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Cost of living

The Worldwide Cost of Living Index 2021 of UK-based The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed that Manila’s ranking slid two notches to 84th from last year’s 82nd, indicating that the cost of living in the country’s capital has remained stable this year.

The index has been designed to enable human resources and finance managers to calculate the cost of living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers. It can also be used by consumer goods firms and other companies to map pricing trends and determine optimum prices for their products across cities.

Despite significant hikes in commodity prices, the overall cost of living in Manila did not become more expensive this year. Upasana Dutt, head of EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living, said that Metro Manila’s cost of living index has actually remained quite stable over the past year.

The index included prices for food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rent, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

A stable cost of living for expatriates may not mean much for Filipinos who have been struggling to survive due to the challenges posed by the pandemic and a lackluster government response but it remains a good sign as we finally see a path towards recovery from the effects of COVID-19.

A Philippines that can somehow remain attractive to finance and human resource managers all over the world despite a COVID response that ranks terribly compared to the rest of the world gives Filipinos reason to be optimistic as they prepare for the economy to pick up. If the cost of living didn’t go up too much, Filipinos won’t have to earn too much in order to survive also.

While foreigners and expatriates get to choose which countries to work in, most of a country’s residents don’t. We will have to deal with the cost of living in the Manila and the rest of the Philippines no matter what and it is a good thing that our government and the private sector have somehow managed to keep it down during the two years that our economy stagnated due to the pandemic. Hopefully it gives us a better starting point as we pitch in to rebuild the economy and our lives that has been devastated by the coronavirus.*

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July 2022
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