Marriott CEO Bemoans Work-From-Home Policies Impacting Trajectory of Hotel Recoveries

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Marriott is coming off its worst quarter in the history of the company, but company leaders are encouraged by growth signs in China. Prayitno / Flickr

Skift Take: Marriott may be encouraged by recovery signs around the world, but it also can’t afford for corporate clients to keep in place stay-at-home work policies and meeting bans until the middle of 2021.

— Cameron Sperance

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LTO Launches Online Portal for Driver License Transactions

The last thing anyone wants to do in the time of COVD-19 is to wait in long queues in a busy office for several hours to submit a paper application form. And that is exactly what you used to have to do if you wanted to convert your foreign driver license into a local one for a stay longer than 90 days in the Philippines. 

In response to quarantine restrictions and the temporary closure of some of its physical offices during this time, the Land Transportation Office of the Philippines introduced an online portal on May 18th. This will help to reduce their backlog and make the application process easier and smoother for both local and foreign drivers.

Read on to learn how to use the LTO online portal to reduce the hassle of getting a Philippines driver license and begin preparing for your road trip in the country.


What Is Required to Use a Driver License in the Philippines

A lot of visitors to the Philippines are perfectly happy using public transportation or services like taxis or Uber to get around. However, if you don’t want to be restricted by their limited range, it’s not too difficult to drive in the Philippines, especially if you’re just going for a short stay. Driving around some of the islands is really an ideal way to explore and to make sure you get to see everything you want to see.

Drivers whose holiday in the Philippines is under 90 days are able to use a foreign license to drive in the country for the same period of time, as long as it is printed in English.

However, those who not do have their license printed in English are required to have it converted into a Philippines license by the Land Transportation Office.

Foreigners who plan on driving in the country for more than 90 days are also required to obtain a Philippines driving permit from the LTO.


How to Get an Online Driver License for the Philippines

Until recently it was necessary to visit a Land Transportation office in person to obtain a permit before renting a car or motorcycle in the Philippines. It’s now possible to apply for a driving license for the country online from anywhere in the world.

The new LTO online portal can be used to submit an application on any smartphone, tablet or computer and provides 24/7 access to the agency’s services, significantly reducing waiting and processing times in local offices.

The LTO has developed the online portal alongside digital technology partner DERMALOG to include an Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) with facial recognition and fingerprint identification to protect against fraudulent use, as well as a secure online fee system which permits cashless payments.

Applicants are able to upload their documents supporting the application, select an appointment and pay the LTO fee exclusively online. 

However, at the moment it is still necessary to visit a local LTO branch once the applicant has traveled to the Philippines to provide biometric information or take the driving exam, in the case of applying for a Philippines driver license.

Renewing a Philippines Driver License Online

In addition to the option to change a foreign driver license to a local permit, the new LTO online portal also allows users to submit documents to renew an expired Philippines driver license. 

The process is similar to the online application for an initial Philippines license, and also allows all the necessary supporting documentation to be submitted electronically. However, applicants are required to select ‘Driver License Renewal Online Appointment’ when completing the form in order to choose the time and date most convenient for them to attend an LTO office.

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Teaching English: Get Paid to Travel

Plenty of people aspire to have the freedom to travel as part of their career. It’s often something that’s gradually worked towards as you climb the career ladder. But, what if you could travel the world and begin a new career at the same time? Teaching English abroad is an increasingly popular choice for keen travelers with an interest in teaching.

With a TEFL certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) you can quite literally travel all over the world for work. Perhaps you’d like to work in Thailand where the locals are friendly, the food is fresh and flavorful and white sand beaches are never far away. Or maybe you’d like to teach in Europe. Spain is a popular destination for EFL teachers as it is home to the most thriving TEFL market on the continent. Or how about Mexico, where the culture is vibrant in every sense – food, music, locals and scenery. Once you’re qualified to TEFL, you can put these dreams into action.


How to get TEFL certified

The first move towards TEFL and getting paid to travel starts with getting the right qualification. There are a lot of TEFL providers on the market, but you should focus your attention on well-accredited ones in order to not only help you find work but to ensure you’re equipped with the knowledge and skills to excel in teaching.


What will I need to TEFL?

Most countries/employers will require you to have a 120-hour TEFL certification and a criminal background check. It’s also common for a degree in any discipline to be a requirement, which limits some countries for non-degree holders, but there are still many other options for those without. Obviously, you need to be fluent in English to teach it. If English isn’t your first language, it can be more difficult to find work, however, if you can provide evidence of your proficiency with the likes of an IELT certificate, this will really help.

It’s always important to thoroughly research visa requirements as well before you make any big decisions. It’ll save you a lot of wasted time and effort.


Digital nomads can teach English remotely

EFL teachers abroad have many opportunities. If you can see yourself embracing the digital nomad lifestyle and are happy to find work teaching online, then you could find yourself teaching students anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world.

The luxury of being an online English teacher is choosing when and where you work. Time differences all over the world mean that you’ll be able to work when it suits you. 


Other teaching opportunities

Because there are so many ways to TEFL, it means that you can find a job with a contract that fits your goals. If you’d like to really immerse yourself in a new culture and explore local treasures during your weekends, and venture farther afield during your holidays, then full-time teaching in a school could be for you. You can expect fixed and regular hours and know how much you’ll make from month-to-month, making it easier to account for expenses.

If you’d prefer working outside of the standard 9-5 routine then working in a language center teaching a variety of ages could be your best option. Language center teachers are typically given fixed hours but they’re more likely before and after the school/working day.

Or maybe you have a background in business and can see yourself teaching Business English to professionals? Each job has its advantages depending on what your priorities are.


How much could I earn?

It’s hard to give an estimate of how much you could earn as an EFL teacher abroad as there are a number of factors to consider. Some of the highest paying TEFL destinations include South Korea, China and Japan, but even where wages are lower, it tends to be relative to the country’s cost of living. This means that you can still live comfortably on a lower wage in countries where the cost of living is low in comparison to a higher paying country with higher living costs.

Salaries can also vary depending on the school or institution you work for. Teachers with substantial previous experience will more likely be eligible for higher paying roles.

You may also have some of your expenses covered by your employer. Some lucky EFL teachers have their accommodation covered and others might have their flights reimbursed at the end of their contract. Either way, some of your expenses could be taken care of.

The many different TEFL opportunities out there means that you can find the job that suits you and your travel plans best. Forget waiting years to save up for the holiday of a lifetime – as an EFL teacher your job can fund your travels without having to limit them. All you have to do to get started is get TEFL qualified.


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