Dangers of Being an Undocumented OFW

Let’s face it: following the guidelines set forth by POEA before you can work overseas takes time – or months. Don’t even get started with direct hire workers because that is a different (and more complicated) ballgame.

Even if you submitted all the documents, there is no guarantee that you will get your Overseas Employment Certificate immediately so you can leave the country legally. This explains why many Filipinos opt to go “back door” so they could leave the country immediately, start working, and send dollars back home.

Unfortunately, there is a danger (or dangers) to that. Being an undocumented Overseas Filipino Worker means:

You will not be entitled to OFW benefits.

Tax-free shopping at Duty Free, exemption on travel tax and airport terminal fee, housing loan benefits, and benefits from OWWA. These are just some of the many things you can enjoy if you are a documented OFW, which you could take advantage from.

READ: Perks of Being an OFW 

You may be exposed to harsh working conditions. 

Being a documented worker means you have an existing employment contract that is in accordance to the labor laws between the two governments. If you are among those Filipinos who are TNT or tago ng tago, your protection when it comes working conditions is limited.

For instance, you might be asked to work longer hours or render service seven days a week. Your employer could be paying you less than what you agreed. Benefits like leave or medical assistance might not be given to you as well. Worse, you can’t complain because there is no contract that will serve as a guide for your employment.

You will have a hard time looking for a job. 

It’s not just about harsh working conditions. Sometimes, you will have a hard time looking for a decent job because most employers will require you to present a valid working visa. Even if you found a job, you will still go back to possible harsh working conditions.

You only have limited channels to seek help with. 

Being an undocumented worker in the country means you are not a law-abiding citizen. This also means you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits that could be experienced by workers who went through legitimate channels. This could put you in danger.

What does this mean? In case you were subjected to abuse or your employer is not complying with the employment terms set forth in the contract, there are few people who could help you. You can’t go to the police because you don’t have the required permit or visa to work in that country. The Philippine Embassy will help you, but they can only extend limited help because you are not covered by OWWA.

You are at a higher risk of being punished. 

Foreign countries are very welcoming of Filipino workers because of skill, talent, and passion among others. Nonetheless, they prefer that you go there legally instead of opting for the back door.

If your status is compromised, there is a tendency of deportation, detention, or even being blacklisted in that country. You’re lucky if you were asked to go home immediately because some countries impose harsher punishments, which you don’t want to go through.

Worse, you put the Philippines in a bad light, which is something Filipinos don’t want because those who go overseas legally could be affected when there is this kind of impression.

You will “burden” the government. 

Whatever you status is, you are still a Filipino citizen and the government will still take care of you. This means if you are asked by the host country to go home, the government will shoulder your repatriation costs including setting aside budget for food and rental spaces instead of assisting those who are truly distressed.

The bottom line is this: go legal. We know how hassle it would be for you because of the documents you need to submit and the time you have to wait before you can leave the country. What money cannot compensate for is the peace of mind that being a legal, documented worker will give you.

OFW Guide to Living and Working in Canada

The United States of America has and will always be a favorite among many Filipinos. Apparently, there is another country in the north that are more welcoming to foreign workers – Canada. 

Canada has become a haven for many Filipinos. At present, FIlipinos are the third largest Asian group in Canada (next to Indian and Chinese) and the largest group from Southeast Asia. Filipino immigrants also contributed to country’s economic growth by working as teachers, doctors, nurses, workers, caregivers, and technicians among others. More importantly, Canada has “multiculturalism” as part of its policy wherein everyone is treated equally and has high regard for ancestry. This explains why this country is a favorite among Filipinos, especially for those who are thinking to settle down there.

Do you plan to work here as well? If yes, then here’s what you need to know about living and working in Canada:

General Facts 

  • Located in the Northern part of North America that has 10 provinces and three territories.
  • Canada is also the second largest country by total area.
  • It is a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of State
  • The country is considered as one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nation because of its policies that welcomes immigrants from all over the world.
  • This developed country is among the highest in the world when it comes to economic freedom, civil liberties, transparency in the government, education, and quality of life.


English is the official language in Canada, which means you won’t have difficulty talking to people, especially your employers. Aside from English, French is also widely spoken, particularly in Quebec, which listed this as the official language in the area. Don’t be surprised to see laws written in French as well.

