Finding accommodation in Iloilo might not be an easy task. Here are some tips to guide you throughout your search.
Iloilo, nicknamed the “Heart of the Philippines”, is a province which stretches over 4,663 km² in the South of the country and North-east of Panay Island, precisely in the Visayas region. The province is, in fact, in the West of the archipelago and consists of 75% of virgin land, 25% of forests and 7,000 hectares of red wood. In the South, North and Center, the dry season begins in December and ends in June while the rainy season lasts from July to November.
Iloilo City is the main gateway to the major tourist and business destinations in the Western Visayas region. It is also deemed to be the region's political center as nearly 90% of the regional government offices are found there. By car, Iloilo City is found at 25 minutes from the Cabatuan International Airport.
Good to know:
The province consists of 42 municipalities and 1,901 villages called barangays. Iloilo City is its capital city. The local population mainly speaks Hiligaynon.
Agriculture, fisheries, industry, trade and tourism are the region's main economic pillars. The following are the region's main agricultural products: rice, corn, vegetables, mango, banana and pineapple. Fisheries focus on fish and other seafood. As regards industry, it specializes in canning, sugar manufacturing and oil processing (from leaves). Finally, crafts involve the manufacture of souvenirs and furniture.
Note that Iloilo hosts many historical and cultural places of interest which attract thousands of tourists and curious locals every year.
There is no magical formula to find appropriate accommodation in Iloilo. Expatriates living on the spot are unanimous: it is best to be in the city to look for accommodation. Indeed, you will be able to inquire with your friends and contacts and stroll around different neighborhoods in search of the ideal housing unit. This will also allow you find more affordable long-term rentals as you are more likely to find expensive and short-term offers on the Internet.
Although most Filipinos speak English fluently, it is best to register with a real estate agency to have more chances of finding accommodation according to your criteria.
Rents are cheaper in Iloilo, compared to other major cities such as Manila and Cebu. Feel free to negotiate with the owner. For instance, you will need some 60 euros per month in the city-center for a single-bedroom apartment against 40 euros per month for the same in the outskirts. For a three-bedroom apartment, you will need some 160 euros per month in the city-center against some 130 euros per month in the outskirts.
In general, you are required to pay a deposit which is equal to two months rent. You will also pay one month's rent upon signing the lease document. In some cases, the owner may request you to pay an advance rent varying from 6 months to one year, depending on the lease term. As regards one-year term leases, they are automatically renewed for a similar period unless you give a 15 days prior notice to the owner of your intention to vacate the premises.
In some regions, written contracts are a rare practice. However, according to real estate laws, a lease document has to be signed by both parties following verification and approval by a specialized lawyer.
Good to know:
In general, the deposit should be refunded to you on vacating the housing unit. But in some cases, owners try to find faults on the state of the housing unit during your occupation period to avoid refunding the deposit.
Moreover, some owners do not even bother to make an inventory of the premises before letting the housing unit. Feel free to take as many pictures as possible when visiting the housing unit and insist on an inventory to be carried out on vacating it.
Expat.com - Housing in Iloilo
Iloilo official website www.iloilo.gov.ph/homepage
Iloilo City official website www.iloilocity.gov.ph/iloilocity2014
Property 24 www.property24.com.ph