Get cash in Puerto and bring it with you. The closest ATM is in Roxas but it may be “temporarily out of order”. Cash is king in Port Barton and plastic can be used in few places only. There is a Palawan Pawnshop branch at which you can pick-up money that you sent on-line.
There are no ATMs nor banks in Port Barton but there is a Palawan Pawnshop, which is reliable para-bank that enables money pick-up after you send it through a remittance service. It is located on Ballestros Street corner of Rizal Street, just before the entrance to the beach. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lunch break between the noon and 1 p.m.
Pay a visit to the shop before you send the money to make sure that they will have enough cash. The branch never keeps more than 50 thousand Peso. After you are sure there is enough money do the following:
- On your smartphone log to your remittance service or sign up with one (here you will find more detailed instruction)
- Make the on-line transfer to Palawan Pawnshop.
- Go back to Palawan Pawnshop and collect your money.
While making the transfer you will be asked for a local phone number. If you do not have one here is full instruction on getting it or alternatively ask the attendant at the pickup point to use his/her number.
The process is only partially computerized. The branch staff member simply texts the headquarters and gets text confirmation.
You can change money at the Ausan shop that is in Ballestros street just next to the Caltex oil station. The exchange rate is not as good as in Puerto Princesa but it’s ok in emergencies.
The nearest ATM is in Roxas, which is just 1 hour by jeepney (8:30 from the van terminal in Port Barton, and 11:30 from the bus terminal in Roxas). There are four ATMs in Roxas and las time (August 15th, 2 of them were off-line, and two did not want to process my plastic.
There are two ATM’s in El Nido. One is located in the City Hall, the other at the BPI Branch. There might be no money in ATMs or there might be limits on the amount you can withdraw.
Puerto Princesa is the best place to withdraw or exchange money. Look for an ATM that will not charge you extra 200 Peso for each transaction. If you brought dollars or euro you can safely change them in one of many money changers located along Rizal Avenue. Money changers have better exchange rates than banks. Unlike in many other Asian countries foreign currencies are not accepted by shops or hotels in the Philippines.