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Manila Money and Costs

As with the other Asian Tigers, the Philippines economy has been fluctuating fairly wildly in recent years. Generally speaking, however, the Philippines are slightly more expensive than other countries in the region. Youll get the best value for money in North Luzon, while youre more likely to shell out in Boracay and Cebu.

The US dollar is the most recognised currency in the Philippines, and is often easier (and cheaper) to change than travellers cheques. Large denomination US bills will get you a particularly good rate, but only clean banknotes are acceptable. If you want to use cheques, the bigger brands will be accepted by most banks throughout the country. ATMs are all over the place, and you can use MasterCard and Visa in them.

Whether you tip or not is up to you. Restaurant staff will generally expect one, even if there is a service charge included. If youre catching a taxi with a working meter, round up the amount. When shopping, especially in markets, its worth trying to get a 10% discount - most Filipinos will aim for one. As a tourist youll probably be quoted a higher than usual price anyway.


  • Budget: US$2-3
  • Mid-range: US$3-5
  • Top-end: US$5-15


  • Budget: US$10-30
  • Mid-range: US$30-100
  • Top-end: US$100-400


The currency in the Philippines is the Peso (PhP) and the Centavo. 100 centavos = P1. Coin denominations are: 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos, P1, and P5. Bill denominations are : 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1, 000 pesos. The Philippine peso is divided into 100 centavos. Peso(PhP). Notes are issued in denominations of , PhP 10, PhP 20, PhP 50, PhP 100, PhP 500, and PhP 1000. Coins are issued for 5c, 10c, 25c, PhP 1, PhP 5.

Foreign exchange facilities are available at the airport, hotels, large department stores and authorized money changers (which offer the best rates). Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, hotels, authorized exchanged dealers, and in most of the large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shopsManila payments are preferably made in pesos. Exchanging money anywhere else is illegal and the laws are strictly enforced. Avoid unauthorized currency changers. Major Travellers Cheques are widely accepted.

Credit Cards
Major international credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bankard, Master