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Old 27-08-2008, 12:59   #1
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Chartering in the Philippines

I am wondering what it takes to run a charter business in the Phils. Is there a requirement such as the six pak here in the USA? Would a U.S. license be of any use there? I tried to GOOGLE some information, but have found nothing yet.

Since I am already married to a Filapina. That probably takes care of half the battle? Anyone have an idea what it takes?
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Old 27-08-2008, 16:19   #2
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Reflections...

Ah yes, the Philippines.
I thought about it some time ago and the numbers just did not add up. But you have your boat and are ready to go...
My guess is that there is a confusing maze of regulations that no one really wants to know about.
I'd expect that employing a qualified local as master would be insisted on.
Very few have done it so possibly you would need to look to the highest status of your relatives and see how far up the hierarchy they can get. This would likely be more because the bureaucracy would be confused and fearful of something new rather than the more popular motive.
Since you may be dealing with influential people the right kind of gift may be necessary. I'm thinking Scotch or Brandy or good sweet white wine. I'd try to keep something in reserve so that if you have to negotiate with a higher up they get a better gift than the lower downs.
Most important to keep all toes unstepped and all noses properly jointed.
If my feeling is correct you could expect to do all negotiating prior to applying and then the application would be rubber stamped.
As a thought about where to start, possibly the Coast Guard or your local Harbour Master.
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Old 27-08-2008, 22:39   #3
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As a spouse of a Philippine citizen you can get permanent residency or immigrant status leading to citizenship.

Bureau of Immigration, Philippines - Permanent Resident Visa

The Philippine government appears to officially recognize dual citizenship.

Bureau of Immigration, Philippines - DUAL CITIZENSHIP

I am assuming that you can work and start a business in the Philippines as either a PR or citizen.

The Maritime Industry Authority (marina) covers licensing in the Philippines.

Maritime Law Site - http://www.marina.gov.ph/

Unfortunately the site is either down or the link is incorrect.

There are millions of guys offering snorkeling charters all over the philippines. Technically they would be doing what you want to do. No one seems to bother them. However, having lived in the Philippines and married to a Filipina for 21 years, my cynical side says that if you start making money some one in local government will notice and if you are cutting in on something they are already doing you will get squeezed.

It's just the way it works.
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Old 27-08-2008, 23:03   #4
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You can register your charter company with the Phil. Securites & Exchange commission for corporations or the Dept. of Trade & Industry for single proprietorship.(they have a website, you can even register on line) Once registered you can then apply for Business Permits from your local municipality. (where your office\residence is located) Once you have your permits, then your open for business. In my experience you dont have to grease or bribe anyone, just be prepared to fill up forms and wait in lines.
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Old 28-08-2008, 00:04   #5
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Another here married to a Filipina. What I can tell you is it'll also depend on the area you're in. If it's tour-esty it's going to be harder.

Those areas tend to be more politically correct (sorta) and you'll have to get the proper permits and licenses. But connections and money talks.

It's best to be hooked up with someone important, receipts means very little. Social status means a lot there!
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Old 28-08-2008, 05:20   #6
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Since yacht chartering is pretty undeveloped here in the Philippines and open to all kinds of interpretation, there are a number of grey areas that might put you at risk doing this if you started any formal process.

The Philippines are very protectionist if a foreigner is seen to be taking tourist dollars without a sizeable local investment and local payroll.

Foreigner will need a work permit.

Foreign registered yacht will need to somehow get local safety approvals and various inspections which for yachts is an unknown.

Manning requirements may become absurd as they will think passenger big ship rules.

Your yacht might become subject to import duties if it is seen as a business asset.


The Philippines is a wonderful place to cruise, but each province has its own set of rules or more acurately, interpretation thereof?

My advice is to come here, enjoy the simple economical life and get a sense of how seriously you really need to think about starting a chartering business.

If you decide to pursue it further once you get a sense of your local reception, it might be simpler first to align yourself with a few friendly resorts and make an arrangement with them to send you friends who by joining "Club Imagine", get a chance to do some sailing with you.

There is a popular saying here that; “it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission”….. which is why I have no interest in starting a local business ….but I do love this country!
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Old 28-08-2008, 06:56   #7
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Thank you all!!!!!!!

My wife's family, and herself own a prospering business in Davao, and Manila. I have considered buying a SMALL resort, and offering the boat as a bonus for day sails. The whole purpose of this is to keep busy, and do what I like.

I have also given thought to just poke around a year, or 2 and see how things go. CLUB IMAGINE, has a nice ring to it......LOLOLOLOLOL. As I sit here trying to figure out my future all kinds of things run through my mind.

My main plan is to enjoy a mountain home during typhoon season on Mt. Apo, and sail the rest of the time. As always time will tell, and my mind will keep exploring it's inner depths.......SCARY HUH?.......LOLOLOLOL
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:57   #8
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Hi

the yachts have to be registered in the Philippines, and under the umbrella of a philippine incorporation. The Philippine Gov, treat yachts the same as 1500 passenger ferries and the registration process is the same. They like you to have filippino crew including a licensed captain, engineer and AB. You will have to fill in a crew manifest whenever you put to sea with passengers and give to the coastguard who will sign your approval to leave.

