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Life Philippines

Canadians Who Go Broke In The Philippines

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This post applies to any Canadians who go broke around the globe; as where you are when you run out of cash, has no effect on the response.


The general expectation is that it is your responsibility, not Canada’s to find a source of funds and arrange to have them transferred to you.


What You Have To Do

If you intend to try and remain in the Philippines, and have been here for at least two years, and need the money to cover an unexpected expense you could try the following local sources of funds.

Raise Money In The Philippines

Long Term Residents

The fact that these are mentioned is not an endorsement of any source, they are just sources that are available:

  • Companies that will give you a loan if you have a good record of paying off your credit card for at least a year. I have seen offers of up to 2 million pesos (ballpark $50,000 US). The penalties for non-payment are likely to be severe, for you or anyone who goes Guarantor.
  • Apply for a credit card. I saw an advert for cards with a limit of one million pesos on a 10,000 a month income.
  • If you have assets such as a condominium, you could raise cash as a mortgage against the property.
  • You could do the same with jointly owned land and buildings, farms, factories etc if your spouse or business partner is willing to consider that.
  • These Can Work For Short Term Residents

  • Jewellery, vehicles, motorcycles etc can be used to raise loans through cooperatives, the interest rates are usually lower, but the joining fees and the administration fees mean you need to borrow a third more than your original debt.
  • Pawnshops are another source of quick cash if you have items of value. However, the valuations vary from shop to shop and the interest rate on your borrowing can be excessive as much as 60% per annum if you miss payments and 36% if you pay regularly and on time.
  • If you talk with Filipino friends, you will find that if they have it and you are part of their world, they will give you what you need. Please don’t do what one expat did though. He borrowed over a 100,000 pesos from the local mayor and then fled the country. The mayor wasn’t to keen on expats for a while.
  • Do the same with your expat friends, some are generous to a fault. One guy in Dumaguete gave another $3000 as a gift when he heard of his predicament, but that might not be the reaction you get.
  • You could explain your situation on expat groups you belong to and see if anyone is willing to make you a loan. The same caveat applies as in the previous suggestion.

Raise Money In Canada

  • Family, including those you hardly know
  • Friends, even ones you haven’t spoken to in years
  • Colleagues, if you have been here a while they are probably ex-colleagues, ask all you can remember and are able to contact
  • Employers, once again likely to be ex-employers. Even if it was some time ago.
  • Credit card companies, if you have a good history of payment previously, you may find that you can get a short term increase in credit limit
  • Banks with whom you have had a recent or current relationship

Your aim is to raise the required funds either by loans or gifts.

Canadians Who Have Any Of The Following

  • Land and buildings
  • Bare land
  • Buildings on Leased Land
  • Businesses with assets including goodwill
  • Copyrights
  • Patents
  • Royalties
  • Shares or Debentures
  • Collections
  • Gold, Silver or Precious Stone
  • Other possessions sitting in storage, that you can sell for cash

Could arrange to liquidate those assets or raise loans against them

If you have done all you can but are unable to make contact with people or institutions to facilitate liquidation, for any reason you can contact one of the following:

The Embassy in Manila

General Information
Street address:
Embassy of Canada in Manila
Levels 6-8, Tower 2
RCBC Plaza
6819 Ayala Avenue
Makati City 1200

Postal Address
P.O. Box 2168
Makati Central Post Office
Philippines 1261

Tel.: (63-2) 857-9000
Fax: (63-2) 843-1082

Hours of operation:
Monday to Thursday: 07:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Friday: 07:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Consular Services
Email: manila-consular@international.gc.ca
Fax: (63-2) 843-1082

Hours of operation:
Notary Services
Monday to Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

The Honorary Consul In Cebu

Street address:
Consulate of Canada
RD Corporate Center
96 Governor M.C. Cuenco Avenue
Banilad, Cebu City 6000

Tel.: (63-32) 256-3320
Fax: (63-32) 238-3421
Email: Cebu@international.gc.ca

Additional Emergency Contacts

Emergency contact form
From outside Canada
Call the nearest embassy or consulate.
+1 613 996 8885 (call collect where available)
Toll-free numbers in some countries

Wish To Remain Here?

