employee.  The employer must not terminate the services of a regular employee unless it is for just cause.

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

A project employee is defined as an employee whose employment is for a specific project or undertaking, the completion or termination date of which has been determined at the time the employee is engaged.  If a fixed-term employee has worked for more than a year for the same employer, they are considered a regular employee. 

Temporary Employment Contratcs

The Labor Code of the Philippines recognizes temporary workers as casual workers who perform seasonal work. Temporary workers are employed only for one season. Employees can also use temporary staffing agencies to hire temporary workers for specific projects. In this case, two contracts are concluded: one between the employee and the agency and another between the client (employer) and the agency. The agency takes an administrative fee of not less than 10% of the total contract price for providing temporary employees to the employer. All temporary employees are entitled to security of tenure and all the rights and privileges as provided in the Labor Code. The contractor and user employer are jointly responsible for temporary employees' rights. Employers may require the agency to furnish a bond equal to the cost of labor under contract, on the condition that the bond will answer for the wages due the employees should the agency fail to pay the same.  

Probationary Period

Probationary contracts must not exceed 6 months in duration from the date the employee starts work (unless they are covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period).

Working Hours

The labor law of the Philippines states that regular hours of work must not exceed 8 per day. A Compressed Work Week Scheme (CWW) is an arrangement that permits regular work hours to exceed 8 hours but allows a decrease in the number of workdays to less than 6. Employees under 15 years of age must not be allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week or 4 hours a day. Employees between 15 and 18 years of age are permitted to work for 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. 

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

Regular Holidays:

New Year’s Day (January 1), Maundy Thursday (date may vary), Good Friday (date may vary), Eidul Fitr (date may vary), Eidul Adha (date may vary), Araw ng Kagi tingan/Bataan and Corregidor Day (Monday nearest April 9).

Nationwide Special Holidays:

Ninoy Aquino Day (Monday nearest August 21), All Saints Day (November 1), Labor Day (Monday nearest May 1), Independence Day (Monday nearest June 12), National Heroes Day (Last Monday of August), Bonifacio Day (Monday nearest November 30), Christmas Day (December 25), Rizal Day (Monday nearest December 30), Last Day of the Year (December 31).

Paid Annual Leave

The Philippines' Labor Code provides 5 days of paid mandatory leave to employees who have at least 1 year of service. However, such leave may not be taken by employees who have paid vacation leave of at least 5 days or employees in establishments regularly employing fewer than ten employees. The leave may also not be taken by employees of establishments exempted from granting this benefit by the Secretary of Labor and Employment for reasons related to their viability or financial condition. Employees can also take unpaid vacation leave which is considered a gap in the service.

Sick Leave

The Philippines' Labor Code does not contain any provisions on sick leave. It only provides 5 days of paid leave to employees with at least 1 year of service. An employee who has paid at least 3 monthly Social Security System (SSS) contributions in the 12-month period immediately preceding the trimester of sickness or injury and who is confined for more than 3 days in a hospital or elsewhere with the approval of the SSS is paid a daily sickness benefit equivalent to 90% of their average daily salary by their employer for each day of confinement. However, this allowance will only start being paid after fully paid sick leave from the employer has been exhausted. This benefit is paid for a maximum of 120 days in a year and 240 days in total for any given period of confinement. Employees must inform their employers of their confinement within 5 days of its commencement. The daily benefits paid by employers are fully reimbursed to them by the Social Security System. A female employee who has performed continuous aggregate service of at least 6 months within the last 12 months is entitled to a special leave benefit of 2 months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation. This leave is to be used following surgery caused by gynecological disorders.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is addressed through the Social Security System (SSS). Paid leave lasts 105 days. If the mother is a single parent, she is eligible for 120 days of paid maternity leave. Women can avail themselves of an additional leave of 30 days without pay if they provide at least 45 days’ notice to the employer. Maternity leave must begin at least two weeks before childbirth. Paid leave of 60 days is provided in case of miscarriage and emergency termination of pregnancy. 100% of the salary is paid during maternity leave.  Maternity leave with pay is also provided if the childbirth or miscarriage occurs not more than 15 days after employment termination.

Paternity Leave

The labor laws of the Philippines provide 7 days of paid paternity leave to all married male employees working in the private sector (regardless of employment status) at the birth of their partner's child. The leave is granted for the first four deliveries of the legitimate spouse with whom the male employee is cohabiting. This leave is also granted in case of miscarriage. In addition to this leave, a female employee can allocate up to 7 days of paid leave from her maternity leave to the child's father, whether or not they are married.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

According to the Philippines' Labor Code, notice periods vary according to the substantive reason for the dismissal. An employee can only be lawfully dismissed if both the substantive and the procedural requirements for dismissal are met. The dismissal must not only be for a just or authorized cause (or be related to the employee's ill health or failure to pass the probationary period as provided for by law), but the rudimentary requirements of due process must also be observed. In case of dismissal due to redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses, or the closing/cessation of operation of the establishment, a written notice must be given to employees at least one month in advance. An employee can terminate the employee-employer relationship without just cause by serving a written notice on the employer at least one month in advance.  If an employment relationship is terminated by the completion of a project (or a phase of that project), no prior notice is required.

Severance Benefits

Employees are entitled to severance pay as follows: Termination due to installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy – at least one month's salary for every year of service    Termination due to retrenchment – at least 1/2 month's salary for every year of service   Termination due to closure or cessation of operations not due to business losses or financial reverses – at least 1/2 month's salary for every year of service  Termination due to disease – at least 1/2 month's salary for every year of service  Termination due to just causes – no severance benefits The minimum severance pay is one month's salary.