Since Canada is a home to diverse culture and people, it’s not surprising to hear people speak in other languages such as Chinese Mandarin, Filipino, Spanish, Arabic, German, and Italian among others.


Canada’s weather is among the biggest challenge among Filipinos. Weather can be extremely hot or cold (you could experience a drop in temperature of up to 30 degrees below zero), depending on the season. It is best to be prepared in terms of clothing by the time winter season starts.

Work Permit

Before you can work in Canada, you need to pass the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), a screening mechanism required to all Canadian employers before they can hire foreign workers. The exception for LMIA would be if you are hired under the International Mobility Program. Don’t worry because this is all taken cared of by your employer.

If you passed, the employer will provide you with a job offer (must be submitted by the employer in the Employer Portal), which is also needed when applying for a work permit. You will also need to submit an employment contract to apply. You can check out the documents and forms required here.

Keep in mind that there is no maximum time set when you work as a temporary worker in Canada. Nonetheless, the duration of work permit would depend on the agreement with your employer, length of time listed in the LMIA, and the validity of your passport.

Higher Taxes

Tax is the life-blood of every nation. Without this, the government won’t be able to provide services to its citizens. Unfortunately, Canada imposes high taxes. You will be asked to pay somewhere between 20 and 30 percent, depending on the tax income bracket you belong to. There is an additional 15 percent when you buy goods.

The consolation is that Canada provides excellent benefits to everyone. Health care system is among the best in the world. The government also offers free education, but make no mistake because quality is not compromised.

If you plan to migrate, the Canadian government offers child tax incentives, which you could benefit from.


Public buses and trains are available in Canada so that you could go from point A to B. Some Filipino immigrants buy cars than riding public transport since it is more convenient.

Given this information, are you willing to take the risk, apply for a job, and go to Canada? Why not, right?

Franchising? Here’s What You Need to Know about Taxes You Have to Pay

Tax – the life-blood of the nation. Without tax, government won’t be able to build roads and infrastructures, and provide services to its people, at least in the ideal world. It is something you cannot escape from the time you were born until you die. When you get into franchising, you need to pay taxes as well. Because of the passage of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law, there are certain conditions included that could either increase or decrease the taxes you have to pay.

“How much?” you might ask.

Let’s look into the taxes you need to pay as a franchisee under the Tax Reform Law. 

Franchises are still subject to the usual business and income tax just like any other business. Nonetheless, check below for specific amount of taxes to be imposed:

  • Service Revenue 3 percent percentage tax if below P3 million with quarterly filing. On the other hand, if you decide to franchise a service business or register as a professional, then you may opt for the 8 percent flat rate based on gross sales or revenue in lieu of both percentage and income tax. Otherwise, anything above P3 million is subject to 12 percent value added tax filed monthly.
  • Sale of Goods – same computation with service revenue
  • Royalty – 20 percent final tax, regardless of the amount of royalty set by franchisor. This is filed monthly.
  • Profit (Taxable Income) – 20 to 35 percent income tax if profit is above P250,000. In case you are registered as a corporation, income tax rate is 30 percent without P250,000 exemption.
  • Rent – 3 percent withholding tax.
  • Salary – 20 to 35 percent income tax if above P250,000.
  • Professional Fees – 5 percent withholding tax if below P3 million. Anything above P3 million is subject to 10 percent withholding tax.

There is also a difference between taxes filed by a corporation and sole proprietor. If you register as a corporation, then your income is subject to 30 percent corporate income tax. This may be reduced to 20 or 25 percent upon the passage of TRAIN 2.

If you are a sole proprietor, your income will be subject to personal income tax of up to 35 percent.

Can I get away with the 20 percent tax on royalty? 

Believe it or not, yes. The rule is that IF the royalties are not considered as passive income rather for the active pursuit and performance of the company’s primary purpose, then there is no need to pay the 20 percent tax for royalty.

Keep in mind that passive income means you are earning something without exerting effort. A perfect example of this is rental. Clearly, running a business is not passive income because you need to do something to perform the business’ main purpose.

But 20 percent tax on royalty is LOWER than the 30 percent corporate income tax. 

