How to run international payroll for employees in the Philippines (Updated 2023)


Apr 6, 2023

Running payroll for remote employees in the Philippines for the first time? Get it right, and you can hit the ground running with your employees in the Philippines. But if you miss a step, you could rack up steep penalties—or even risk legal action from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Here’s a step-by-step guide to running payroll in the Philippines, with everything you need to get it right every time.

Table of Contents

  • Step #1: Decide whether or not to create your own entity in the Philippines
  • Step #2: Pick a global payroll software solution
  • Step #3: Determine your workers’ employment status
  • Step #4: Capture your new hires’ Philippine payroll information
  • Step #5: Understand the implications of paying in Philippine pesos
  • Step #6: Run payroll
  • Step #7: File your taxes in the Philippines
  • Frequently asked questions about running payroll in the Philippines

Step #1: Decide whether or not to create your own entity in the Philippines or use an Employer of Record (EOR)

To hire and pay employees in the Philippines, first you need to establish a business entity in the Philippines. You can do this by either creating your own local entity or by using what’s known as an “Employer of Record” (EOR).  

EORs allow you to hire and pay employees through their own entities. They’re responsible for calculating and withholding the appropriate taxes (more on that below), and for paying your taxes to the BIR.

When, why, and how do companies use an EOR? 

When companies expand their operations to the Philippines—and around the world—they typically use EORs like Deel, Papaya Global, and Rippling to run payroll, issue benefits, and navigate international compliance issues. 

This is because EORs can take months to set up, depending on how you apply, and whether the BIR manually reviews your registration. It’s a significant administrative load, and most smaller companies don’t have the time or resources to spare.

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When, why, and how do companies create their own entity?

If you create your own entity, that replaces the EOR as the legal entity hiring employees and running payroll. Companies typically create their own entities once the costs of an EOR outweigh the costs of creating their own entities.

To set up an entity in the Philippines, you need to pay a filing fee and register your business with the BIR and get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which ensures you’re remitting the necessary taxes to adhere with Philippine labor law. From there, you need to register your company with the government agencies you’re required to send deductions to, including:

  • The Social Security System (SSS)
  • Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)
  • The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), also known as the Pag-IBIG Fund 

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Step #2: Pick a global payroll software solution

First, it’s vital to understand the two kinds of international payroll solutions: global payroll processors and global payroll aggregators. You can learn about both in our guide.

  • Global payroll processors actually process your payroll, transmit funds, and calculate and file taxes in every country through their own software. Put simply: global payroll processors allow you to pay your international employees just as easily as your local employees: together in a single pay run.
  • Global payroll aggregators aggregate local payroll providers in every country and manually transmit your payroll files to them.

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Step #3: Determine your workers’ employment status

Before onboarding your workers, and certainly before you run payroll, it’s crucial to understand who you’re paying in the eyes of Philippine law: Are your workers employees or contractors? 

It’s essential to classify them correctly to avoid big fines. Also, if they’re employees, there are payroll deductions you’re responsible for, including tax obligations and superannuation contributions—see the tables below for the full list.

While no single factor is determinative, a Philippine Supreme Court ruling developed certain “tests” to decide whether a worker is an employee or a contractor, including:

  • The level of control the employer has over the worker's activities
  • Whether they work on an ongoing or per-project basis
  • Allowable reasons for a worker to be terminated

Step #4: Capture your new hires’ payroll information

Once you’ve decided whether to use an EOR or your own entity, picked a payroll solution, and ensured that your employees are correctly classified, you should be able to automatically collect (and then pay) your team in the Philippines. Just make sure you’re adhering to statutory requirements when calculating each full-time employee’s payroll deductions.

Here’s the information you need to collect:

  • Name (matching the account where you’ll deposit their pay).
  • Date of birth and date of hire.
  • Contact information, including their mailing address in the Philippines.
  • Bank account information.
  • Amount to be paid in PHP (including any bonuses).
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN).
  • Social Security System (SSS) number
  • PhilHealth number 
  • Home Development Mutual Fund (HDF) registration, available online.

Step #5: Choose to pay in your local currency or in Philippine pesos (PHP) 

While it’s common to base a remote Filipino employee’s salary around your local currency, you should pay in Philippine pesos (PHP).

Of course, there are challenges for companies based outside the Philippines that need to pay Philippines-based employees in PHP: The exchange rate between your local currency and PHP can vary (see exchange rates here). If the rate is unfavorable, you’ll end up paying more USD to cover your employee’s wages. You may also need to account for fluctuations in the exchange rate when calculating your financial statements, which can create accounting complexities.

Step #6: Run payroll

You have an entity (either your own or via an EOR), you’ve set up your global payroll system, and you’ve ensured your employees are correctly classified under Philippine law. Time to run payroll!

Here’s a preview of how Rippling’s global payroll system works:

Step #7: File your taxes in the Philippines

Once you’re up and running paying your employees in the Philippines, you have to withhold a certain amount of local taxes to send the BIR. Employers are responsible for calculating and withholding:

  • Income taxes
  • Social security (which covers retirement, unemployment, and paid leave entitlements)
  • Health insurance
  • Affordable housing development funds 

The amount of income tax you withhold from an employee’s salary depends on their income bracket, as shown in the table below. 

