Brunei is a small sultanate state located in the north coast of the island of Borneo, sharing the island with bigger territories of Malaysia and Indonesia.
With large deposits of oil and gas, Brunei is among the most affluent nations in the world. But with its adherence to Islamic Sharia Law in 2014, possible punishments include stoning for adultery, amputation for theft and flogging for drinking alcohol.
There are about 21,000 Filipinos in Brunei. While almost a quarter of the 19,000 Filipinos working in the country are employed as domestic workers, Filipinos are also employed on professional trades such as doctors, engineers and nurses who are highly regarded for their work ethic.
To Filipinos who wish to work in Brunei, it helps to know more about the country before moving there, or even considering job prospects in the tiny but rich state.
Brunei offers tax-free income to expatriates
One of the things that make Brunei appealing is that salaries of employees, local or expat, is not subject to tax.
Brunei offers cheap cost of living
As of 29 December 2014, the cost of gasoline is 40 US cents per liter or about less than 18 pesos. But since most of its commodities are imported, cost of other goods is relatively expensive compared with the Philippines. However, this should be offset mainly because Brunei offers more attractive salary and remuneration.
Brunei prohibits public consumption of alcohol
Although non-Muslims and foreigners are allowed to bring in a certain amount of alcohol, public consumption and sale is banned in Brunei. Since early 1990s pubs and nightclubs were banned as the introduction of alcohol ban commenced. However, non-Muslims can simply cross the border and bring up to 12 cans/bottles of beer every day from the Malaysian border, less than an hour away.
Brunei offers simple way of life
Filipinos who wish to live without the frills of city-life and prefer laid-back lifestyle, Brunei may be the place for you. One benefit of such way of life is that Brunei has low crime rate. No wonder the country hardly appears in the news because of this reasons. Petty crimes can occur but major ones are very rare. No wonder many of Filipinos who worked in Brunei have stayed there for decades.
Brunei recognizes Catholic and Anglican as Christian faiths
Filipino Catholics who wish to work in Brunei can practice their faith although the growth of the religion is rather slow due to certain restrictions implemented in the country.