That’s true. Still, keep in mind that the 20 percent tax is based on gross revenue as opposed to 30 percent corporate income tax, which will be imposed only on the taxable income. You also have to remember that corporate income tax is subject to optional standard deductions or itemized deductions, which means you could pay lower amount even if the rate imposed is higher.

Still, don’t worry. Taxes will always be part of your expenses as a business owner. Don’t be discouraged in getting into franchising or starting your business just because of the taxes you have to pay. Strategic tax planning plays a crucial role in ensuring that you pay whatever is due – and correctly – and at the same time, make the most out of your profits.

The good news is there are seminars available that you can attend to so you can better understand how Philippine tax system works. There are also groups and dedicated tax professionals who are willing to answer your questions about tax, so make sure to reach out to them.

Avoid Foreclosure of Your Home with these Tips

Finally, after 10 years working overseas, you now have a house you can call your own. Since you cannot pay for the entire amount in full (and don’t feel bad about it), you decided to sought help from a bank and applied for a Housing Loan payable in 15 years.

Unfortunately, things got bad in the country where you are working and you are one of the many workers sent home. Worry and fear started to sink in, including the fear of losing the house you called your home. Surely, you don’t want the bank to get the property you invested in.

What can you do to avoid foreclosure?

Keep in mind that foreclosure is not automatic. Lenders follow a procedure to ensure that homeowners will be given a chance to keep their property while being able to pay for the financial obligation.

Here are several ways you can do:

1. Contact your lender immediately. 

Believe it or not, lenders would want to avoid foreclosure as much as you do. It can be a gruesome process, which explains why there is a dedicated department who can process foreclosure because they don’t want to be burden by it.

In case you are having financial difficulties, make sure you inform your lender immediately. Don’t make matters worse. The earlier you can talk to them, the earlier you can figure out ways on how you will be able to avoid foreclosure and keep everyone happy. Lenders are willing to reconsider terms in your mortgage such as partial payments, lower interest, or longer term.

Still, keep in mind that you will only have better negotiating power if you are in good relationship with your lender. Be nice and maintain an account with them.

2. Sell your house for a profit. 

Yes, that is your dream home, but when there is danger of losing it, sometimes, you have to let go.

Take pictures of your home and post an ad online (make sure it is public too!). Ask friends and relatives to share your ad so many people can see it and increase the possibility of sale. Once sold, use the proceeds of the sale to pay off your loan.

What if you don’t want to sell your home? That’s fine. There are other ways you can do to salvage it, which will be discussed further below.

3. Refinance or restructure your loan. 

Perhaps the interest rate is killing you, which is why you are unable to commit with the monthly amortization. Then you found out that another bank is offering a housing loan with lower interest rates.

You can try refinancing to avoid foreclosure. This means another lender will assume your loan for more flexible payment terms and lower interest rate so you can better manage monthly amortization. The proceeds of your refinancing loan will be used to “pay off” your loan with another bank.

Take note that this option is only applicable IF you haven’t defaulted yet. Otherwise, the next option would be more feasible.

4. Declare bankruptcy. 

This may sound embarrassing but believe it or not, there’s nothing to be ashamed of when you declare bankruptcy.

Generally, lenders will make necessary demands before foreclosure is filed. Once the foreclosure proceeding is in play, the lender will go after your property to satisfy the obligation. Declaring bankruptcy will stop that from happening. In fact, lenders can only go after your home once they receive permission from the court to do something about your property. This will give you ample time to organize your finances and hopefully, you can use this time to pay off your financial obligation.

5. Earn additional income. 

Extra income means better ability to make payments. Ask the Filipino community in the country where you’re in for any job opportunities that they can refer you. Encourage your spouse to earn additional income as well since this could help in paying off your housing loan.

Still, prevention is still better than cure. You can avoid this scenario by adjusting your lifestyle. getting rid of unnecessary habits, avoiding sending balikbayan boxes every month, and encouraging your family back home to contribute to saving and living a simple lifestyle. These little steps could go a long way to avoid your home from being foreclosed.

OFW Guide to Living and Working in Jordan

According to the Philippine Embassy located in Amman, Jordan, there are at least 26,000 FIlipinos living and working in Jordan – and these numbers reflect the documented ones. There are still Filipinos who were unable to register with the embassy, which means the numbers could go higher.

