Practical Life in Manila

Mobile Phone in Manila

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The Philippines has a high mobile phone penetration rate. Almost everyone has a mobile phone. The Philippines operates a GSM network.


There are two main providers in the Philippines:


Contracts are known as postpaid plans in the Philippines. These usually last for two years and may have an associated termination fee if you end the contract before the two-year period. There are different prices and options for a postpaid plan. A plan should detail the terms and offer lower SMS (short message service) and calling rates than prepaid cards. Many new arrivals start with a prepaid phone then convert to a postpaid plan when they have sorted out the paperwork. Be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of your contract.

Below are the common requirements when applying for a postpaid plan:

  • Proof of identity (passport, company ID, driver's license, etc.)
  • Proof of address (utility bill, credit card statement, bank statement, rental contract)
  • Proof of income (credit card, bank statement, certificate of employment, Income Tax Return)

Here are some basic points you need to consider for choosing the right deal:

  • Personal Use: Evaluate how much you use the phone, when and where you are calling, how often you use SMS, if you use the phone abroad, etc.
  • Coverage: Most important if you live in a remote place or are regularly using the mobile while traveling in the countryside as most companies offer decent coverage.
  • Fees & Rates: Each operator offers several different plans and options. Investigate the plans carefully and evaluate your needs.

Pay As You Go

Prepaid phones offer maximum flexibility. Users pay in advance for load which is used to make SMS and calls. When you need load you can buy prepaid cards from convenience stores, gas stations and online.

Take into consideration these points when picking a card:

  • Cost of the purchase of the SIM card itself, which sometimes includes a block of minutes of communication
  • Amount of load
  • Validity period of the load

Update 9/06/2016


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