Several months ago, Google added a new option for AdSense disbursements to allow you to get your checks in local currency (i.e. Philippine Peso). It was a favorable move as local AdSense publishers need not open their own dollar savings account in order to have their checks cleared and encashed.
Banco de Oro has probably the lowest required initial/maintaining amount for a dollar account, $100. Other banks like BPI or Metrobank requires at least $500.
It’s more convenient to get your check in Philippine peso but from initial feedback from other AdSense publishers, Google’s convertion rate is pretty low. Even lower than bank exchange rates by about 2.5%. So, if you can afford to get a dollar account, by all means do so.
On a side note, I used to get the checks via registered mail and I have to go to the Makati Post Office to claim it but recently, they’re delivered straight to my address. And the postal comes from Sweden. Maybe Google found a cheap postal delivery service there.