If you are an unregistered Filipino worker in Jordan, you can register here.

What does this mean? There are a lot of job opportunities available in Jordan. Housekeeping and household service workers are in demand, but you can also work in the service industry and as a healthcare professionals. In case Jordan is interesting for you, here’s what you need to know about living and working in this proud country:

General Facts 

Officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, this country has Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Palestine surrounding it. This land-locked country is considered an “oasis of stability” despite being in the Middle East region and very welcoming of refugees, especially from Syria and Palestine.

Although one of the smallest economy in the region, Jordan is attractive to foreign investors and a major tourist destination, specifically medical tourism due to its well-developed health sector.


95 percent of the country’s population are Muslims, with Sunni Islam as the dominant religion. The rest are Shiites, Ahmadi Muslims, and a small number of Catholics. Interestingly, some of the oldest Catholic communities are found in Jordan, so you might be surprised to see few churches here and there.


Summer season is from May to September wherein it is hot and dry. Between July and August, temperature could go hotter and go up as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Winter is from November to March and scattered rain showers and snowfall occur during this season.


Arabic is the official language spoken in Jordan. Nonetheless, don’t worry that much since English is widely spoken as well, especially in education, commerce, and banking sector. Nonetheless, it won’t hurt to learn few Arabic words and phrases. TESDA offers free language courses and priority is given to OFWs, so make sure you take advantage of this benefit.

Working in Jordan 

Filipinos are the third highest number of foreign workers next to Egyptians and Sri Lankans. Most Filipinos working in Jordan belong in the fields of medicine, engineering, and service sector. Similar to other countries, Jordan requires a valid entry visa (always keep a photocopy with you at all times!) and passport with at least six months validity. To apply for Jordanian working permit, you must also submit completed application form and two passport photos.

Employment contract is valid for one year and will be subject to review thereafter.


You have to prepare your wallet on this one because the preferred mode of transportation is by cab, either those private yellow taxi or the country’s unique service taxi. Buses are available, but with fewer seats. If you want to go to your destination, then riding a cab is the best way to go, unless the place you’re heading to is just walking distance.


Demonstrations are common, especially if you will be assigned to work in Amman. Make sure to watch out for the schedule of demonstrations that will be carried out, which usually takes place on Fridays. Strict punishment is imposed on law violators, which explains why crimes like murder are unheard of. Nonetheless, there are still instances of pickpocketing, so make sure you take care of your belongings.


Don’t be surprised if you’ll see lots of food being cooked in olive oil. Jordan is among the largest producers of olives in the world, thereby making it a staple in most households. Drinking coffee and tea are also part of their daily life.

The bottom line is there are many job opportunities available in Jordan. Go ahead and give it a try. Your future might be here.

How to Apply for Calamity Loan with SSS or PAG-IBIG

Last September 15, 2018, Northern Luzon were punished by Typhoon Ompong, the strongest typhoon to hit this year, thereby destroying houses, farmlands, public and private buildings and establishments, and even electric posts. While the typhoon lasted for only a day, it left thousands of displaced families and millions-worth of damages.

Unfortunately, Ompong is just one of the many typhoons that will visit the Philippines. While you and your family will be able to recover in time, which also means you need to work extra hard overseas, rehabilitation entails costs.

The good news is the government is willing to help through SSS or PAG-IBIG Calamity Loan. This loan facility is available to Filipinos who were affected by a calamity as declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and suffered loss and damages as a result of the calamity.

Here’s what you need to know between the two:

SSS Calamity Loan 


  • Loan Amount – One monthly salary credit (MSC) based on the average of the last 12 MSCs or total amount of damage, whichever is lower
  • Interest Rate – 10 percent per annum
  • Penalty Fee – One percent per month until fully paid
  • Loan Repayment – Payable within two years in 24 equal monthly installments
  • Waiver of one percent service fee
  • Must be availed within three months from the happening of the calamity

Who can apply? 

