© 2006 Australasian Training Academy Pty Ltd
ATA Work Guide
Filipinos are relaxed about time. Meetings and appointments often
begin late. Foreigners are supposed to be on time.
A personal introduction by a mutual friend or business associate
makes business arrangements much smoother.
Establishing a personal relationship is important to the success of a
business relationship. Trust and loyalty are central to developing
relationships. Insincerity is easily detected and can ruin the
Filipinos often have a "take it or leave it" attitude when it comes to
selling prices. They may also may place less stress on the absolute
selling price and place more emphasis on percentages, unit cost or
Casual conversation may precede business discussions during
Negotiations and business deals move slowly. A third-party go-
between may be a good idea to relieve tension or give criticism. Do
not allow meetings to go too long. Filipinos love to eat and their
enthusiasm wanes when they are hungry.
Communication is indirect, truth is diplomatically presented, manner
is gentle, and the perception of the recipient is considered in all
communications. All communication should be courteous, regardless
of its content. The Filipino attempt to please may result in many
Filipinos find it difficult to say "no," disagree, reject or be
confrontational, especially when a superior is involved. Expect an
ambiguous or indirect answer -- not to deceive, but rather to please
and avoid confrontation.
Face-to-face meetings are preferred. Written communications might
not be answered. Communication by mail or telephone is unreliable
Small bribes are occasionally used to cut through bureaucracies. This
is illegal, but done quietly and often. Participate with caution.
Dining and Entertainment
Most business entertaining is done in restaurants or clubs, preferably a
good restaurant in an international hotel. During business
entertaining, you may be asked to sing. Try to join in.
A dinner invitation to counterparts and their spouses is appreciated
before you leave the country. Don't bring your spouse to a business
lunch. Lunches are generally for business discussions.
Filipinos may view a dinner/party invitation as just a passing thought.
They may answer "yes," but not take an invitation seriously. Phone to
re-invite and remind. An R.S.V.P. may not be answered. It must be
reiterated to be taken seriously. Don't accept an invitation unless
repeated at least three times.