I'm a British expat who moved to Palawan with my Japanese wife and 2 children 1 year ago on the PRA scheme.
We came as voluntary ministers (self supported) to help out here.
We calculated that the savings we had would be adequate to live on for some years, but it seems that from the moment we set foot in the country we have been cheated at every turn. Now we are in quite a desperate situation and the money we deposited on the PRA account is useless as we are unable to access it except for a real estate purchase,in which case another sum would have to be added to it and we no longer have the money.
In the year we've been here almost every large purchase has proven to be a nightmare. To name but 1, I employed a mechanic in Cebu to check out used cars for me as cars here in Palawan were grossly overpriced. After paying him 500pesos plus expenses for each car he looked at I settled on a 2002 Kia Retona which was said to only have 49k km on the clock. The mechanic assured me the car was good and I paid him a great deal to do some minor repairs and put on new tyres and ship to me here. He took advantage of me at every turn. Even taking a companion along for the ride to Iloilo and staying in a hotel and billing me for it.
When I received the car it was dirty inside and out. From day one it began to have problems until after a short time the engine overheated .A friend here on inspection found that there were 3 head gaskets sandwiched between the engine block. It became apparent that the car had just been patched up to sell and the mechanic had not even inspected the engine. The first overhaul cost me around 45k pesos, but only 2 weeks after it happened again.This time I took it to a Kia dealer here in Puerto Princesa and they tried to fix it.
They charged me 5k pesos for the inspection but within 10 days the engine overheated again. I was advised to take it to the Hyundai dealer as I was told they were reliable. They had to replace the top end and I was billed 55k pesos. Within 7 days of having the car back the radiator exploded and now the car is back at Hyundai and waiting for a replacement.
It has seemed to us that people assume we're rich here in the Philippines. We are anything but, and now we are in a desperate situation as we have little money and nowhere to go for help.
This has already been a drawn out post but there are MANY more instances involving faulty products , dishonest workers etc that have drained our finances and made our mission here impossible to carry out. Can somebody please help us?