  • Has at least 36 months of contribution, six of which must be posted within the last 12 months prior to application of Calamity Loan
  • Resident of calamity-declared area and suffered losses or damages to the property
  • No outstanding loan with SSS (Loan Restructuring Program and  Calamity Loan Assistance Program)
  • Applicant must not have been granted any final benefit (retirement, death, total permanent disability) at the time of the application

How to Apply for SSS Calamity Loan (procedure is enumerated for OFWs only)

  • Fill out Calamity Loan Assistance application form. You can get a copy of the form here.
  • Personal appearance in the nearest SSS branch is required, but for OFWs, submit an Authorization Letter to certify that person transacting with SSS was authorized by you.
  • Submit scanned copies of IDs or documents that proves your status as OFW as well as original copies of IDs of your authorized representative.
  • Submit Barangay / City / NDRRMC / LDRRMC Certification that you were affected by the calamity. You can also get a copy here.

You can visit the nearest SSS branch, send email at member_relations@sss.gov.ph, or call SSS Call Center Hotline at 920-6446 to 55 for more details.

PAG-IBIG Calamity Loan


  • Loan Amount – Up to 80 percent of the Total Accumulated Value (TAV)
  • Interest Rate – 5.95 percent per annum
  • Repayment Period – Equal monthly installments payable for 24 months with grace period of three months. This means if you apply on January, you may start paying the loan on April or on the fourth month. Payment must be made every 15th of the month.

Who can apply?

  • Must made at least 24 months contribution with at least one monthly contribution in the last six months prior to the date of application. In case you haven’t made at least 24 months contribution, then you must show proof that your total savings is equivalent to 24 months of contribution.
  • A resident of the area that was declared as calamity-stricken
  • In case there is an existing PAG-IBIG Housing Loan, MPL, or calamity loan, existing loan must NOT be in default
  • Has sufficient proof of income

How to Apply 

  • Submit duly-accomplished application form in any PAG-IBIG branches near you. You can get a copy of the application form here.
  • Submit supporting document such as Proof of Income and photocopy of two government-issued IDs
  • Accomplish and submit Declaration of Being Affected by Calamity. You can try using this form.
  • For OFWs, your family member might be required to submit a Special Power of Attorney to transact on your behalf. You can use this SPA form.

Keep in mind that these facilities can only be applied for within three months from the happening of the calamity. In case you were affected, the calamity loans could be helpful in getting your family back on their feet.

OFW Guide to Living and Working in Bahrain

Fact: Filipinos can work anywhere in the problem. Apparently, if you go to the usual country destinations like Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and UAE, then you might find yourself fighting for a spot to seek greener pastures. Competition is high because these usual spots are the most common countries aspiring OFWs will apply to. If you want to boost your chances of working overseas, then you should consider going to the “less popular” ones.

In that case, say hello to Bahrain.

There are many job opportunities available for Filipinos. You can find jobs in the medical and health industry (nurse, caregivers), construction, and even in corporate world (administrative jobs, sales and marketing). More importantly, Bahrain is an open economy and foreign workers get to enjoy lower taxes. This could be the reason why you will find 60,000 Filipinos and seldom hear news about OFWs being maltreated.

Interested? Here’s what you need to know about Bahrain first before you apply:

General Facts

The Kingdom of Bahrain, which name means “two seas,” is one of the six nations that constitute the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is ruled by a Sunni king, whose family holds various positions in the government and military. It is also considered as constitutional monarchy with elected legislative assembly.

Bahrain is among the first countries to discover oil and build a refinery in the peninsula. Unfortunately, the country was not able to enjoy the levels of production enjoyed by Saudi Arabia or Kuwait.

Manama is Bahrain’s capital, its major language is Arabic (although some know and understand English), and their currency is Bahraini Dinar (1 BHD = 143.34 PHP).

Work Permit 

This is important. Even if your employer already arranged your work permit, you still need to complete this step.

As soon as you land in the Bahrain International Airport, make sure you head straight to the Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), an e-Government portal that issues your ID and residence permit. These documents are needed to ensure that you work in Bahrain legally.

To get your permit, make sure you submit documents like passport, visa, health exam results (this includes getting AIDS/HIV testing, ID photo, fingerprints, and signature.

Daily Living

Bahrain is majority Islam country, although they tolerate the practice of other religions. Still, there are certain prohibitions you need to follow. This includes:

  • No smoking and drinking of alcohol in public places
  • Dress appropriately, especially for the ladies.
  • Public display of affection is a big no-no.
  • Accept all refreshments, otherwise you are deemed rude.
  • For the ladies, never ever shake hands with men, even if you are being introduced.

