How to pay bills in the Philippines – EAM0005

Back again with another edition of the Expat Answer Man Podcast today!

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Today we are going to take a question from our old friend and site supporter, BobNY.  Bob has been a very long time friend and supporter, and he is greatly appreciated.

How do you pay bills in the Philippines?

Bayad Center
Bayad Center

On today’s Expat Answer Man, episode EAM0005, Bob submitted an interesting question which we will discuss today.  He asked about the process of paying bills in the Philippines.  It’s a little different than the way it is done in the USA, or in other parts of the world,  I suppose.  Listen to today’s show and find out just what the process is for paying bills in the Philippines!

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Thanks again for listening, everybody!

Post Author: MindanaoBob (1354 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

How to Move to the Philippines Manual


  1. says

    Hi Bob –

    I had a different experience with paying a utility bill at our house in Manila the last time I was there. To say that it was a memorable cultural experience is definitely an understatement. Mom asked me to stay home one day to wait for the bill collector to pay our monthly water bill. I was happy to oblige as I wanted to take in as much of the culture as possible during a short visit. I don’t remember now if it was for the water or electric bill, but the bill collector did show up at the time he was expected to show up, Business transacted, I went outside the gate to wait for the taho vendor to show up. Aahh, life in the Philippines indeed!

    Sending the maid to the bayad center to pay your utility bills is an excellent idea. She can do some other errands as well like going to the palengke, thus killing two birds with one stone. LOL

  2. James Speight says

    Yes, that is right…. send someone other then you, it is always better the deal with it. I don’t get involved unless I have to.

  3. Heinz Schirmaier says

    Man! you guys are WAYYYY over my head, learned a PC only 4 years ago! I’m more of a “Hands On Guy” like cooking or developing Physical companies not ethernet companies. Have brought back many Restaurants from the brink of bankruptcy so that is MY Forte

  4. says


    I’d like to thank BobNY for asking that question. To be quite honest I didn’t think of it. It didn’t even cross my mind. Again, I assumed we could do it like that of in the United States. I’m glad this has been brought to our attention.

    I also like the idea of paying a Bill Collector if there’s one in our area, but by the sounds of it – doesn’t sound like there is one. Which brings me to the maid idea. Excellent suggestion!!! I was thinking of hiring a maid to come in on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That would be a great task to pass on so I don’t have to be bottled up.

    More honesty? She’d get it done a lot quicker than me for various reasons.

    Great question, suggestions, and advice.

    Thanks to all……


    P.S. Hi John!

    • says

      Hi Bill, glad you found it helpful!

      Your thoughts about things being the same as in the States? Forget it, just about everything is done differently here!

    • says

      I assumed that the greeting was directed at me, Bill? since I saw no other commenter named John on this thread as yet. If that is the case, a big hello to you as well, Bill! If I am mistaken, my greeting stands nonetheless. :)

        • says

          Thank you Bill. All is well at this end, but the months seem to move slower these days with the long overdue visit to the Philippines in December constantly in my mind. LOL

          • says

            John – I hear ya! I’m chomping at the bit to finally get there. I’m winding down on my last two weeks here in the States! Nervous as hell because I have much to learn. I’ll be keeping my mouth shut and eyes and ears open.

            Not to sound like a personal advertising agency for Bob M., but his books certainly has helped. I enjoy the views and opinions of those that live there.

            I have much to learn…….

    • Bob New York says

      Hi Bill, I am glad my question is helpful for you and probably many others who visit this website.

      There are so many things we do in our own home country that it becomes second nature and unless you really think about it may go unnoticed untill a time comes where the way we have done things most or all of our lives changes.

      Things like this indicate it is best to learn and experience as many of these differences as possible before even considering a move to The Philippines. Sometimes something that will only take you a few minutes in your home country could take you half a day in another country.

      • says


        I was in the Philippines back in the mid 80’s (a stint with the Marine Corps). I got a taste of it then, but as I told the other Bob; having the base to run back to and living there are two different things. I agree I have much to learn, but my positive personality will allow me to blend in nicely.

