The Board of Investments and retirement industry stakeholders envision the Philippines as a viable retirement destination for foreign and Filipino retirees. DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo described the Philippines as an “emerging” retirement destination. “With our compassionate and competent pool of healthcare professionals and world class wellness facilities, the Philippines is fast becoming an attractive country for foreign and Filipino retirees from around the world,” he said.

The Board of Investments said that the Retirement Industry Roadmap will be finalized within the first half of 2016. The roadmap was crafted by stakeholders in the retirement industry in collaboration with BOI and other government agencies.

The Retirement Industry Roadmap outlines the course of action needed for the industry to be globally-competitive. The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), current chair of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the Retirement Sector’s Roadmapping Activity, is currently reviewing the draft roadmap.

In the Annual Global Retirement Index 2016, the International Living Magazine ranked the Philippines as 17th out of the 23 best countries to retire in. The Annual Global Retirement Index bases its rating on a number of composite factors, namely, real estate costs, special benefits for retirees, cost of living, leisure amenities, healthcare services, infrastructure, and climate.

The retirement industry has made considerable contributions to the economy, reflected largely in revenues from visa deposits of Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) holders. Introduced by PRA in 1987 to entice foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens to retire in the country, retirees can either apply for multiple entry privileges and rights to stay permanently or indefinitely in the country by way of visa deposits ranging from US$10,000.00 to US$50,000.00 and US$1,500.00 for former diplomatic corps workers. In 2014, PRA enrolled 4,781 new retirees. Total visa deposits of SRRV holders as of December 31, 2014 amounted to US$452 million or about PhP19 billion.

Although not yet comprehensively documented, significant economic contributions are known to also come from local retirees and pensioners from the Government Service Insurance System and Social Security System (of about 1.3 million individuals combined), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), and the Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS) for the uniformed services.

Meanwhile, Retirement & Healthcare Coalition, International, a non-profit, non-stock private organization affiliated with the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines, is doing its share in making the country more viable as a retirement destination. The organization recently conducted a certification and training program for a Quality Management System based on DIN EN ISO 9001:2000 to participating nursing homes under the Public Private Partnership Project “Human Touch.” The activities under the program were tailor-made for the institutional framework of the Philippines.