Philippine Agencies – What’s Your Say

My new found friends from Batangas, Philippines, came here in Australia sometime November 2010, via a student visa. I met them through a business venture that I was involved in early this year. We caught up one Sunday weekend and drove to the blue mountains, where we did a little bush trekking and talked how they came to Australia.

Their experience of being mislead by an agency in Philippines was not the first I’ve heard about. There are others stories I’ve heard of some from our families who tried to find work overseas only to go back home to the vilage or towns or cities disappointed.

The thing with private agencies are, it’s a business. They work for themselves. Their primary interest is their business, not your well being.

What Agencies Tell You

We always need to do our home work. This is a must. Research, research and more research.

Being in Philippines, we can’t rely on other people’s word that they will look out for us. More likely, they will look out for their number one—themselves. This is why we need to be prepared.


Few years back, when one our relatives returned from holidays in Philippines, he was approached by a person in Sydney airport, who as we Filipino say—ikaw na lang ang bahala sa akin—it’s like saying my life is in your hands.

Working on Tourist Visa—is a big NO, NO. This said person had a tourist visa and apparently was supposed to be picked by his employer when he gets to the airport. But his employer was a no show. He was all alone, but with one phone number on his list—a family acquaintance of theirs who so happens to work for Australian intelligence dealing exactly with what we call a TNT—people who come to Australia under a different passport and will seek work here and overstay their visa.

The event that had happened to this distraught fella, apparently was common and so was the job offerings, where you are offered a job that is so attractive and when you do come here, it’s less than impressive and the is well below the Australian National Guideline.

Finding Work Is Easy

Many agencies will tell you that finding work in Australia is easy! Nothing could be further from the truth. Finding work is never easy. Yes, it could be easier than in Philippines but never easy. Look for your in your industry and if it happens to be competitive then good luck to you.

Unskilled work is most likely where you’ll end up working. It may be hard to find but once you get used to how things are done here by way of looking for work, it gets easier. When I say unskilled work, it’s any work available that you did not go to College for, such as cleaning, kitchen hand, receptionist, labourer.
2011-07-09 - Philippine Agencies-What's Your Say


All around the world there are a lot of people who come to Australia and become permanent residents through student Visa. I have a number of friends who are now Australian citizens and they came here as students.

Agencies in the Philippines will most likely try to get you to a University school, because they will get more money in return. It is more lucrative for these agencies, so unless you have done your homework. You will won’t know. Though it’s attractive being a university student as opposed to other lower colleges, it is not necessary for you to attend university here. There are other colleges that you can enrol in such as TAFE, or you could even do all these online! But we won’t go there because the point is you want to be here and reside here. Just be mindful though, the attainment of qualification will be somewhat different.

What’s An Ideal Budget

The more money you have the better! My recent new friends came to Australia with about $3,000.00. Personally I wouldn’t recommend coming to Australia with that small amount. But these guys came here with a very small amount and made it! So, you can survive with this amount.

How do you survive with a small amount? Work. With such a small budget, everything you do is limited, all your moves are calculated and you need to find work straight away. Remember work can be found here if you are not picky.

Ideally, though, my friends says you will live better on a $10,000.00 budget—about P450,000 if the exchange rate is $1=P45. This should last you few months. When I say a $10k budget? It meant cash, which means all your fees at school, airfares are all paid for. The $10k is for your living expenses and emergencies.

Not All Agencies Are Rip Off’s

Although I don’t have the statistics of the numbers of agencies or which agencies will most likely take you for a ride or take advantage of you. I do have one story where an agency will look after you.

My ex’s cousins and aunties have gone abroad and back without a hitch or or major issues. All of her side of the family who wanted to go overseas has managed to work overseas-usually in Israel and are doing fine.

Unfortunately, my cousin tried this and he fell in the category of one that got taken a ride for. As I gathered, the agency wanted more and more money and he returned home to Kidapawan few months later with nothing to show, not even a ticket to fly overseas. But we also note he could have spent and had a great time instead of using it to find work abroad—there were conflicting stories when you talk to him.

Take Your time, Research, Do Your Homework

My new found friends story, they came to Australia through student visa because they don’t’ have enough points to get by other means. This was their only choice. As a student, you are allowed to work in Australia but is limited to 20 hours per week only. Now as they came as a couple, there is a clause in the system that your spouse is eligible to work with unlimited hours. This is how they are supporting each other and are able to stay in Australia legally.

As we talked over our long walk at the blue mountains, I was in awe with their stories and the struggles that they have had to endure whilst being here in Australia. A real battler in my view. At times deportation seems to be the next thing in their corners, but somehow they get by and found new legal means for staying here. The major bulk of their problem is the tuition fees. Being an overseas student, the courses are high, almost double of what we, Australian’s pay for. This eats up almost all of their resources. But they have battled through it and have managed to find a way to stay here, legally! Something I could probably not survive. Their the type of people that I’ve always looked up to. Inspirational!

But like many others before them, agencies have mislead them. They were under the impression that they can get a job very quickly and easily. Like many others before them, they didn’t know how it was like here in Australia.

Yes, they have done some research but could not find the information they needed here on the internet because there is just that much information on the internet that you really need to dig deep and find the information that you are looking for.

In a way, this website was born because of many reasons including the reasons in this blog. We share our experiences to you so you can get an idea of what experiences Filipinos like has are experiencing here.

3 Resources To Get You Started

Allow me to start you off with you search if you are like my friends and families who were mislead, misdirected and found it hard to get some information about Australia.

Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship—sit down and relax, take your time and go through this website. There are large reading to go through. Like the link says, its about immigration and citizenship

TAFE—this is a secondary college school, the highest qualification you can get for this is a Diploma. A lot of us use TAFE as bridge to get to University. But not all education needs to be in University level. TAFE offers a lot of things that University doesn’t. Like being practical, short courses.

Seek Employment—is one of Australia’s largest employment agencies. They are also connected to colleges if you want to study online.

Participate in Australian Forums—There are countless of Australian forums that you can participate in and ask questions. I strong recommend you find some! It doesn’t’ have to be Filipino related but I know we feel we have a better understanding if we are talking to our own kind.

I’ve only given you three links to start off with but that should be enough for your to generate more links and ideas. I wanted to put another link but at this present time I can’t access the website for some reason. Meanwhile search the internet for Australian living, work in Australia and see what you can come up with.

Share You Experience

Have you done your research? Or are you in the process of researching about Australia and have some questions or something you would like to share? Please leave a comment in our comment box and we’ll talk about it!

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Jojie Certeza

Jojie Certeza is a Sydney based photographer. His passion for photography started in 2007 after being introduced by a friend who is also passionate about photography. He also founded;— a food photography service. He can be hired for food photography assignments

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