Annual Salary (PHP)

Annual Income Tax Rate






PHP 22,500 + 20% the amount more than PHP 400,000


PHP 102,500 + 25% the amount more than PHP 800,000


PHP 402,500 + 30% the amount more than PHP 2,000,000

More than 8,000,000

PHP 2,202,500 + 35% the amount more than PHP 8,000,000

Annual tax returns are filed by mid-April each year. 

Frequently asked questions about running payroll in the Philippines

What are the employer costs for full-time employees in the Philippines?

Employers are responsible for deducting the following from their full-time employees’ paychecks. Along with social security and health insurance contributions, employers must also help subsidize a government program that provides housing loans and financial assistance to Filipino citizens in search of affordable housing, known as the Pag-IBIG Fund. Find the details for employer costs below:

Payroll Contribution

Employer share of employee’s monthly salary

Social Security System


Philippine Health Insurance


Home Development Mutual Fund


Provident Fund

PHP 42.50-PHP 425, depending on salary

What is the average salary for employees in the Philippines?

According to data from Salary Explorer, the average monthly salary of a Filipino employee is PHP 44,600—but this varies widely by industry, occupation, and experience level. 

Top 5 salaries in the Philippines, by industry and experience level


Entry Level Median Salary (PHP)

Supervisor Median Salary (PHP)

Manager Median Salary (PHP) 

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What are the minimum wages in the Philippines?

There is no nationally set minimum wage requirement in the Philippines. Different rates are instead set by wage boards and vary across regions. In June 2022, daily minimum wages increased to between PHP 533 and PHP 570 in Metro Manila (the country’s capital region) and between PHP 306 and PHP 470 in more rural areas across other regions.

Here are the currency daily minimum wage rates as of 2023, per the Department of Labor and Employment.


Daily Minimum Wage for Non-Agriculture (PHP)

Daily Minimum Wage for Agriculture (PHP)

National Capital Region




































What information is needed from employees to run payroll in the Philippines?

Here’s the information you need from salaried employees payroll processing:

  • Name (matching the account where you’ll deposit their pay).
  • Date of birth and date of hire.
  • Contact information, including their mailing address in the Philippines.
  • Bank account information.
  • Amount to be paid in PHP (including any bonuses).
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN).
  • Social Security System (SSS) number
  • PhilHealth number 
  • Home Development Mutual Fund (HDF) registration, available online.

How much does it cost to run payroll in the Philippines?

Most payroll software is priced on a per-employee basis, or per pay run. Payroll service pricing varies according to:

  • Payroll frequency.
  • The number of employees on your payroll.
  • The number of provinces and territories where you employ Filipino workers.
  • How often you add and remove payees.
  • Any additional services you need, such as year-end processing or mailing out pay stubs.

Can I manually run payroll for workers in the Philippines?

Some small business owners choose to run payroll themselves, using a payroll calculator and making a direct deposit to employee accounts, in an attempt to cut costs. But running payroll can be a time-consuming process, especially as your business grows. If you go this route, there are potentially risks to keep in mind:

  • Compliance: Running payroll manually in the Philippines, without using native global payroll software, puts you at risk of manual errors and omissions. Rippling handles your compliance work for you—enforcing minimum wages and overtime rules, which can save you from heavy fines.
  • Security: Processing payroll manually can pose security risks, especially if you are using spreadsheets or paper records. This increases the risk of sensitive employee information being lost, stolen, or misused.

What are payroll taxes in the Philippines?

Employers are responsible for deducting certain costs from their full-time employees’ paychecks, including an income tax, social security contributions (which covers pension plans, maternity leave, unemployment, and other entitlements), health insurance, and housing development. For the full picture, see our employer cost tables

What are the late tax filing penalties in the Philippines?

The BIR imposes several penalties for violating tax requirements. 

  • Surcharge: There is a civil penalty rate of 25% on the amount of tax due for failing to file a return.
  • Interest: Any unpaid taxes are subject to a 20% annual interest fee. 
  • Compromise: If you don’t file a return on time, provide inaccurate information, or fail to withhold the necessary tax deductions, you’re subject to fines of up to PHP 20,000 and can face between 1 and 10 years’ imprisonment. 

How do you pay contractors in the Philippines?

  • First, ensure you’re correctly classifying your workers as a contractor (you can use Rippling’s free Worker Classification Analyzer).
  • Next, agree on the payment terms with the contractor: the hourly or project rate, the payment cadence, and the method of payment. 
  • Collect their payroll information, including their name, date of birth, contact information, bank account information.
  • Use your chosen payroll software to pay the contractor in PHP. With Rippling, you can pay contractors in Philippine pesos, in a single pay run, without waiting on transfers or conversion.

Remember, when hiring Filipino contractors, employers are not responsible for deducting taxes from their paychecks. Instead, the contractor is responsible for tax remittance to the BIR. But employers must still keep an accurate record of employment and payroll information for each worker.

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Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.

last edited: July 25, 2023

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The Rippling Team

Global HR, IT, and Finance know-how directly from the Rippling team.