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Trying to send money to Olongapo but...

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Hi all,

I'm trying to send some "support money" to a friend over there but she doesn't have a bank account. She seems, kind of, clueless about the whole process.

I am in Montreal and i almost used WorldRemit until i saw, when i was in the process of sending the money, that they require clients to have a mobile phone. A required field on their send page.
I don't use a mobile phone at all. That stopped the transaction right there.
Then, i saw their customer reviews page today with 102 serious complaints and 1 star, with many people saying they wish they could vote NO stars. WOW. I'm glad that my lack of a mobile phone prevented me from sending any money through them

She doesn't even know what she needs to open a bank account.
She's living in Pilar (in a small village) but she goes to Olongapo because she used to live there, until recently.

I thought about if she rented a P.O. box somewhere, but then i read online negative reviews about how the PhilPost system sucks big time. So... i am not so keen on using that.

She said her last employer (JolliBee) gives the employees an ATM card to collect their salaries?  I mean, i just don't understand the system over there.

Apparently, they don't even have mail boxes in front of their houses. It's considered "old fashioned" to have them? lol So i can't send a letter with money inside.
I don't understand how it works over there.
"Seems" kind of, i'm sorry to say, "backward", for lack of a better word.

Any suggestions for HOW i can send her this money without either of us having to pay a big service charge.
I was thinking a bank-to-bank money transfer might be the safest option but i haven't looked into that.
Perhaps paypal?...but i'm sure she'll still need a bank account for that.     
I won't be sending any large amounts of money, so i don't think that will be a problem for her when she goes to collect it. Maybe about $60.00 Canadian, once in a while.

Any suggestions?
What does she need to open a bank account?
She's keeping her savings hidden in her bedroom.


Hi Robbie,

All transfers will cost some money to send, and a lot of times, to pick up.

Western Union has outlets all over the place in the Philippines, but you will be charged for sending money, and she will have some deducted for picking it up, it depends on the amounts.

Bank to bank wire transfers are the same, the bank in Canada will charge you for sending and the bank in the Philippines will charge her when it arrives there. It costs me $40 CAD to send a wire transfer from Scotiabank, and the bank in the Philippines charges me for receiving the wire transfer.

I wouldn't send any money at all, not even a cheque, through the mail system. It is just too unreliable.

There are some money transfer companies that deliver the cash to the door of the recepient, but I don't know what the costs involved would be.

Perhaps you should head down to the area of town where a lot of the Philippine restarants and stores are and ask around. The last time I was there it was in the Snowdon district, around Victoria Ave and Van Horne Ave.

Good luck in getting your money to the Philippines.


Does work in Canada?  If so, use that.  Send it to a local pawn shop like Cebuana or MLhuillier or any others like those that are nationwide(promise, they exist in Olongapo and probably more than 3 of each there).  She can go, show ID, and pick it up for free.  The cost to you will be $5 plus a small, small percentage off the conversion.  Talking less than 1%.  So you get it. 
Make sure you have her name correct to her ID.  They will require the ID and they MUST match. 
This is the system I use to send money to Tina each month from my accounts in the USA.

Hi Robbie_d

The easiest is Western Union. As JoeLP said, make sure you have the full name that is on your "friends" ID, do not miss any letters, or spell it wrong, as that causes no end of hassle. If you use Western Union, your "friend" can collect in Olongapo or Pilar or wherever they want, as long as the name matches and they have the number from Western Union. Its same day and easy for your "friend". NOTE you should be able to send in Canadian $ for pickup in PH Piso's. Hope it all goes well.

I ended up using W.U. and paid CAN$12.00 in fees. Not too happy about that. I told her to open a bank account and then get a paypal account but she seems to have a real problem to open a freeking bank account. I told her to open a Union Bank account because they allow paypal (so i read on this forum). She went to the bank but they wanted to know her source or proof of income. She is not working, so she feels unable and discouraged to get an account. I contacted the bank, myself, to ask about that and they never responded to my email. Is opening a bank account such a major issue in The PH? What's up with that?   


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