Work visa / permit requirements

All foreign nationals are required to secure an Alien Employment Permit through the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The form, verifying the “non-availability of a person in the Philippines who is competent, able and willing at the time of application,” also requires the employer’s endorsement.

National regulations

Employment terms and conditions

As outlined in Book I of the Labor Code, job transfer or change in employer must be approved by the Secretary of Labor. Violation can lead to three year’s jail time followed by deportation.

Book III of the Labor Code explains information on working conditions in the Philippines, including for

  • Hours and compensation, including the minimum wage
  • Rest, vacation and holiday pay
  • Maternity leave and family planning services, as well as other women-oriented policies

Book IV of the Labor Code discusses health, safety and social welfare benefits, with details concerning

  • Medical and dental services
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Social security through the State Insurance Fund, with compulsory coverage for employers and employees under 60 years of age
  • Disability and injury benefits

Information on taxation

The Tax Code of 1997 stipulates that income will be taxed, including for foreign nationals with income from within the Philippines. For non-resident aliens not engaged in trade or business, a flat 25% is paid for all sources of income within the Philippines.

Health requirement

Since 1995, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), run through the government, covers about 80% of residents through contributions from employers and individuals. Otherwise, most Filipinos obtain health care through health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which set requirements on participating patients and providers to control costs and quality or other private insurance companies.

Working as a teacher

Professional qualifications requirements

Only citizens and nationals are eligible to work in Philippine public schools.

According to the Republic Act No. 4670 (1966), also called the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, to qualify to teach in the Philippines, a professional must have earned

  • A Bachelor’s degree to teach kindergarten and elementary grades
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Education [OR] a bachelor’s of arts or science with at least 18 credits in education to teach secondary grades
  • A Bachelor’s degree in the subject specialization with at least 18 credits in education to teach secondary vocational or two year technical courses
  • A Master’s degree in a relevant specialization to teach collegiate courses (except vocational)

Non-citizens may be hired to work at private schools.

Conditions of service

See the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, or program policies.

Types of employment available for teachers

International recruitment agencies place professionals in private international schools and some English as a Second language (ESL) positions. These agencies usually require TESOL or TEFL certification 

Support structures for recruited teachers

Teachers’ Unions

National Alliance of Teachers and Office Workers (SMP-NATOW) 

Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) 

Philippine Public School Teachers' Association (PPSTA) 

Teachers' Organisation of the Philippine Public Sector (TOPPS)

Federation of Free Workers - Trade Federation VIII (FFW)

Basic Education Sector Teachers Federation (BESTFED)