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Operating a Charitable Institution in the Philippines 


The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago would like to inform organizations/groups/persons interested in operating charitable institutions in the Philippines about several regulations as required by the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development or DSWD.

Any interested donor who desires to set up a charitable institution must first register with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC either in its main office at Ortigas corner EDSA, Pasig City or at its SEC Branch Office near the area where the charitable organization will be established.

Applications for registration with SEC are then forwarded to the Standards Bureau of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or the DSWD Field Office for evaluation of the purposes of the institution and assessment of the merit of its programs and projects.

If the entity’s Articles of Incorporation, objectives, programs and services are within the purview of social welfare and do not violate existing policies, the DSWD Standards Bureau or the DSWD Field Office will favorably endorse the application to the SEC and to DSWD for a license. Otherwise, it will suggest a review or revision or refer the application to appropriate agencies.

The institution will also file an application with the DSWD in order to be credited as a social welfare and development (SWD) agency by submitting an information sheet and a certified true copy of the SEC Registration with Articles of Incorporation and Constitution and by-Laws. DSWD will then conduct its assessment and issue corresponding Certificate of Registration usually within 2-3 working days. If the institution is considered as a social work agency, it is required to proceed with the licensing and accreditation assessment within one year after the date of registration.

For more information, interested parties may contact the DSWD Standards Bureau at telephone no. (632) 931-3181 or (632) 951-7125 or send an e-mail to srb@dswd.gov.ph.



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          All foreign tourists who wish to bring medicines, prescription medicines and restricted drugs for personal use during their visit in the Philippines shall be guided by the following:

1. Over the counter drugs are available in pharmacies or drug stores in the country. However, if visitors insist on bringing their own prescriptive drugs, they may do so but only in quantities sufficient for the duration of their stay in the country;

2. Visitors taking prescription drugs (tables and ampoules) should bring a letter from their physician stating the condition for which they are receiving treatment and the dosage. The amount of drugs brought into the country should also be sufficient for the duration of the visit. For those who are traveling onward to another country, they are advised that a separate quantity of drugs should be sealed and declared again before exiting the country.


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U.S. Customs regulations governing the amount of

currency that may be brought into and out of the United States


In light of reports of incidence of detention and interrogation of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans by U.S. Customs and U.S. Immigration, the Philippine Consulate General reminds the Community of the regulations governing the amount of currency that may be brought into and out of the United States.

 While there is no restriction or limit as to how much currency can be brought into and/or out of the country, any amount exceeding US$10,000.00 (cash, checks including foreign currency) must be reported to the U.S. Customs.  In addition, any currency more than $10,000.00 cannot be divided among “persons travelling together (irrespective of number, relationship or age)”, a prohibited practice resorted to in order to avoid declaring the full amount.

 The Philippine Consulate General encourages the public to comply with this “over $10,000.00 reporting requirement” to avoid undue delay in travel as a result of detention, forfeiture, fines and unnecessary mishaps.

 For more information on U.S. customs regulations, the public is invited to visit the U.S. Customs website at www.customs.gov.

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            The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago is pleased to announce that the John J. Shedd Aquarium, the world’s oldest and largest indoor marine mammal exhibit in the world, formally opened last April 15, 2003 its newest permanent exhibit – The Philippine Wild Reef.  The 395,000-sq.ft. “Shedd” has a yearly attendance of about two (2) million tourists.

             The much awaited $45-million Philippine coral reef exhibit required the construction of a building that houses the immense reef exhibit.  It is billed as one of the largest and most diverse shark exhibits in North America.  Guests will experience the otherworldly mystery of diving the waters of a coral reef – in one of the world’s largest displays – including face-to-face encounters with the most menacing undersea creatures: sharks.  Shedd officials warn the faint-hearted guests that they may find themselves only inches away from more than 30 large sharks in a curved-overhead 400,000 gallon tank.  Guests will begin their journey at the surging shores of a recreated Apo Island, a volcanic rock, in Negros Oriental at the south end of the Philippines, and then surface to the mangroves and beaches of this Visayan coast.  To create an environment where the fish will feel comfortable with their surroundings, Shedd Aquarium imported from the Philippines, among others, 17.5 tons of sand and a fisherman’s house.

             Shedd brings to Chicago the coral reefs of the Philippines, and epicenter of marine diversity with 450 species of coral and 2,500 species of fish and home to more than 40 species of sharks.  “The coral reefs of Apo Island not only represent one of the sea’s most distinct environments but also an ecosystem at risk due to human interference,” said Mr. Bert Vescolani, vice-president of aquarium collections and education of the Shedd Aquarium.  He further said “visitors will experience first hand the awesome beauty of these endangered reefs and, we hope, be inspired to learn about the world’s ocean habitats.”

             “I know I speak for my countrymen in Illinois when I say that we are elated and thankful to Shedd Aquarium for bringing a piece of the beauty of the Philippine to Chicago,” said Philippine Consul General Emelinda Lee-Pineda.  “It is our hope that through the Wild Reef exhibit, the millions of visitors who will visit Shedd will appreciate the fact that the Philippines is the epicenter of the world’s marine diversity and that the country, with all its unique and wonderful attractions, deserves to be visited as a tourist destination.”


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The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago wishes to inform the general public  that effective 01 January 2004, the  processing fee of travel tax certificate will increase from P100.00 to P200.00, as prescribed under Philippine Tourism Authority ‘s  Memorandum Circular No. 003-2003 dated 03 November 2003.

Any inquiries concerning the above subject should be directed to the Consular Service Section, Philippine Consulate General, Chicago at 312-332-6458 ext. 25.


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     ©  2000   Consulate General of the Philippines-Chicago