A lot depends on the port you plan to operate from. If from Puerto Galera contact martin Willis at the PGYC.org site . Or from Port Bonbonon, Negros which is quiet but no facilities and not easy to attract foreigners. See Nigel at Tongan Sailing ??? has web site

If you are bringing the yachts from outside you will be liabel for importation tac, about 20%.

There are bancas operating charter businesses but they are not liveaboards but the government is bring in new laws to tighten up on diving charters.

Get to know your local coastguard - offer a few bottles of Tanduay etc.

I run a 75 ft schooner here from Camiguin and Mindanoa. Its a risky business with the adminstration especially the immigration and customs especially in the large ports like Cebu and Manila - avoid like the plage.

Charter rates are very low - I am very lucky to get 500 peso per person and can carry 12 in air con cabins . Foreigners are not keen unless you are a diving charter, and filippinos do not have the disposable income. Good luck anyway -make sure your filippina wife handles all the admistration or you will pay 50 % extras simply being a foreigner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
I am wondering what it takes to run a charter business in the Phils. Is there a requirement such as the six pak here in the USA? Would a U.S. license be of any use there? I tried to GOOGLE some information, but have found nothing yet.

Since I am already married to a Filapina. That probably takes care of half the battle? Anyone have an idea what it takes?
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:01   #9
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schoonerman,

Are you saying not only a Filipino crew, but a Filipino capt. too? I was only thinking of one couple at a time, and catering to foreigners coming into the country. My wife is from Davao, and I thought of sailing out of Cebu during non typhoon season?

I see a couple of boats out of Manila. One being about 36ft with 2 foreigners running the boat, and the other the huge gin palace tri with internet, and the works. I was thinking more along the line of getting away from it all, and seeing the island's beauty.......i2f
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:03   #10
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I agree with Schoonerman and Pelagic. I just checked with the owner of an outrigger-type vessel here which is sometimes chartered out to cruise around Samal Island. He said the boat has to be registered with MARINA, which they did, but as private pleasure yacht. So I guess if they charter it out, then I can only assume it is not "for business", if you know what I mean. Anyway, my point here is that it has to be registered with the local authorities, MARINA, therefore your vessel has to be imported and duties will apply. Unfortunately, their website is not really very helpful. It is difficult to get the applicable regulations.

Your foreign registered vessel is allowed to stay in Philippine waters indefinitely without encountering import duties as long as you do not sell your vessel here - I was told this when we arrived port, but this I had to verify by phone again as I couldn't find any regulations pertaining to this on the website. I haven't asked this specific question, but I assume it extends to "for as long as you do not do business here with your vessel".

I think you can stay here as a foreign vessel and just cruise Philippines with your "friends" . When it comes to immigration, having a Filipina wife helps. You will be given the same 1 year Balikbayan visa (at least my husband did). Cheers.
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Old 06-01-2009, 18:27   #11
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sorry for the thread drift
I am going to Davao in mid april for a couple of weeks and would love to spend some time afloat.
Not found much on the net in regard to chartering in the Phills. Reading this thread gives me some clues as to why.
Does anyone have any contacts

Mike
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Old 27-10-2010, 09:30   #12
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I was actually considering it myself since the idea of taking the boat back to Ireland turned into a brueaucratic nightmare.
It was close to election time in March 2010 when I was last there and we were suppose to go to Mindoro, we were advised against it as the day before two tourists were kidnapped on that island for ransom. If you are looking to run a charter business in the Philippines security for your vessel and passengers would come high on the list I'd say.
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Old 27-10-2010, 10:29   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geminidawn View Post
If you are looking to run a charter business in the Philippines security for your vessel and passengers would come high on the list I'd say.
You want this in any place you park your boat or charter. But, thank you for helping to spread misinformation about the Philippines. I want to keep my jewel off the beaten track of other cruisers. I have lived in Mindanao 2004 and have kept a house and boat there since 2005. Not even once have I had a problem like the kind you are eluding to.

But please, dont listen to me everybody. The Philippines is an extremely dangerous country so do not go there.
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Old 27-10-2010, 10:36   #14
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chartering in th Philippines

Hi

Almost three years here in the Philippines and much what I said then still applies. Have to have a licenced captain whenever I want to take passengers out, and was actually stopped from sailing last week by the coastguard to take out 20 passengers for an afternoon cruise as only my 1st Officer was avaliable, which was understandable and completely contrary to regulations. Had there been an incident the coastguard would take a bullet from his superiors.

I do not worry about priracy or kidnapping which is not prevalent here in southern visaysas, although does happen ashore in certain places, but I still much feel safer in the Philippines than I do in UK, where you give someone a wayward glance and they might knife you.

We are going to Sabah and the south palawan area in the next few months to get away from the strong NE monsoon here in the eastern viysayas. I prefer to do sunset cruises rather than flown blown vacation charters as most guests chartering the yacht complain that the air con is not cold enough, there is no hot and cold shower water, they object to engine noise (genset) although they still want AC, and still do not want to pay more than 10 dollars a day - all in.
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:06   #15
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Thankks for bringing this thread alive. I have had a serious delay in my plans, but the goal still is to get to the Phils. The boat is in Panama, and we are in S.F. Ca. trying to sort out our next plan in life with this delay.

The Phils are like anywhere. There are dangerous hotspots, and there is peace & calm to be found. For 5 years I owned a business in Oakland. I had to fist fight, dodge cars trying to run me over, and carry a pistol in my pocket. It's not just the Phils..........i2f
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