If your intention is to remain in the Philippines the extent to which Consular official can help is as follows:

If you are unable to transfer funds from your own bank account or another private source:

  • The Canadian Embassy and Consul abroad can give you a list of local funds transfer services.
  • They can also help you contact family, friends, employers, co-workers, credit card companies or banks to ask them to transfer money to you.
  • To transfer the funds you must contact Embassy or Consulate and tell them where the funds are located and where you can be reached.
  • You must also notify the source of funds in Canada that you have authorized the transfer.
  • Officials in Ottawa can then make arrangements for a wire transfer from your Canadian bank or from another private source.
    • These transactions take two or more working days to complete
    • A Consular service fee of C$75 may be deducted from the transferred funds.

So the bottom line for those Canadian’s living in the Philippines and wishing to stay here is that Consular officials can only offer assistance to you in getting funds you have sourced in Canada, here. There is no provision for direct financial assistance of any kind.

You Decide You Want To Go Home

If you are a short term visitor to the Philippines or you make a decision to go home as the result of a financial emergency. Then before you can seek any Consular assistance you will need to have covered all the options outlined above.

If you cannot arrange for a transfer of funds from a private source, a Canadian government office abroad may, in certain emergency and exceptional circumstances, provide you with a loan for a flight back to Canada.
This financial assistance is:

  • Not a right
  • Depends on the circumstances of your case
  • Is subject to strict rules
  • May be subject to a service fee of C$75

If you are provided with a loan to return to Canada or with other consular financial assistance while you are abroad, you must repay the amount within 30 days.

Repaying a loan from the Government of Canada

When you are provided with financial assistance from the Government of Canada, you sign an application for the amount of the loan and an undertaking to repay it. The loan must be repaid in full within 30 days after you receive the invoice.

If you do not repay the debt within 30 days, interest may be applied at a rate of 3% calculated and compounded monthly using the current month’s average Bank of Canada rate. The interest cannot be waived and will be applied monthly until the debt is paid. If the debt is not repaid within 120 days, your file will be transferred to the Canada Revenue Agency and will continue to accrue interest.

Repayment Options

After your return to Canada, you will receive an invoice from Global Affairs Canada detailing the amount of your debt. The invoice will include a customer number, which you should use as a reference. There are two payment options:

Canada’s Passport Program: You may pay in person at a Passport Program office by debit card, credit card, certified cheque or money order. Make sure you have your customer number available.
Global Affairs Canada: You may pay by money order, certified cheque or post-dated personal cheques payable to the “Receiver General for Canada” (allow 30 days for personal cheques to clear). Cheques should include your customer number and be mailed to the following address:
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Cashier’s Office (SMFM)
Ottawa ON K1A 0G2

If you do not receive an invoice, please contact the following number toll-free at 1-800-267-6788 (or 613-996-8885) to ensure that we have your correct mailing address.


Travellers are considered to be privileged so do not expect a lot of help if you run out of cash.
Make provision for emergencies as part of your travel planning.
If you do have a financial emergency beyond your means you can expect to;

  • Spend a lot of time asking for help from people, who may have varying degrees of motivation to assist you
  • Be negotiating with either individuals or institutions around collateral and interest rates and payment methods for loans
  • Get a whole lot less for any assets you sell, than you would expect or they are worth
  • Only if all this fails will you be able to approach the consular officials for assistance. They will:

    • In most cases only facilitate contacts that you were unable to initiate
    • In rare cases and usually only where you wish to return to Canada, they will offer you a loan to enable to return home
    • If you secure such a loan then expect to repay it within thirty (30) days from the receipt of your invoice for the loan
    • Unlike other countries I could find no charity specifically set up to assist Canadians who were repatriated to to repay loans. The service may be available through other public charities, but don’t hold your breath

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