Philippines as a retirement destination

With a caring and hospitable culture, warm tropical climate and a low cost of labour environment, the Philippines can be an attractive retirement destination for Australian residents. Let’s hope current government efforts to make it attractive will continue particularly in ensuring there is comparable Australian quality for medical and health care including a way of lowering the high cost of medication.

(The Philippine Star) Updated July 14, 2012

PRA pushes for ageing-friendly Phl 

Manila, Philippines – The 2nd Philippine Retirement and Healthcare Summit held at the Dusit Thani Hotel Grand Ballroom on June 26 indicated that the Philippine Retirement and Ageing Agenda mapped out by the Philippine Retirement Authority is on the right track.

The RA agenda is credited with a 54 percent increase in retiree-enrolment in January to May 2012 versus January to May 2011. Same agenda is credited for the 50 percent NIAT (net income after tax) increase in 2011 and dividends remitted to the National Treasury amounting to P106,109,300.73.

During the summit, PRA general manager Veredigno P. Atienza proposed a program called National Integrated Retirement and Ageing (NIRA), aimed at making Philippine society age-friendly and ageing-friendly at all levels for both Filipinos and foreign nationals.

He said “our national agenda should go beyond attracting foreign retirees to our shores, but must make life in every locality attractive to all people of all ages, both foreign and Filipino. We must have a culture and climate of age-and-aging-friendliness. Said culture and climate will integrate all the reasons why foreigners and Filipinos would want to retire in the Philippines”.

A Council on Retirement and Ageing (CORA) was proposed: involving all government entities that work with retirees, seniors and elderly. These are:  the GSIS for government retirees, the SSS for private sector retirees, the PVAO for military retirees, the OWWA for overseas Filipinos, the DSWD for indigent elderly, Philhealth for ailing elderly, the PRA for foreign retirees, and the partylists that represent seniors and the elderly.

Atienza said that PRA can represent retirees, seniors and elderly who do not have any agency to represent them, such as balikbayan retirees, dual citizens, quota-visa retirees, 13G seniors, and 13A seniors i.e. foreigners married to Filipinos.

It is estimated that there are seven million seniors in the Philippines who can provide enough scale to justify CORA and NIRA.

Atienza acknowledges the presence of serious global competitors such as Thailand, Malaysia and New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific, and the aggressive players in the Americas, like Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica and Ecuador. He said these countries all have high rankings in the International Living Magazine Annual Retirement Index (ARI) and Quality of Life Index (QLI).

PRA is leveraging developments in age-friendliness, tourism, healthcare and DOT’s “It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign to boost the Philippine position further in the international retirement rankings. According to Atienza, the best way still to get reputable international publicity may be to get into the good graces of International Living and similar respected international magazines. He also said that PRA must do more roadshows and conferences which are rifled at distinct focused audiences.

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