        Eventually! haha

    • says

      True Dat Bob! That’s even more reason to stop playing with those spiders. Your hands are your bread and butter. haha Not sure what mine is yet; but, perhaps someday I’ll figure it out. haha

  5. Heinz Schirmaier says

    I think I will open a small Cantina catering to both foreigners and natives, serve good and plentiful food at reasonable prices. LMAO Bob, just got your comment! YEP! hands on the keyboard let your fingers do the working! hahahaha!

  6. Brenton Butler says

    Hi Bob – We pay main bills to landlord. The other places like Globe and some banks have deposit machines, so we have no major hassle. If you value time, paying bills in the Philippines could anger a person, especially if they are an uptight foreigner. On a separate point, you can get around waiting in some ques, but say you need to go to a medical center, then you are waiting for sure, In Dumaguete between 1 – 3 hours in my experience, and you can’t get someone else to turn up on your behalf. Win some, loose some!

    • says

      Hi Brenton, I don’t know, I went for a checkup a few days ago. My wait at the doctor’s office was less than 15 minutes. I have always had good service there.

      • Brenton Butler says

        Hi Bob – It might depend where you go, Silliman medical in Dumaguete is always packed, as they are highly regarded. I had a hernia operation a year ago and my wife an appendix operation, our children had some other standard children’s things, so we frequent visited for a while. I learnt extra patience in that time. I am patient anyway.

        • says

          I think it depends on multiple things, Brenton. I can assure you, my doctor is also highly regarded. He is perhaps a bit more expensive than other doctors, though, which may account for him being able to take care of people in a more timely way. :-)

          • says

            I feel like Rodney Dangerfield in “Back to School”. I’ve got lots to learn and can’t afford anyone to do my homework. haha

            Won’t be joining any diving teams either! :)

              • says

                OMG Bob! I can’t tell you how BIG of a help you’ve been. You’ve paved the way nicely for me. The transition will be so much smoother because of you.

                I owe you a BIG steak dinner. Oh wait….i think we’re eating fish now. haha We’ll do something nice on me!

                Again, thank you!!!

  7. Luke Tynan says

    Some of the bills here in Gingoog City are fast and easy. You just go at off times. But others waiting. But I am lucky my wife’s family takes care of it for me. So that I am not bothered by the lines. I did not know about the stores that u can pay ur bills at. I will look to see if there are any here. Thyank u Bob.

  8. Bob New York says

    Thanks for the nice audio presentation Bob. I will have to see if I can find a Bayad Center on a future visit to see what one looks like and check out the lines. This is the first tie I have heard of something like that. I can easily understand your comment about bill paying places would rather have someone else do it instead of the foreigner LOL.

    It is so frequently mentioned here on ” LIP ” and elsewhere to those thinking about moving to or retiring to The Philippines that you must bring your money with you or have it in an acct in your home country that you can withdraw in The Philippines to live on.

    I think another top of the list item would be that extra extra patience is required by most foreigners who visit or decide to reside there. So many things there seem ” So Different ” but you have to remember, to Filipinos that live there, it is normal. Considering that, if you or I are the ones that loose our cool and let it show, it makes it look like we are the ones that are crazy because to Filipinos, it could easily be perceived that we are loosing our cool over something that is perfectly normal to them. There have been more than one time while I am there where I have had to think carefully and throttle back my temper to keep my cool and at other times I feel I am learning the ” art ” of patience in situations that differ so much from the USA.

    • says

      Hi Bob – Thank you for sending me the question so that I could include it in the podcast!

      You sure are right that having patience (for me it was developing patience since I had none when I came to live here) is a very important thing. If a person cannot be patient they will never enjoy life here!

      I just did an online search and found that there are quite a few Bayad Centers in Iligan!

      • Bob New York says

        Thanks Bob, To me, something like this is a tourist attraction, something I don’t think exists or would be found here in the USA but something very common there. Additionally it is something I learned of here on ” LIP “, and as with many other things on this website, I look into it more on an in person basis when I visit.

          • Bob New York says

            If it is a situation of ” take a Number ” , then equip the place with some amusement games, free WiFi, maybe a coin-op karokie machine etc. It could even ” encourage ” more people to pay their bills on time and enjoy some fun while waiting. Maybe a snack machine as well. Some kind of entertainment and enjoyment for the people waiting. Use some imagination and the possibilities could be endless. And let’s not forget a coin op beverage machine with a few selections of San Mig .

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