I have an opportunity in CEBU, a job offer @ 4000 USD /month

Hi all,

My name is Youssef, living in Tunisia, I am married and have 1 baby boy (3 years old) and shortly a little girl will join our world  :).
I am new on the forum and I need help.
I received a job offer in CEBU and the salary is $4,000  per month, I would like to know is it enough to live in CEBU knowing that I will move with my wife and 2 children (3 years old and a my wife will give birth in 3 month ).
It's not my first move (France, UK, Ireland, and currently Tunis) but it will be the first in ASIA, I came 2 times in CEBU for work and I had time to visit the city and the island, I really enjoyed it, met with nice people so when the opportunity arrived I was happy, excited and know need to make the right decision for my family and myself.
I have been warned about the price for renting, furniture, food when you are an expat but this is something I already faced in other country.
I wan to know about cars, I am able to buy one? school for my child knowing that we speak French, English, Arabic  (+ Spanish, Italian for my wife) the 4 of us and I would like them to be able to continue in this way.
The company will pay for a medical care, but I need your advice on this too.

In fact all advice for a "perfect" move will be really appreciated and helpful  :)

@ Y&E, Most Expats can live here very well between $1200-1800./month.  A decent used car can be obtained for P150-200K but you want to try to focus on a local model where there are no issues with registration or import taxes.  Make sure you understand the fact that so many people selling cars here are well behind in late registration/owner transfer documents. 

Be very careful with giving salary details here or in other public forums as some will target you with offers of places to rent or buy and offers to provide many services to get hold of your funds long before you arrive.  Make sure your proper immigration papers and status is done before you start day-one.  I would imagine your new offer includes details on your legal work status and you have a contract in place before you board the plane. 

Few of the public schools here will offer English language teaching at the ages of your kids.  Most decent schools here are private and Catholic (at P25-40K/sem) so if that is not your religious background, the options are very limited. 

If the offer is from a non-Fil company, have you worked out the payment or deposit in $$ to your foreign bank?  If this is a local company, the written offer should be in Peso (Piso) and not $$$. Be slow to talk about what you will earn and let those that want to help gage your wants on a fixed limit (i.e., tell them "I only have P200K for a used car") and on what you will earn.   Be careful and limit your publc income reporting to no more than $2000/month, as your max source.

Calif-Native :

@ Y&E, Most Expats can live here very well between $1200-1800./month.  A decent used car can be obtained for P150-200K but you want to try to focus on a local model where there are no issues with registration or import taxes.  Make sure you understand the fact that so many people selling cars here are well behind in late registration/owner transfer documents. 

Be very careful with giving salary details here or in other public forums as some will target you with offers of places to rent or buy and offers to provide many services to get hold of your funds long before you arrive.  Make sure your proper immigration papers and status is done before you start day-one.  I would imagine your new offer includes details on your legal work status and you have a contract in place before you board the plane. 

Few of the public schools here will offer English language teaching at the ages of your kids.  Most decent schools here are private and Catholic (at P25-40K/sem) so if that is not your religious background, the options are very limited. 

If the offer is from a non-Fil company, have you worked out the payment or deposit in $$ to your foreign bank?  If this is a local company, the written offer should be in Peso (Piso) and not $$$. Be slow to talk about what you will earn and let those that want to help gage your wants on a fixed limit (i.e., tell them "I only have P200K for a used car") and on what you will earn.   Be careful and limit your publc income reporting to no more than $2000/month, as your max source.

Thank you Calif-Native for all! it's very helpful

Of course I will have my contract before I arrive and immigration papers, working visa etc... will be fixed before boarding in the plane.
Another question, what about house? is there area to avoid? what are the best places regarding security/quality of life etc...?
As my wife will not work until few month, do you think that for an women who speaks 5 languages, 8-10 years experience in offshore/ call center experience ( at a director level) is easy to find a job?

@ Y and E,

About house - Cebu is not the area I live in so I will not try to give specific location advice.  In general, you want to find a place where there are guards and perhaps a newer Condo/Townhouse complex.  I would not sign more than a 6 month contract if you have not seen the place first. 

Utility Notes
- Make sure it has it's own separate water and power meters and not tied into a sub-meter or shared.  - Try to factor the power cost into the rent if you will need A/C.  Those that use or need air conditioning can pay an additional P4-7K/month. 

This is another reason why I live in Tagaytay (600M elevation) so no need for A/C.

One friend told me Peace Valley and Lahug are nice areas to live…  I have no idea if this is true.  I do think your selected living area in Cebu should be, in part, based on how soon you will get a car and be able to drive to your work location.  Other expats here (not local fixers/agents) should be able to give a better answer on safer Cebu locations than I can, sorry.

About languages and BPO positions - It is very commendable that you and your wife are multilingual.  However, unless your wife speaks with a "British English" or "American English" accent, her ability to work in a call center with American clients may be reduced.  Of course, this assumes she also has the right to work here and has the proper visa/work permit.  It is best to get her resume posted now for targeting the Cebu area where she can get a jump on the process.

PS. As a side note, there is a lot of Pork used here in the Philippines.  I am Christian but I also do not eat Pork or "unclean" meats so your options for Beef, Lamb or Goat may be even more limited if you are living in an area that is not close to a larger market or the "SnR" store where imported Beef & Lamb is offered.

Make sure that 4000 is in dollars and not in pesos.

If it's in dollars, make sure it's USA dollars.

Go for it.  It's super more than enough.

@ learntalk > Thank you for your contribution, however this thread is quite old (2015).

Thank you,

Priscilla
Expat.com team

Typically, you would rent an apartment recommended by your company for about 6 months. You can be assured, the location is decent and your company should cover that expense, unless you are cashing it out. While in an apartment, get to know the locals and the surrounding areas, then, pick out a more permanent abode for you and your family. Cheers! You will be always an hour away from the beach and the mountains.

learntalk :

Make sure that 4000 is in dollars and not in pesos.
If it's in dollars, make sure it's USA dollars.
Go for it.  It's super more than enough.

I was thinking the same. I haven't heard of too many places in the Philippines paying $4k US per month.

Must be somebody from Nigeria offering the job at $4,000 hahahaha

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