About a week ago I got a link from a reader, Roxas Ron, about the new extended 6-month Visa the Philippines just rolled out this 3rd week of June, 2013. The official word is that it was put in place to encourage longer stays by visiting tourists without the hassles of doing the usual visits to the BI (Bureau of Immigration) every two months.
At the current exchange rate, 13,000P is equal to about $300.30 USD, at today’s exchange of 43.21P to the Dollar. (Of course you have to factor in a loss of a few pesos to the dollar taken either by your bank or exchanger for their services.) But for this discussion’s sake, $300 is the price for the 6-month Visa. One visit, pay the man and you’re good-to-go for another 6 months of whatever floats your boat here in the Philippines.
So, there you are.. with your coconut drink, San Miguel or Red Horse under a palm tree out by the beach thinking about what a great deal that was. But then you take out your smart-phone calculator app and start running the numbers. At 6 months for 13,000P.. that’s 2,167P per month’s renewal. Hmm.. let me take out my receipt for the renewal I just did only two weeks ago at the BI. Ah, here it is. Hmm.. 2,830P for a 2-month extension. Wait a minute.
So.. doing it the usual way, 2,830P for a 2-month renewal works out to 1,415P per month. Doing it the new way costs 2,167P per month. That’s a difference (increase) of 752P. Well, what the heck.. 752P is only about $17.41 for the convenience, per month.
But.. look at it this way; doing it the usual way, 3 renewals for 6 months would normally cost 8,490P. The new way costs; 13,000P. Difference is.. let’s see, carry the zero.. minus the… … oh, it costs 4,510P more doing it the ‘new’ way. Okay, now we’re talking about an extra $104.25 USD.
So.. the question is, “Is it worth the extra $104.25 for the time saved to make 2 extra trips to the BI office?” I suppose that’s for each person to decide, so feel free to share your thoughts on that. I look at it this way. If you’re in the Cebu/Visayan area.. you could do one of those renewal trips at the Bohol Island BI office and make a nice, little trip out of it. As you’ll see in the video I did of my visit to the Bohol/Tagibilaran office here (below).. there is no line! And.. you don’t have to wear pants, shorts and sandals are fine. You don’t sit for hours and hours. The place is usually empty or maybe 2 other expats there. In and out in 15 minutes.. easy-peasy and with the money you saved from not using this ‘new deal’ ($104.25 savings).. you can go goof off at Alona Beach overnight.
Some might say I’m cheap.. I prefer the term, ‘frugal‘. Why pay extra for something when you can get the same thing for less? That’s more pesos in my own pocket to spend on.. other distractions I’ll not go into. Now, for some.. way out in Manila, perhaps there’s another office similar to the Bohol one.. small, low-traffic, in-and-out to make a nice vacation to. But if you’re in the Visayan area, it kinda seems like a self-paid getaway to just go to the Bohol office for one of the 2-month renewals and spend the saved money on yourself. (or whatever female company you happen to bring along).
So.. there you have it. My take on this new deal from ‘the guhvment‘.
Me, I say, “No Deal”.
After 49 years living in Southern California, USA, I decided to move to the Philippines despite never having been here before. I spent a year getting all the information I could online and in July, 2012, I took a leap of faith and transplanted myself first to Mactan and then began my trek through Cebu, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong and now living in Cebu City, here in the amazing Philippines.
Starting in January of 2019, I will begin a slow trek through Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and possibly Malaysia, China and Japan. My itinerary is open with no big rush since I hope to share in detail what each place is like as I enjoy it for months at a time.
I am a single man taking an honest look at all that Southeast Asia has to offer, one day at a time. I hope you find my channel informative and/or entertaining. 🙂
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