Philippine Retirement Authority General Manager Bienvenido Chy said his agency aims to entice 20,000 more retirees to the country by 2020, bringing the total to 80,000, which could bring in almost P500 million in income for the government.
There are already 59,939 foreign retirees in various parts of the country, including Cebu, Davao and Laguna. Most of them, however, prefer to live in Metro Manila.
So far, Chinese from mainland China are on top of the tally, with 18,000 of them in the country.
After the Chinese are the Koreans, Taiwanese, Indians, Japanese, Americans, Hong Kong residents, Britons, Germans and Australians.
“They love it here in the Philippines because it is economical and affordable, schools for their children are available, they can invest, and we have the best caregivers,” said Chy, former legal chief of the Bureau of Immigration before his transfer to PRA, on Friday in his speech at The Manila Times Philippine Infrastructure Forum.
The forum, which had the theme “Philippines 2021: Steering Toward the Golden Age of Infrastructure” was held at Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City.
According to the Annual Global Retirement Index, the Philippines is the 19th favorite destination of retirees.
Mexico is No. 1, followed by Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Malaysia, Spain, Nicaragua, Portugal and Malta.
In Southeast Asia, the Philippines trails Thailand (No. 12) and Cambodia (No. 17).
The index ranks countries that offer a haven for retirees based on cost of living, retiree benefits, climate and health care.
Okada is top retiree
Chy proudly said that the country’s most precious retiree is Kazuo Okada of Japan. Okada owns the Okada Casino in Parañaque City that employs about 20,000 Filipinos.
“As our way of campaigning, we conduct roadshows abroad to highlight our best offers. So far, this year we aim to attract 10,000 retirees. It’s ambitious but that is attainable,” Chy said.
Retirement facilities in the Philippines include the following: Filipina Paradise Complex in Naic, Cavite; Rose Princess Homes in Cabuyao, Laguna; Subic Homes in Subic, Zambales; Lifecare Residences in Cebu City; and condominiums built by Ayala Land, Megaworld, SM Development Corp., Robinsons, Filinvest Land, Federal Land and Anchorland.
P200M to the Treasury
PRA is an income-generating government agency, recently turning over about P200 million to the National Treasury.
Chy urged investors to put up infrastructure projects for retirees.
“Enhancing infrastructure for long-stay tourism and retirement experience is an effort PRA is doing hand in hand with the private sector. Collaboration with private partners and stakeholders will bring in the results,” he told The Manila Times in an interview.
PRA offers retirees perks like exemption from customs duties and taxes on the importation of household goods and personal effects up to $7,000, and exemption from taxes on pensions and annuities, travel tax as well as student visas and study permits.