Buying Electronics in the Philippines 2022

Electronics in the Philippines

Hi there! Welcome to our blog! Let us be the first to celebrate with you your upcoming trip to the Philippines! With it’s beautiful weather and white sand beaches, we are sure that you are going to love every second of your visit to this desirable travel destination. However, at the same time, we understand that sometimes visiting a new foreign country can be nerve-wracking. With so many unknowns, including the language and currency, how can you set your trip up for success and make sure it will be one to remember?

I have a friend who asked if he should by electronics in the Philippines. This is a common question that I get quite often from people I know who are planning a trip to the Philippines. While we also specialize in helping travelers like you select the perfect condo to rent or lease during your stay in the Philippines, we are also more than happy to offer you exclusive travel advice and recommendations when it comes to the Filipino islands. In this series of articles, we have made sure to cover everything you might be wondering about the Philippines, including the currency, methods of transportation, and now…electronics.

While some foreign countries are known for their great prices and vast selection of electronics, perhaps you’re wondering, are the Philippines one of them? Should you hold off on upgrading your phone or investing in the latest gadget until you’ve visited the Philippines? Do they offer deals and brands better than what we have access to in the United States of America and Canada? We’ll get into this and more below!

Should you buy electronics in the Philippines?

In one simple word, the answer to this question is unfortunately no. Due to high importation tax on electronic and luxury products in the Philippines, price tags on already expensive items will be 20% – 40% MORE than you would find in the United States. For example, native Filipinos cite paying $340 for laptops that are priced at just $200 in the United States. The same goes for phones and tablets unfortunately. So while you can certainly go to the Philippines to enjoy the gorgeous sights, weather, and culture we wouldn’t recommend doing so for saving on electronics. Certain Filipino locals suggest from personal experience traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, or Singapore to get the best price on electronics in South East Asia. So you can certainly keep that in mind if you want to score some reasonably priced electronics and your trip to the Philippines is just one stop on a grander tour of South East Asia.

In fact, if that above statement applies to you and you do plan on doing some extensive traveling all across South East Asia, then we have good news for you! This link does a great job at listing the best South East Asian cities to purchase discounted electronics and even breaks down which stores are the best for what type of purchase: Best places in South East Asia to buy electronics . If you do end up visiting one of these stores, let us know what your experience was like in the comments below! What did you buy and how much money did you save?

Why are gadgets so expensive in the Philippines?

As mentioned above, the reason for the high priced electronics in the Philippines is not so that store owners can take a larger cut of the profit, but actually to cover the cost of high importation taxes. Similar to Argentina, Customs and Borders Patrol stands to make a lot of money by placing high taxes on these already expensive items. Because, as you know, the bigger the price tag of the item, the more taxes that have to be paid.

While the exact reasons behind the high importation tax on electronics are highly debated, many locals believe the tariff is imposed because electronics such as iPhones and iPads are seen as “luxury items,” (meaning they are not necessities). Because of this, distributors and retailers alike come to believe that someone who is in the market to purchase a luxury item can stand to afford the higher taxes. The same is actually true of name brand clothing in the Philippines, such as Adidas or Nike shoes; just another example of a product with an inflated price tag that locals will purchase while traveling to other countries in order to save money. Although, with the overall cost of living in the Philippines being extremely low, many people argue that the Filipino government has to acquire tax money from somewhere…so why not do so on the already pricey items?

If you would like more specifics on the topic of importation taxes on electronics straight from the source, that is the Filipino Embassy, feel free to educate yourself here: Philippine Embassy Customs FAQ

What Outlets and voltages are used in the Philippines?

While on the topics of traveling and electronics, it is also important to be informed of what voltage and outlet system a foreign country has before visiting. This will help you properly prepare and pack for your trip. Because, after all, the last thing you want to do is break a circuit in your beautiful hotel room or condo.

Depending on exactly where you are going in the Philippines, the outlets you might find can differ. While a few parts of the country use the same outlet and voltage power as the United States and Canada: 100 Volts – 127 Volts, many parts of the country use outlets that are meant for electronic devices that require 220 Volts – 240 Volts, which is more standard in Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and most of Africa and Asia.

While you can call up your accommodations ahead of time to try and get an idea of what kind of electronic outlets you will have access to, we recommend simply investing in a universal outlet converter. They don’t cost too much money and they really are an essential when traveling internationally. Besides, perhaps where you are staying in the Philippines has one type of outlet, but the airport has another. Why not just spend the extra few bucks on a travel outlet converter so that you know you will always have access to power outlets, no matter what. Because we all know there is nothing worse than a dead phone or laptop on a long trip, right?

If you are interested in purchasing a universal outlet converter, check out this 4.5 star, best-selling option on Amazon. With two USB ports and a $12 price tag, you really can’t go wrong: Universal Power Converter

Finally, if you’d like more in depth details and diagrams on this topic as it pertains to the Philippines, this website does a great job breaking down the semantics of Filipino electricity and electronics; including pictures of the exact kind of outlets you might find: Power Plug Reference

What electronics should you bring with you to the Philippines?

While of course no one needs to tell you to travel with personal devices such as a phone or laptop, we have a few out of the box suggestions for electronics you can bring to the Philippines with you that might make your trip more enjoyable.

A cheap underwater camera- The bodies of water in the Philippines are truly in a class of their own. From crystal clear oceans to tucked away rivers, there’s so much to marvel at, so why not be prepared to capture it all?

Headlamp- Sounds crazy, we know. But hear us out! In certain parts of the Philippines, black outs and brown outs are common, so why not be prepared? Instead of draining your phone battery to illuminate your accommodations*** why not have a more practical back-up plan like a headlamp? This way you’ll be prepared for the worst and can preserve the battery on your electronics for when it really matters.

Universal outlet converter- We mentioned this earlier but seriously don’t forget it! There’s no better way to ruin a vacation than not being able to charge your electronic devices!

***(P.S. When it comes to booking your accommodations for your next trip, we highly recommend renting or leasing a condo for your stay in the Philippines. Condos offer a certain type of comfort and privacy that hotels and AirBnB’s simply can’t compete with. Check out why renting or leasing a condo for your next trip is the way to go here: Renting a Condo In the Philippines AND once you’re convinced that condos are the way to go, check out this link for the BEST condo listings in the Philippines:

We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about electronics in the Philippines. From understanding why it’s not cost effective to invest in new electronics on your trip to the Filipino islands to what kind of outlet converter you need to invest in, if we’ve helped you gain a little more peace of mind about your upcoming trip to the Philippines, let us know in the comments below!

Or, better yet, if you have already traveled to the Philippines, let us know any electronic tips or tricks you picked up from your experience! Are there any Filipino gadget MUSTS or electronics to stay away from? We’d love to hear all your first-hand stories below!

Download Your Free Guide To Easy Condo Rental

Enter Your Name and Email Below For Instant Access

Fill in the form Below:

Latest Articles

Legal Information

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site.