Social Security

Pension

In the Philippines, employees may retire upon reaching the retirement age established in the employment contract, collective bargaining agreement, or company policy. If there is no retirement plan or agreement, an employee may retire at age 60 years of age or older but not after 65 years of age, at which point retirement becomes mandatory. Employees become eligible to receive a pension if they have paid at least 120 monthly Social Security contributions. The monthly pension is calculated according to the Philippines' Social Security System's formula depending on the number of contributions. Dependents' allowance is added to the monthly pension. Pension is paid 13 times a year. An insured employee who is 60 years old at retirement and who does not qualify for pension benefits is entitled to a lump sum benefit equal to the total of the contributions paid by them and on their behalf. Employees also have the option to buy the remaining weeks of contributions to be eligible for a pension. Both employees and employers pay contributions to the Social Security System.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

In the Philippines, the death benefit is a cash benefit paid either as a monthly pension or lump sum to beneficiaries of a deceased member who had paid at least 36 monthly contributions before the 6-month period in which the death occurred. Primary beneficiaries include a surviving spouse and up to 5 dependent children under 21 years of age or who are disabled. Where there are no primary beneficiaries, the dependent parents are considered the secondary beneficiaries. Primary beneficiaries are entitled to the same monthly pension the deceased employee would have been entitled to receive. If a pensioner dies, their pension is transferred to their primary beneficiaries. The monthly pension is paid for no less than 60 months. If the deceased insured member had paid less than 36 monthly contributions, a lump sum benefit is granted to their primary beneficiaries.  *COVID 19 has been included in the ECC List of Occupational and Work-related diseases, supported by diagnostic proof that the infection was caused during work or commuting to and from work.  Monthly benefits are paid by the employer to primary dependents in case of death due to work-related injury or sickness. These payments are covered under the Employees Compensation Program.

Invalidity Benefit

To qualify for a disability pension, the SSS member must be assessed as having a permanent total or partial disability. They must also have at least 36 months of contributions before the six-month period in which the disability began. The monthly pension is calculated according to the Social Security System's formula, depending on the number of contributions. Dependents' allowance is added to the monthly pension. A supplementary allowance of PHP 500 (Philippine pesos) (USD 9.94) is paid to pensioners with total or partial disability. A pensioner with total disability is also entitled to a 13th-month pension payable every December. For a pensioner with partial disability, a 13th-month pension shall be paid provided that the pension duration is at least 12 months. Both employees and employers pay contributions to the Social Security System. Benefits for work-related disability are covered by the Employees' Compensation Program and depend on the degree and type of disability. *COVID 19 has been included in the ECC List of Occupational and Work-related diseases, supported by diagnostic proof that the infection was caused during work or commuting to and from work. 

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

Residents' income from sources within or outside the Philippines is taxable, whereas non-residents are taxed only on their income from sources within the country. Residents are persons who have their habitual residence in the Philippines. The tax year is the same as the calendar year, running from January 1 to December 31.  Tax rates for individuals earning only compensation income, individuals in business, or those in the practice of a profession range from 15% to 35%. Self-employed residents, professionals, or business people whose income does not exceed PHP 3,000,000 (Philippine pesos) can choose to be taxed at a flat rate of 8% on gross receipts over PHP 250,000 or at progressive rates. Income above PHP 3,000,000 is taxed at progressive rates. Individuals who earn only minimum wage are not required to pay income tax. A flat tax rate of 15% applies to the employment income of non-residents. 

Immigration

Types of Visas

Temporary visit visa – This visa is issued to foreign nationals coming to the Philippines for tourism, business, or medical treatment for seven to 59 days. Transient visa – This visa is for visitors in transit to a destination outside the Philippines. Seaman’s visa – This visa is for crew members of a vessel arriving at a port of the Philippines from any country. Treaty trader/investor visa – This visa is for visitors entering the Philippines solely to carry on trade or commerce. Diplomatic visa – This visa is for accredited officers of a foreign government recognized by the Philippines on official business for their government. Student visa – This visa is for visitors 18 years old and over who intend to study towards a bachelor’s degree or higher at a university, seminary, academy, college, or school. Employment visa (prearranged) – This visa is issued to foreign nationals traveling to the Philippines to engage in any lawful occupation. It is valid for one to three years. Special non-immigrant visa – This visa is for visitors proceeding to the Philippines under special laws. Permanent resident visa – This visa is issued to foreign nationals for permanent stay in the Philippines.

Work Permit

Foreign nationals who plan to work in the Philippines are required to obtain a work permit. There are 3 work permit options issued by the government. The alien employment permit (AEP) is issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) while the special work permit (SWP) and provisional work permit (PWP) is issued by the Bureau of Immigration. An AEP is the most common work permit required for foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines. The AEP is issued for 1 year and is renewable after that. Foreign nationals with resident status in the Philippines do not need to apply for an AEP. A SWP is a permit option for foreign nationals who are planning short-term assignments or employment for up to 6 months with sponsorship. A provisional work permit (PWP) is issued to a foreign national while the application for a pre-arranged employment visa (9G or 9D) is pending. The PWP is valid for 3 months or until an AEP (Alien Employment Permit) or pre-arranged employment visa (9-G) is issued to the applicant, whichever comes first. The 9-G visa is valid for 1 to 3 years. Foreign nationals and their families have to apply for this visa to enter the Philippines. 

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