Despite the rules, there’s so much to see and do in Bahrain. Theme parks, cinemas, museums, pubs, and historical sites that you can visit during your off days.

Cost of Living 

You will get paid with a good amount but the standard of living in Bahrain is high. Some companies offer free accommodation but in case yours did not, consider sharing with fellow foreign workers to reduce rental expense.

It is also recommended to ride public transport (by that, we mean bus) since it is more affordable.

The good news is you don’t get to pay taxes, including personal income, value-added tax, and withholding tax. Nonetheless, be ready to shell out one percent of your income for social security or 10 percent municipal tax for the monthly rent. Other than that, you can get bigger income every month.

Are you willing to give Bahrain a try?

How to Start and Apply for Your Franchise Business

In a previous post, we shared food franchise businesses you can try to jumpstart your entrepreneurial dreams. This is a good idea especially if it is your first time in the business world. You want to gain experience first in running a business with minimal risk because you simply have to follow a time-and-tested business model. At this point, you already did your research and decided to go for this particular franchise.

What’s next?

You start your franchise business application. Although the process depends per franchisor, here are major steps you need to do to make this happen:

Step 1: Reach Out to Your Chosen Franchisor

This is exactly what you need to do to get into franchising. Keep in mind that each franchisor require different sets of documents, charge certain fees, and follow a particular arrangement. Even if some details are listed on their website, there are other information that are not disclosed (especially the fees) and talking to your target franchisor directly will keep you informed.

Give them a call or send them an email regarding your intention to franchise. Set up a meeting for further concerns. You can also attend Franchise Expo where you can talk to company representatives directly. The expo usually happens during the first half of the year so if you are in the country, do check out their schedules as well.

Just make sure your chosen franchise is a legitimate business. You may check the list of companies that are open for franchising here.

Step 2: Prepare the Requirements 

This is an important step. The requirements you will be asked to submit could dictate whether or not the franchisor will approve your franchise application, so you need to wow them at this stage.

Franchisors have their own set of requirements. Nonetheless, below are the most commonly-requested documents:

  • Completed franchise application form, which is commonly found in the company’s website
  • Letter of Intent or LOI, which states your reasons for applying for a franchise. There are also franchisors whose LOI sample is available in their website, so do check it out.
  • Vicinity map of your proposed site, with the help of Google Maps. It is best to attach pictures of the actual site as well.
  • Resume of the franchise applicant
  • At least two valid government-issued IDs.

Aside from these documents, some franchisors will ask you to submit any of the following:

  • Lease Contract or Written Agreement with the Lessor, if you will be renting a space for the site
  • Latest bank statements (to check the availability of funds as business capital)
  • Proof of billing under your name
  • Business registration documents like Mayor’s Permit and DTI Certificate (if sole proprietor)
  • Taxpayer’s Identification Number

Step 3: Meet the Franchisor

This is another crucial step. Meeting with the franchisor is where they will assess your franchise application and inform you if it is a go. Franchisors need to assess whether you are a good fit to be their business partner, which is why you need to impress them as well.

Here are some of the things that happen during this stage:

  • Discussion of the franchise details, including the qualifications needed as a franchisee
  • Inspection of the proposed site
  • Next steps you need to undergo such as trainings

Step 4: Signing of the Franchise Agreement

Finally, you passed and you are on your way towards becoming a franchisee. Don’t get too excited yet. You need to review the Franchise Agreement first before you sign the document. Consequently, you need to pay attention to the following details:

  • Franchise term, including renewal term and costs
  • Fees and costs such as franchise fee, bond, and royalty fee among others
  • Inclusions in the franchise package
  • Grounds for termination of the Franchise Agreement
  • Franchisor-approved suppliers and products

“I don’t have sufficient funds to even get a franchise. What’s my next option?”

Well, Balikbayad is here to help. Fill out our online application form for pre-processing and we will get back to you as soon as we can regarding the status of your loan application. We can lend as much as P500,000 and allow us to be your partner in making this entrepreneurial dream happen.

OFW Guide to Living and Working in Italy

Admit it. You dreamed of going to Italy the moment you saw the movie Milan starring Piolo Pascual and Claudine Barretto. After all, who wouldn’t fall in love with the beautiful sceneries and tourist spots featured in the movie?

