Island in the sun: 5 reasons to retire in the Philippines

In partnership with the Department of Tourism's Philippine Retirement Authority

Choose your seaside home from among the Philippines' 7,100+ islands. Pass Island, Coron beach photo by Christian Sangoyo
Retiring in the Philippines has never been easier these days, with foreigners allowed to apply for a Special Resident Retiree's Visa (SRVV), a non-immigrant, multiple-entry, indefinite stay visa allowing holders to settle in the country without giving up their citizenship.

Most foreign nationals who are enrolled in the SRVV program and now live in the country have done so to set up businesses. Some are lured by the affordable lifestyle and the chance for their children to enroll in international schools and learn the English language. The Philippines is the only country in Asia with English as a second language. Other immigrants and retirees do volunteer and charity work. Generally, people come to the Philippines to enjoy a more affordable and laidback lifestyle.

The Philippines is an archipelago with 7,100+ islands allowing a long list of  coastal locations for your forever home in the sun. The country enjoys a tropical climate, abundant natural resources, some of the world's best white-sand beaches, delicious cuisine, and has some of the most hospitable people in the world, so integrating with the locals is never a problem. 

Here are 5 reasons why the Philippines is one of the world's best retirement destination 

Plenty of activities to occupy the sporty and active retiree. The Philippines offers a range of options across its 80 provinces, 17 regions and 138 cities. For active retirees, the country offers many sports activities. Snorkel with gentle giants and whale sharks in Cebu or Sorsogon; explore the world class diving sites of Puerto Galera, Batangas and Coron; surf  Baler, Siargao and La Union. Join the Philippines' most popular festivals like Cebu City's Sinulog, Aklan's Ati-Atihan and Iloilo's Dinagyang. The serene blue waters and white sand beaches of breathtaking islands like Palawan, Boracay and Bohol are choices to enjoy and experience the whole year round.

Affordable city lifestyle. After retiring from corporate life, why would anyone want to live in the city capital of the Philippines? Well, Metro Manila does have the best of everything an expat may need – the finest homes in private subdivisions and well-planned out residential areas, the best hospitals, shopping malls and restaurants, embassy offices, international schools, and  foreign clubs and associations. Foreigners who grew up as urbanites will appreciate Metro Manila’s parks and recreational centers, the city's 18-hole championship golf courses such as Wack Wack Golf Club, Forest Hills Golf and Country Club and government owned golf clubs like Villamor Golf Club and Aguinaldo Golf Club. All these at affordable prices.

The Philippines ranks 17th in the World's Best Retirement Destinations 2016. Different institutions have given recognition to the Philippines as a premier retirement destination. released a map of the world with the most Googled product in each country and guess what product people are searching for in the Philippines? Believe it or not, it is "TO RETIRE". The Philippines is 17th in the World's Best Retirement Destinations 2016 by International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index and among the Top 20 Best Places to Retire in the World 2014 by no less than FORBES MAGAZINE.

English is a second language and the local people are friendly and hospitable so integration is not a problem.

Government incentives are available to foreign nationals wanting to relocate and settle in the Philippines under the SRRV program which allows for an indefinite stay in the country. Other program benefits include multiple-entry privileges, access to greet and assist programs, discount privileges from services offered by PRA Merchant Partners, and assistance in obtaining documents from other government agencies, among others.

For more on PRA'S SRRV program, visit For more on retiring in the Philippines and hot retirement destinations like Cavite City and Tagaytay City, read Escape to the country.

Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) appoints new CEO and general manager
Atty. Bienvenido K. Chy joined the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) as general Manager/CEO late last year. He brings with him years of legal expertise. Prior to assuming his new post, Atty. Chy was the Chief of Law & Investigation Division of the Bureau of Immigration. He is a graduate of San Beda College of Law Class ’72. As the new general manager of PRA, his plans and programs will be in line with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s directives. GM Chy aims to streamline the processing time of Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) applications as well as the reduce documentary requirements, to work for the substantial increase of PRA’s enrollment or membership, targetting a 100% increase in two years, to implement President Duterte’s directive of stopping corruption by conducting seminar/workshops on the Anti-Red Tape Act for all PRA personnel and stakeholders, to establish additional satellite offices preferably in Boracay, Puerto Princesa and Bicol, to strengthen PRA’s partnership and linkages to Real Estate Developers and Contractors of Hotels, Condominiums, Condotels, Apartments and Resorts by providing retirement facilities and to look for new partners to provide world class services to its resident retirees.
General Manager Bienvenido K. Chy said, “I decided to accept President Duterte’s offer. I felt I had to because I believe in the goals he has for our country, a prosperous country where there is no crime or poverty, a country where every Filipino can live in peace, pride and prosperity. So here I am today ready to work and help our President achieved his goal.”

Published June 2017


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