Reasons Not To Live In The Philippines As A Foreigner: If you are thinking about moving to the Philippines, you may be wondering what the disadvantages of living in the Philippines as a foreigner are?
Interestingly there are many advantages and disadvantages of living in the Philippines today. It has been known for some foreigners to create articles titled “I hate living in the Philippines,” but what are the reasons not to live in the Philippines, and what is the public saying?
This week I have spent my whole week investigating the Internet and looking at reasons not to live in the Philippines as a foreigner. So I will share with you what expats are saying and even what local Filipinos say about life in the Philippines!
Disadvantages Of Living In The Philippines
1. Scams Are Everywhere
Scams are everywhere in the Philippines, and scammers do not discriminate. Scammers have been known to target local Filipinos as well as foreign visitors. Today there are hundreds of different types of scams, including in-person and online remote scams.
One public comment on a forum even mentioned that certain scamming schools would teach people how to scam. Of course, this is the Internet, so there is no way to verify if this information is correct or not, but what is true is that scams are incredibly common in the Philippines, and there are many scams that target foreign visitors.
2. The Food Is Super Unhealthy
One of the reasons why expats sometimes claim “I hate living in the Philippines” is because the food is known to be unhealthy. Research confirms that MSG and other products are commonly added to Filipino cuisine.
In addition, high processed sugary foods and fried foods are very common in restaurants and street food venues. The food market in the Philippines is gigantic, and there are some healthier food options. Unfortunately, a disadvantage of living in the Philippines as an expat is that unhealthy foods are extremely common.
3. The Risks Of Natural Disasters Are Real
Over the years, the Philippines has been known to suffer some devastating disasters. Due to the geographical location of the Philippines, certain areas and islands are more prone than others.
Natural disasters are a safety concern for many expats living in the Philippines and are a disadvantage when living in the Philippines long term.
It is recommended travelers seek assistance from the local embassy website because these pages are updated the most. Nevertheless, staying updated with local Filipino news developments is a great way to discover the latest weather developments.
4. In Remote Areas, You Will Be Stared At
For some, one disadvantage of living in the Philippines is the feeling of being different. This is a common experience living in Asia as an expat. Still, some travelers who visit the Philippines report that being stared at is more common in the Philippines than in any other country.
Interestingly this tends to be more remote areas, such as in the Davao provinces, and not in the larger cities. This is not a big reason not to live in the Philippines as a foreigner, but it is a comment mentioned a few times throughout our investigation.
5. The Wifi Can Make You Very Angry
There have been improvements in the Internet infrastructure over the years in the Philippines; however, still, the Philippines has one of the slowest internets and is known to be a common complaint by expats and locals alike.
This is certainly one of the biggest disadvantages of living in the Philippines as a foreigner, especially if you rely on the Internet for work. So naturally, the slow speeds of the Internet in the Philippines can be one of the reasons why bloggers sometimes say, “I hate living in the Philippines as an expat.”
6. The Traffic Is On Another Level
Over the years, the Philippines transportation authorities have attempted to ease the congestion; however, traffic is on another level in the Philippines and is one of the main disadvantages of living in certain cities such as Manila.
One local mentioned that his work is on the other side of the city, and it’s not uncommon for him to be spending up to 3 hours of his day traveling from work to his apartment, so it is recommended to choose a place in your most visited establishments when living in the busy cities.
7. Air Pollution Is A Real Problem
Greenpeace states that coal-fired plants are one of the main causes of air pollution in the Philippines, and vehicle emissions are the main culprit in the urban areas of the Philippines.
There are many long-term health implications for breathing in bad air quality, so purchasing an air purifier in the Philippines is recommended. In addition, you may also wish to ensure that your air conditioning unit is serviced every six months.
8. Some Areas Are Lacking Appropriate Waste Management Services
One of the first disadvantages in the Philippines for first-timers is the uncleanliness of certain areas.
The Philippines is a big country, and certain neighborhoods in big cities are known to be unclean. This causes many problems for locals living in the area and is a reason not to live in the Philippines for some.
Additionally, certain homeless communities are known to be situated in particular areas. Fortunately, they do not have access to appropriate waste management services, so these areas tend to get very dirty over a short period.
9. Crab Mentality
During the early stages of setting up my business in the Philippines, I spoke to many individuals about the culture of the Philippines to learn about issues concerning my customers that I wouldn’t necessarily read about online…
..the conversations took many turns along the way, but one local informed me of the crab mentality across the Philippines, and this is one of the reasons why she hated living in the Philippines.
She mentioned that many people’s attitudes are like crabs’ pincers. In other words, people are trying to bring others down. This is naturally something that happens all across the world but for some, living in the Philippines is a disadvantage for this reason.
10. Mass Poverty
The reality of poverty and low-level incomes in the Philippines is very sad. The inflation rate has skyrocketed over the years, and some families find it very difficult to pay for the most basic expenses.
For some, the poverty rate is a reason not to move to the Philippines, as statistically, crime and other negative outcomes are commonly associated with poverty. Unfortunately, Manila is an example of mass poverty in the Philippines, and it is not uncommon to see homeless families and children on the streets, which is extremely heartbreaking.
11. Crazy High Tax
Over the years, the Philippines government has been criticized for its high tax rates. Please note that tax rates include corporation, personal, and capital gains taxes.
Comparing the different tax rates across South East Asia, the Philippines is far from the cheapest tax rates for foreigners, which can be a huge disadvantage for moving to the Philippines as an expat investor or business owner.
12. There Are Many Issues Within The Government
On a similar topic to tax comes the general administration of the government. During the research, we found several posts and comments about the management of government and development departments in the Philippines.
One of the concerns was the subject of corruption. Corruption has been a common talking topic in the Philippines with locals and foreigners alike, and some expats see it as one of the main reasons not to live in the Philippines as a foreigner.
Although much of this was posted several years ago, a new administration is now in charge. At the time of writing, this administration seems to bring some very positive and essential changes for the Philippines and its people.
13. Money Is Power
One commenter, a local citizen, spoke about the unfairness of having wealth in the Philippines. However, I believe this is a much larger problem across many countries, not only in the Philippines.
The concept is, that if you have money, you can get away with a lot, and you lose if you are going against someone with money. This is linked to the previously spoken about corruption in the Philippines. Nevertheless, it is a concern for many and maybe one of the reasons why some say they hate living in the Philippines.
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