Philippine Money Matters and Business


Philippine Peso ( PHP / P ) = 100 centavos.

The Philippine notes comes in denominations of :

1000  (blue, biggest)

500 (yellow)

200 (green)


50 (red)

20 (orange)

Coins are in denominations of:

10 pesos
5 pesos
1 peso
50 centavos
25 centavos
10 centavos                                                                   
5 centavos.

Foreign Exchange:

Always use authorized money-changers or banks in Manila. Banks like the Philippine National Bank (PNB) buy and sell foreign currencies against the Philippine Peso, or against some other foreign currency. PNB enjoys good relationships with other banks, which allows them to buy or sell large volumes of currencies at market prices, and provide you top rates for your money.  You can do foreign exchange transactions at any PNB branch. Banking hours are from 9.00am to 3.00pm on weekdays.

Currencies Available for Exchange:

Philippine Peso, US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Saudi Riyal, Bahraini Dinar,  Danish Krone, Swedish Krona, Brunei Dollar, Indonesian Rupiah, Thailand Baht, Taiwan Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Chinese Yuan and Korean Won.  Rates for converting foreign currency to Philippine Peso or US Dollar and vice versa is readily available.  Upon request, we provide rates for converting non-US dollar foreign currency to another non-US dollar foreign currency.

Foreign currency may also be exchanged at your hotel (but charge higher commissions, most large department stores in Metro Manila and money changing shops accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines which normally opens 9am to 6pm. In malls up to 9pm.

Currency Regulations:

Bringing foreign currency in or out of the Philippines;

Pursuant to BSP Circular No. 308 dated 15 November 2001 as amended by Circular No. 507 dated 19 January 2006 (on foreign currency notes/coins/other monetary instruments) and Section 4 of Central Bank Circular No. 1389 dated 13 April 1993, as amended by BSP Circular No. 98 dated 11 December 1995:

The following shall be strictly observed:

  • Any person bringing foreign currency and other foreign exchange-denominated bearer negotiable monetary instruments (including traveler’s checks) in or out of the Philippine in excess of US$10,000 or its equivalent, must accomplish a Declaration Form which may be obtained from, and after accomplishment submitted to, the Customs Desk in the Arrival or Departure areas. Failure to do so is subject to sanctions.
  • Also, bringing in or out of the country of legal tender Philippine notes and coins, check, money order and other bills of exchange drawn in pesos in an amount exceeding PhP10,000 without authorization by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is prohibited.

Credit & Debit Cards and ATMs:

Most large malls, restaurants, hotels and Beach Resorts accept major credit cards including, Visa Card, American Express and MasterCard. Traveler’s checks preferably American Express is accepted at hotels and large department stores. Personal checks drawn on foreign banks are generally not accepted.

Accessing automated teller machines(ATM)anytime of the day poses no problem as they are ideally sites and  most towns nationwide.

Traveler’s Cheques:

All banks, major hotels and some authorized money changers accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines accept traveler’s cheques. It is advisable to take travelers cheques in US Dollars to avoid extra exchange rate charges. Make sure you keep the receipt of purchase in order to avoid difficulties.

Business and Banking Hours:

  • Most banks opens from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm without lunch break Monday to Friday. Banco de Oro conducts business till 5:30pm.
  • Shopping malls and department stores are open from 10am to 9pm, except during midnight sales and some promotional blitz when stores can go past midnight.
  • There are lots of 24-hour restaurant, fast food chains and convenience stores in the cities, but not much in the provinces.
  • Government offices opens from 8:00 am to 12:00 nn and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Monday to Friday
  • Private companies from 8:00 am to 12:00 nn and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Monday to Friday and 8:00 am to 12:00 nn on Saturdays
  • Commercial establishments from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday to Sunday.