Electricity. 220 volts a/c is the common standard. 110 volts a/c is also used, especially in major hotels.
Apparel. People in the Philippines dress for the weather. Casual attire during the day for women are light blouses and shorts. For men collared T- shirts worn over slacks. In the evening skirts are substituted for shorts and the T-shirts are tucked in.
For Men Only: If you expect to have to attend any occasion which would usually require a jacket and a tie (which is torture in this weather) there is a wonderful substitute. Go immediately to a department store and buy a barong tagalog. It is an embroidered shirt that is considered a formal dress. It will cost more or less PhP 1,000, but it is worth every centavo.
Water. Water supply in Metro Manila and in all the other major cities are considered potable. Bottled purified water, spring water or mineral water is often supplied by hotels and resorts, and sold in all grocery stores.
Telephone service. Telephone service is modern and you can direct dial anywhere in the world. Public phones are plentiful. Public phones require a minimum of two one-peso coins for a local call.
List of the main telephone operators:
- Bayantel - Bayan Telecommunications, Philippines.
- Globe Telecom - Forward thinking Philippine telephone company. Offers mobile phone services.
- PLDT - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.
- Smart - Smart is one of the leading mobile phone companies in the Philippines and also offers mobile banking.
Some Important Telephone Numbers (24-Hour Hotline):
- Police & Fire: 757 or 116
- Emergency No.: 501- 650 or 501- 728
- Directory Assistance: 114
- National Operator: 109
- International Operator: 108
For other emergency numbers, please refer to Directory.
NOTE: It is advisable to always have the telephone number and the address of your embassy or consulate with you.
Working hours. Most businesses are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays and 8:00 AM till noon Saturdays. Banks are open from 9:00 AM till 3:00 PM Mondays through Fridays. When banking in the Philippines, it is advisable to have your passport with you for identification.
The post offices are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays only. Stamps for postcards are frequently available from the Concierge Desk at most major hotels. The Philippines uses ZIP codes, please include them in addressing local mail.
NOTE: The Standard lunch hour is noon to 1:00 PM. Most businesses and government offices are closed.
Time difference. Local time is GMT plus 8 hours.
Airport duties. Passenger Terminal Fee is levied on all passengers embarking for:
1. International travel (including Security Fee): PHP 750.-.;
2. Domestic travel: PHP 200.-.
Place of payment: Airport of departure.
1. Children under 2 years of age.
2. Transit passengers remaining in the transit area and not leaving the airport.
3. Crew members.
Tips. Tipping is expected for most services. The standard practice is 10% of the total bill. Tipping is optional on bills that already include a 10% service charge.
Medical services. High-quality medical care is available in Manila, but may be difficult to locate elsewhere. Many expatriates go to St. Luke’s Hospital (279 E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City, tel. (011-63-2) 722-6161, 723-0101, 723-0199; website http://www.stluke.com.ph/; 24-hour emergency room with ambulance services; accredited by the Joint Commission International; member of the international networks of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, two leading U.S. hospitals). Another option is the Makati Medical Center (2 Amorsolo Street, Makati City, tel. (011-63-2) 815-9911, 892-5544; website http://www.makatimed.ph/). Most hospitals will require a downpayment at the time of admission. In some cases, public and private hospitals have withheld lifesaving medicines and treatments for non-payment of bills. Hospitals may refuse to discharge patients or release important medical documents until the bill has been paid in full. Life-threatening medical problems may require air evacuation to a country with state-of-the-art medical facilities.
Smoking. MANILA, Philippines -- Section five of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9211) prohibits the carrying of any lighted tobacco product in public vehicles, schools, health centers, elevators, cinemas, malls and in places where fire hazards are present. Smoking is also banned in recreational facilities for minors. Fines imposed on violators of this section range from P500 to P10 000.