More than the tourist spots, Italy is also a home to thousands of Filipinos. In fact, Italy has the biggest concentration of Filipinos in Europe (more than 150,000 documented Filipinos) – and it’s not surprising why.

For starters, Italy pays well, including household service workers. Starting salary is 800 Euros and could go as much as 2,000 Euros (or even more). Also, Italy has strict labor laws, which explains why cases of maltreatment are unheard of (although for sure, there are cases but are minimal). Believe it or not, foreign workers may file a labor case against their employers in case they are not compliant with their labor laws. You get paid leaves as well, thereby allowing you to go around and explore the country.

Does this get you excited? Before you rush to Italy to work, here are some of the things you need to know about this country:

General Facts 

Italy is located in the heart of Mediterranean, southern part of Europe, and surrounded by France,, Austria, Switzerland, and Slovenia among others. It is a country with rich culture and heritage that dates back to the Roman Empire. Rome is the capital of Italy and Euro is the currency used in this country. Its form of government is unitary parliamentary republic and the monarch was abolished via constitutional referendum.


When it comes to language, Italians speak their own language and are proud of it. English may not be as widely spoken in major parts of the country, except when you will work in large cities like Rome and Milan. Depending on your location, there are areas that speak German, French, and Slovenian.

Work Opportunities 

Household service workers and farm workers are the most common jobs available for Filipinos in Italy. Nonetheless, nurses are also in demand, as well as caregivers, chefs, computer programmers, and hotel staff.

Similar to other countries overseas, you will need a valid working visa to obtain “permesso de soggiorno” or permit to stay in Italy. Working visa and permit are needed because despite the the leniency for foreign workers, Italy does not condone illegal workers.

Working Conditions

Before you start working, make sure you obtain your own social security number and health insurance, which you can get from the National Social Security Institute. Your employer must automatically register you.


This is another reason why Italy is a favorite. Italy is majority s Catholic country, thereby making it easier for Filipinos to practice their faith.

Nonetheless, you might be surprised with how Italians celebrate Christmas. Unlike in the Philippines, Italians fast 24 hours before Christmas Eve by not eating meat. If you work in the southern part of Italy, you get to experience the “Feast of Seven Fishes.”

When it comes to opening of gifts, adults open theirs either at midnight after Christmas Eve dinner or after attending the Midnight Mass. Children open theirs on Christmas morning.


In case you want to explore Italy, make sure you travel by train. The trains will connect you from one place to another, thereby making everything accessible.

Traffic may be chaotic in Italy, so if you can, walk from one place to another. Noise and air pollution is also an issue, and as of the moment, the Italian government is doing its best to address this.


No, it is not always hot and sunny in Italy. In fact, Italy’s climate is diverse. If you are staying in the North, you will experience mild summer and cold winter because of the Alps. Eastern Italy, which is surrounded by the Po River, has hot and humid summer, and cold, wet winter. If you are staying in the Central and South Italy, then expect a Mediterranean climate, which is hot, dry summer and mild winter.

Who wants to give Italy a try for your next job overseas?

Food Franchise Business You Can Start Now (and within Budget)

You’ve been working hard overseas. What do you plan to do with your hard-earned money?

Paying existing financial obligations, investing, or buying your dream house are some of the things you can do with your money. Have you considered putting up your own business?

Starting with your business can be challenging, especially if you don’t have entrepreneurial experience. There are certain technicalities you need to know especially if you want to succeed. The good news is there are business models that are proven effective over the years, which companies are willing to share to people – also known as franchising. This can be a good way to jumpstart your entrepreneurial career and eventually, learn from it. Plus, everybody loves to eat, so you can never go wrong with food with strong brand recall already.

