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Money and duty free for Philippines

Currency and Money

Currency information

Philippine Peso (PHP; symbol Php or P) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of Php1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of Php10, 5, 2 and 1, and 25, 10, 5 and 1 centavos.

Credit cards

MasterCard and Visa (and to a lesser extent American Express and Diners Club) are accepted in major establishments throughout the larger cities of the Philippines. Elsewhere acceptance is less reliable.

In locations with no ATMs, you may be able to get a cash advance on a credit card for a hefty fee from travel agents or other establishments.


ATMs are widely available in cities and major tourist areas, but may not be present on smaller islands or in mountain areas. It is best to check ahead before relying on the presence of ATMs. Major banks accepting foreign cards include PNB (, BPI ( and Land Bank (

Travellers cheques

Travellers cheques may be cashed at most banks, and are accepted by some tourist-oriented hotels, restaurants and shops. This process can, however, be long-winded and frustrating. To reduce the difficulties, visitors are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars and to carry their receipt of purchase as well as their passport when cashing them.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1500.

Currency restrictions

The import and export of local currency is limited to Php10,000; any amount above this must be authorised by the Central Bank of the Phillippines. The import and export of foreign currency is limited to the equivalent of US$10,000.

Currency exchange

Cash in Pounds Sterling or US Dollars can be exchanged in banks, hotels and some retail outlets. Always use authorised money-changers or banks in Manila. Outside the capital there is a shortage of facilities for changing foreign currency and rates may get progressively worse as you travel further away from the city. It is advisable to carry a sufficient amount of Philippine pesos when travelling to other provinces.

Philippines duty free


The following items can be imported duty-free into the Philippines (persons aged 18 and over):


• 2 packs of cigarettes/ 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco;

• 2 bottles à 1.5 l of alcoholic beverages.


Personal effects up to a maximum value of PHP 10,000 for persons aged 18 and over.


In addition, under certain conditions, goods can be purchased duty-free in the duty-free shops at the international airports in the Philippines and imported into the special trade zones of the Philippines (persons over 18 years of age).

Banned Imports

Firearms and ammunition, explosives, publications inciting treason or rebellion against the government, obscene or immoral materials, and anything related to carrying out or advertising abortions (which are illegal in the Philippines).

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