The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands and covers a land area of 115,739 sq m (299,764 sq km) with Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao as main island groups and Manila as capital city. Timezone is GMT+8 hours.


The World Bank (2012) estimates the country’s population and annual population growth at 96.7 million and 1.7 percent, respectively. The largest island group of Luzon accounts for more than half of the entire population, with fishing and agriculture as common livelihood.


Filipino and English are the two official languages. Filipino, which is based on Tagalog, is the national language while English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education. Eight (8) major dialects are spoken by majority of the Filipinos, namely: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.


Some 86 percent of Filipinos are Catholic. About 4 percent are Moslem. The rest are made up of smaller Christian denominations and Buddhists.


March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy. November to February is cool. Average temperatures: 78ºF/25ºC to 90ºF/32ºC; humidity is 77%. For updated weather information, click on http:/www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph.


Comfortable and informal clothing is suitable during the day and recommended all year round because of the heat and humid temperature. Light, loose cotton clothing is best. Nylon should be avoided. Sweaters are needed during cool season evenings, if visiting mountainous areas, or staying in centralized air-conditioned meeting rooms or halls throughout the day. A suit and tie are suitable business attire for men, minus the suit on warm days. Barong Tagalog, a native formal wear among Filipinos, is always acceptable. For women, a suit or blouse and skirt are best for daytime appointments. Filipiniana is also accepted for business and formal functions.


The Philippine monetary unit is the peso, denoted as PhP, divided into 100 centavos. The US dollar is the most recognized foreign currency but the international currencies and traveller’s checks may be exchanged at the airport, hotels, malls and other commercial establishments, banks, and authorized money changing shops accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines. Banking hours is 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Card, and American Express are accepted in major establishments.

Anti-Smoking Law in Enclosed Places, etc.

Section 5 of the Philippine Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9211) prohibits the carrying of any lighted tobacco product in public vehicles, schools, health centers, elevators, cinemas, malls and in places where fire hazards are present. Smoking is also banned in recreational facilities for minors. Fines imposed on violators of this section range from P500 to P10,000.

Airport Tax

Passenger Terminal Fee is levied on all passengers embarking for:

1. International travel : PhP 550
2. Domestic travel: PhP 200

Place of payment: Airport of departure.


  1. Children under 2 years of age.
  2. Transit passengers remaining in the transit area and not leaving the airport.
  3. Crew members.



Guidelines on the Entry of Temporary Visitors to the Philippines

Nationals from countries listed below who are traveling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay.

Nationals from the following countries are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a period of stay of thirty (30) days or less:

1. Andorra

31. Cote d’Ivoire

61. Hungary

91. Mongolia

121. Saudi Arabia

2. Angola

32. Cyprus

62. Iceland

92. Morocco

122. Senegal

3. Antigua and Barbuda

33. Czech Republic

63. Indonesia

93. Mozambique

123. Seychelles

4. Argentina

34. Democratic Republic of the Congo

64. Ireland

94. Myanmar

124. Singapore

5. Australia


65. Israel*

95. Namibia

125. Slovakia

6. Austria

36. Djibouti

66. Italy

96. Nepal

126. Slovenia

7. Bahamas

37. Dominica

67. Jamaica

97. Netherlands

127. Solomon Islands

8. Bahrain

38. Dominican Republic

68. Japan

98. New Zealand

128. Somalia

9. Barbados

39. Ecuador

69. Kenya

99. Nicaragua

129. South Africa

10. Belgium

40. El Salvador

70. Kiribati

100. Niger

130. Spain

11. Benin

41. Equatorial Guinea

71. Kuwait

101. Norway

131. Suriname

12. Bhutan

42. Eritrea

72. Lao People’s Democratic Republic

102. Oman

132. Swaziland

13. Bolivia

43. Estonia

73. Latvia

103. Palau

133. Sweden

14. Botswana

44. Ethiopia

74. Lesotho

104. Panama

134. Switzerland

15. Brazil*

45. Fiji

75. Liberia

105. Papua New Guinea

135. Thailand

16. Brunei Darussalam

46. Finland

76. Liechtensein

106. Paraguay

136. Togo

17. Bulgaria

47. France

77. Lithuania

107. Peru

137. Trinidad and Tobago

18. Burkina Faso

48. Gabon

78. Luxembourg

108. Poland

138. Tunisia

19. Burundi

49. Gambia

79. Madagascar

109. Portugal

139. Turkey

20. Cambodia

50. Germany

80. Malawi

110. Qatar

140. Tuvalu

21. Cameroon

51. Ghana

81. Malaysia

111. Republic of Korea

141. Uganda

22. Canada

52. Gibraltar

82. Maldives

112. Romania

142. United Arab Emirates

23. Cape Verde

53. Greece

83. Mali

113. Russia

143. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

24. Central African Republic

54. Grenada

84. Malta

114. Rwanda

144. United Republic of Tanzania

25. Chad

55. Guatemala

85. Marshall Islands

115. Saint Kitts and Nevis

145. United States of America

26. Chile

56. Guinea

86. Mauritania

116. Saint Lucia

146. Uruguay

27. Colombia

57. Guinea Bissau

87. Mauritius

117. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

147. Vatican

148. Venezuela

28. Comoros

58. Guyana

88. Mexico

118. Samoa

149. Vietnam

29. Congo

59. Haiti

89. Micronesia

119. San Marino

150. Zambia

30. Costa Rica

60. Honduras

90. Monaco

120. Sao Tome and Principe

151. Zimbabwe

*The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding 59 days:

1. Holders of Brazil passports; and

2. Holders of Israel passports

*The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding fourteen (14) days:

1. Holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative (SAR) passports.

2. Holders of Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) passports.

The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding seven (7) days:

1. Holders of Macau-Portuguese passports

2. Holders of Hong Kong British passports.


Important Note:

Nationals who are subjects of deportation/blacklist orders of the Department and the Bureau of Immigration shall not be admitted to the Philippines. Further inquiries may be addressed to the Visa Division (Telephone numbers:556-0000 and ask the operator to connect you to Visa Division), Department of Foreign Affairs, 2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City or to any Philippine Embassy or Consulate abroad.

For more details, please click on: http://www.dfa.gov.ph/consular/visa.htm

For a listing of Philippine embassies abroad, click on:


Contact Us

For more information, contact us:

ICT ASIA 2015 Secretariat

Ms. Philomène Robin
Project Officer for Science, Technology  & Innovation
UNESCO Office, Jakarta
Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific

Ms. Anaïs Voron
Attaché for Science and Research
Cooperation for Development
Embassy of France to the Philippines

Ms. Rosario B. Bantayan
Program Specialist

ICT Asia 2015 Partners