The challenge now is choosing what food business to franchise. Don’t worry. We made it easier for you to decide by compiling a list of food franchises you can try, starting from the most affordable to expensive ones:

Burger Matsing 

  • Initial investment – starts at P50,000
  • Package inclusions – Franchise fee, franchisee and crew training, business operations, promotional, and marketing support, and online ordering system
  • Contact information – info@burgermatsing.com / 0945-3456957 / 0939-8775810 / 0943-8700283

Star Frappe’

  • Initial investment – starts at P99,000
  • Contract term – one year, but renewable without fee
  • Package inclusions – Use of trade name, food cart and equipment, P3,000 worth of initial products, franchisee and crew training, crew uniform, and after-sales support.
  • Contact information franchiseinquiry101@gmail.com

Boy Kanin

  • Initial investment – starts at P149,000 (kiosk) to P299,000 (big in-line store or food cart)
  • Contract term – three years
  • Package inclusions – Franchise fee, use of trademark, cart and equipment, initial stocks, training of crew and franchisee, crew uniform, and opening assistance. For big in-line stores and food card, construction cost, marketing materials, and equipment are included.
  • Contact information – franchising.boykanin@gmail.com / 352-8130 / 0917-3443472 / 0923-6831409

Hong Kong Style Fried Noodles and Dimsum 

  • Initial investment – P150,000
  • Package inclusions – Food cart, utensils, equipment, small wares, initial product, crew training, pre-opening and opening assistance, crew uniform, and marketing materials
  • Contact Information – 43-0536 / 0917-5000772 / 0922-8307611

Siomai King 

  • Initial investment – P168,888
  • Package inclusions – Use of trade name, logo, and business system, lighted company signage, stainless cart with cabinet, marketing collaterals, equipment and operating utensils, personnel training, and opening assistance.
  • Contact information – info@jcfranchisinginc.com / 889-4773 to 76 / 0918-8JCFRAN (523786)

Noodle House / Sgt. Sisig 

  • Initial investment – P168,888
  • Package inclusions – Use of trade name, logo, and business system, heavy duty equipment and utensils, six staff uniform, marketing collaterals, personnel training and on-site crew training, opening assistance, and assistance of monitoring officer.
  • Contact information – info@jcfranchisinginc.com / 889-4773 to 76 / 0918-8JCFRAN (523786)

Tapsi Stop 

  • Initial investment – P168,888
  • Package inclusions – Use of trade name, logo, and business system, customized stainless cart with lighted signage, equipment (stainless griddle with iron plate, non-stick frying pan, electric stove, rice cooker, working table, and juice dispenser), operating utensils, marketing collaterals, four working uniforms, and comprehensive personnel training.
  • Contact information – info@jcfranchisinginc.com / 889-4773 to 76 / 0918-8JCFRAN (523786)

Potato Corner 

  • Initial investment – starts at P200,000 (school cart) to P800,000 (in-line store with seats)
  • Package inclusions – Franchise fee, cart or kiosk, small ware and equipment, initial supplies, and crew training.
  • Contract information – Email at iwantfranchise@potatocorner.com / 534-5845 / 534-5846or check this link for more details.

Mister Donut

  • Initial investment – starts at P200,000 (food cart) to P650,000 (dine-in shop) plus P50,000 franchise fee
  • Contract term – two years and renewable for another two years for P50,000
  • Package inclusions – Food cart, equipment, POS tablet, small wares, and crew uniform
  • Contact information – Email at fms@misterdonut.ph / 370-1236 / 0917-8896148

Siomai House 

  • Initial investment – P250,000
  • Contract term – three years
  • Package inclusions – Food cart, equipment, and delivery
  • Contact information – Email at siomaihouse@yahoo.com.ph

Waffle Time 

  • Initial investment – P250,000
  • Contract term – Three years and renewable for another three years
  • Package inclusions – Franchise fee, equipment, food cart, training, and crew uniform
  • Contact information – Email at customerservice@waffletime.com / 584-1601 / 584-3704 / 0933-8513968


  • Initial investment – starts at P275,000 (kiosk) or P750,000 (counter)
  • Contract term – five years
  • Package inclusions – Franchise fee for five years, equipment, food cart or kiosk, small wares, initial stocks, and crew uniform
  • Contact information – kiosk1263@yahoo.com / milkin_mktg@yahoo.com / milkinmktg@gmail.com / 524-0384 / 524-0385

Citrus Zone 

  • Initial investment – starts at P280,000
  • Package inclusions – Use of trademark, crew training, and initial inventory.
  • Contract information – Email at partners@citruszonerefreshment.com / 0998-5589640

Which one do you like?

In case you need additional funds to start your business, Balikbayad is here to help. Fill out our online application for pre-approval and we will get back to you as soon as we can.