There are different ways to send money to the Philippines. Xoom and Western Union are the most common although expensive. One thing with Western union is that its more expensive online as they sell the “next day” service where if you go into a dealer you can ask for the longer service which is generally over 24hrs but the fees are a lot lower. The problem is you pay a fee for sending, get a bad rate on the exchange and collection is now taxed in the Philippines. So i would try to avoid these services if possible.
The next is bank transfers, if you have a bank account in the Philippines it isn’t too much of a problem. I would advise getting something like Citibank or HSBC as they both operate in the West and the Philippines so opening a Philippines account is a lot easier as they already have your details in the U.S. or UK for example. Then its just a matter of online banking transferring from one account to another. But please check with your bank for charges as i found out that Alliance and Leicester in the UK works out at around 5% handling charge + a poor exchange rate. Making it pretty dire for transferring.
Another option is using a 3rd party account that deals with money transfers but generally they are looking for around £1000 upwards per transfer. They offer a good rate on the exchange and most don’t charge any handling fees. They are looking for large amounts as they make the money on the exchange rates and the holding of your money for a few days.
The back pocket. Basically bringing it in yourself this works most of the time but there is always something that comes up when I’m not at home which then ends up me having to send extra capital. So be aware this could happen and try to plan for it. At my last check you can bring $12,000 in cash although i have yet to hear of anyone being checked by customs for carrying cash.
The final option is don’t send any money. Basically you find a small business that will cover regular expenses for your partner when you aren’t in the country and you try to get things sustainable. Some people do it with rental properties others with different ventures. Not an easy one to work with but one that pays the bills easily once you find something that works.