What's changing in the Philippines after the COVID-19 crisis

Hello everyone,

I hope you're doing well.

As the Editorial Team of Expat.com, our aim is to provide you with fresh and up-to-date information about the COVID-19 crisis in your host country. You might be expecting a lot of changes following the crisis, especially in terms of entry and visa requirements, work, buying property, education, etc.

Whether you're looking to relocate to the Philippines after the crisis or you have already settled in, here's what you need to know:

Post-COVID-19 changes in the Philippines

Hoping this helps. Also, feel free to write to me should you have any useful information that we could add.

Many thanks in advance.

Warm regards,
Veedushi
Editorial Assistant, Expat.com

I am a Swedish citizen, I have a girlfriend in Philippine, is it allowed now to enter the Philippine?

rafic50 :

I am a Swedish citizen, I have a girlfriend in Philippine, is it allowed now to enter the Philippine?

The word is that tourist Visas will probably not be issued until November or 2021.  In Manila, the government just went back to an Enhanced General Quarantine, where only one person may leave the house to get food on certain days.  There are still a huge number of cases, and ICU beds are maxxed out in Cebu and in different cities on the island of Luzon.

I live in Leyte, and they have had the city on lockdown since March, and there were no CV19 cases, until Duterte ordered returning OFWs back to their home cities.  In Ormoc, there were in quarantine facility, tested positive, put in isolation, and only one fatality.

The strain here is not as lethal as the Italian strain, so it is not as lethal. 

I guess for now, the best you can hope for is Video Chatting, which is basically being pen pals.  I was on the fence flying back to the US for a few weeks, leaving mid-March, to do income taxes and some housekeeping,  Decided to stay with my Filipina wife, and am glad I did.  Have read of men with GFs/wives expecting babies, and they cannot return to their families.

thank you

moonunit0103 :
rafic50 :

I am a Swedish citizen, I have a girlfriend in Philippine, is it allowed now to enter the Philippine?

I was on the fence flying back to the US for a few weeks, leaving mid-March, to do income taxes and some housekeeping,  Decided to stay with my Filipina wife, and am glad I did.  Have read of men with GFs/wives expecting babies, and they cannot return to their families.

That's what I did and the way it's going here in the States I may never get back there, lol. Seriously, it's the wild, wild west here. No leadership, no strategy. Every state on their own. At this point no country even wants Americans coming in. Quite a turnabout.

What's changed? 

A better question and easier to answer, would be, what hasn't.

Small businesses are failing and people in the provinces often do not get what little relief is supplied by the government.

Children cannot attend schools with the exception of on line classes which require electronics and a good internet connection which most do not have.

Jobs have dried up and transportation has been halted or curtailed to the point where people literally cannot get to what few jobs there are.

Restaurants had just begun to open with limited seating when the government decided to return to a more restrictive quarantine once again and those jobs and revenue for the businesses which were and are struggling have dried up once again.
A good example is the Jollibee restaurant chain which has lost of 2 billion in revenue and is planning on closing over 250 stores.

Travel is very restricted and involves the acquisition of travel passes (good for one day) and specific reasons for the travel and to what location.

Grocery stores in our area have so far maintained their stocks and roadside markets for fresh fruit and vegetables has been plentiful to this point.

We have been fortunate in that my wife and I have been able to travel in our area to grocery stores and to what businesses are open.  Many other expats I have chatted with have not been able to leave home for over a 100 days now. 
One said that he cannot obtain a travel pass even for medical reasons, as they do not consider his visit to the doctor an emergency.  Bureaucratic dimwits.

Expats wanting to return to the RP who cannot show proof of family ties cannot return even though many have girlfriends here with children that they were supporting and no longer can. So families are separated from loved ones.
Exceptions are made for those who are married to a Philippine citizen who resides in the Philippines, while providing documentation proving their marriage and a copy of the spouses passport and or other I.D.'s.  The traveler is then required to pay for a 14 day quarantine in an approved accommodation before they can return to their family.

Tourist areas are literally shut down for the most part and unless you live in the area, travel to beaches and resorts is out of the question. 
The resort and tourist industry is in shambles with airlines like Cebu Pacific storing planes in Australia until they are once again needed.

Tighter restrictions have recently returned to many areas, once again shutting down businesses and most transportation, while at the same time the government has declared they are running out of funds and relief goods. 

For us in the area in which we live we are fortunate in that we can get out in our rural setting and walk, work around the house, garden, etc.   Many  that live in condos and subdivisions cannot and with liquor bans, even sitting on the porch with a cold beer is not always an option.

Document renewals such as visas, drivers licenses, etc., is also at a near standstill, though the government is assuring people that there will be no fines or penalties for overdue renewals and ample time will be given to those needing renewals once the quarantines are lifted and or eased.

There is more, though I think we all get the picture.  It's a mess and it's not getting better with the bureaucrats stumbling over each other trying to cure the incurable with rules and regulations.
The country is now considered to be in a recession.  Will more lockdowns turn that around? 

Another expat commented about being locked in your house and stated that If you are scared to death of the China virus, then by all means stay in your bunker until you think it's safe to peek out at the world once again.
For those who are willing to risk getting out in the world and possibly dying from the virus,  let  them do so as opposed to dying in a locked box.

Funny how many people that we know have worked with others in "essential jobs" since this started and are still not infected.  Just lucky I guess.

My wife, new neighbor, and I got travel passes and health certificates and drove to Tacloban from Ormoc City to go to Bureau of Immigration and we're home before supper.

Bureau of Immigration Tacloban accepts walk ins, but only allows 4 expats in the building at a time.  My neighbor and I were in and out in 20 minutes. 

NBI was a bit of a surprise, since I had applied online and submitted documents online and had paid.  I expected to pick up my clearance letter like my wife had, but I had to complete an application in duplicate, walk several blocks for passport photos, then return, fill out another form in duplicate, then get fingerprinted.  Took about 1.5 hours.

Also took the truck to Nissan dealer for service.  Was done by 4pm

Checkpoints along the way we're closed or we got waved by.  Only stopped once on the way to Tacloban, and at Ormoc City Limits on return to scan our QR Codes.

I fully well written article for expat. It's good even for local. Thank you.

New topic