Expats will find that keeping in touch in the Philippines is easy. The country has no systematic censorship on social media sites or pages. One frustration that expats may have to deal with is the internet speed. The Philippines frequently ranks in the bottom half of internet connectivity in the Asia, and on a global scale.
Internet in the Philippines
DSL, Broadband and fibre cable are all available in most parts of the Philippines. The internet speed is slower compared to other countries in the region, although mobile data speed has increased over the years.
The main internet providers include PLDT, Globe Telecom and BayanTel.
Internet cafes are widely available, and in large cities so is WiFi. Expats renting accommodation in the Philippines should note that WiFi is usually excluded from the rental, and is an additional fee for the tenant's account.
Thanks to increased internet connectivity, the Philippines is often called the social media capital of the world, with social media usage constantly increasing.
Landlines and mobile phones in the Philippines
PLDT is the main provider of landlines in the Philippines. Telecom services are available mostly everywhere, however in more rural areas, access may be limited. To install a landline, various documentation is required including a tenancy agreement.
Smart (a subsidiary of PLDT) and Globe Telecom are the main mobile phone providers, and both offer prepaid options. Long-distance calls can be expensive from the Philippines.
Mobile contracts are available, however most expats choose a top-up basis instead. To open a mobile phone contract an expat may need their ID (passport), along with proof of employment, residence and sufficient income.
English-language media in the Philippines
English-language media is easily accessible. There are many cable TV plans available, which include all the main US channels. SKY and PLDT both provide TV and internet. Expats can also access international streaming websites.
There are a number of English newspapers in circulation, the most popular being the Philippine Daily Inquirer, available in print and online, and The Manila Standard.
Mail in the Philippines
The postal service in the Philippines is called PHLPost, a government owned corporation. Each area in the Philippines has a registered zip code for delivery.