On a constant basis, I hear from people who ask me “how much is this” or “how much is that” in the Philippines. Frankly, I get a bit tired of that question, because I don’t consider the cost of things to be the most important thing about living in the Philippines. To be honest, it’s more of a very small part of life compared to other things concerning life in the Philippines. But, still, I try to oblige when I am asked such questions. I don’t write about such topics often on the site though.
Today, though, I decided to break my “normal” writing practice, and go ahead and write about “how much” gasoline is.
Gas prices are a hot topic in the USA, I know that by watching US news on TV. I don’t think that a day passes when I don’t hear news stories about gas prices in the USA.
So, what does gas cost in the Philippines?
Well, if you are strictly talking about gasoline, it is about P60/liter. Now, I can hear a large number of people saying that they can’t figure out how much that is in terms that they understand, but don’t worry, I’m gonna help you figure that out!
Let’s see, 1 Liter is equal to 0.264 gallons. So, looking at the inverse, 1 Gallon is 3.785 liters.
So, that means that 3.785 liters multiplied by P60 per liter means that gasoline is P227.10. Oh, you want dollars? OK, I can do that too! Let’s figure it at P42 to $1. That means that gasoline in the Philippines is over $5.40 per gallon.
$5.40 per gallon?
Wow! That’s expensive, right. [Note: Please, my European friends who pay obscene prices for gasoline... I already know you are paying much more, please spare me the "we pay more" attitude! ]
Fact is, we have been paying more than $5 per gallon of gasoline in the Philippines for a long, long time already. I guess at least 6 months now, probably closer to a year, I think. It ain’t cheap, my friends.
I know that all of you are always thinking that life is cheap in the Philippines, but that is not always the case. Some things are cheap here, other things are very expensive here. Food is cheap. Rent is generally cheap. Gas? It’s expensive. Imported goods… very expensive. Electricity? One of the highest prices in the world for electricity, and you can’t always even turn the lights on! So, don’t fool yourself that everything is cheap in the Philippines.
P60? I see P47 on the sign!
Yes, you do see P47 and P48 on the Shell sign in the photo that I took the other day. Those prices are for diesel, not gasoline.
Lots of vehicles run on Diesel rather than Gasoline here in the Philippines, quite the opposite of the USA. In the States, the vast majority of vehicles run on gasoline, which is opposite of here in the Philippines.
For me, my car, an SUV (actually called an AUV here – Asian Utility Vehicle) by Mitsubishi, a Mitsubishi Adventure, has a gasoline engine. It’s actually rare for an SUV like I have to have a gasoline engine. But, when I bought my vehicle, the dealership had a gas engine Adventure on the showroom floor, and since I was used to driving a gas vehicle, that is what I bought. In some ways, I wish that I had gone for a diesel, but in other ways I like having a gas driven vehicle. The gas engine has more “get up and go” than a diesel does, and I like that. But, a diesel engine is much more economical to operate, as you can see by looking at the sign!
Do I worry about gas prices?
Not too much, to be honest. I don’t drive that much. I ride jeepneys most of the time, and I take taxis from time to time. I don’t take taxis often, but when necessary, I do so. Like, if I am out at the mall, and I am coming home with a few large packages, I’ll take a taxi (if I didn’t drive to the mall myself). If it is raining, I’ll take a taxi or drive. Generally, when I am going out, 90% of the time I will walk up to the main road and catch a jeepney. It is when I am returning home that I just might take a taxi, and that is only if it has started raining while I am out, if I have packages, or some similar reason. I take my own car if I am going to places that are inconvenient for a jeepney, if I am going out at night, or if there is some other reason. If I am going to a far away place, I drive. But, the vast majority of the time I ride the jeepney. The cost of the Jeepney is P8, so it’s very cheap.
How much do I spend per month on Gas?
I have not tracked that, but in general, I would say that I spend between $50 to $100 each month on gasoline. I will probably be spending about half that amount now, because in the past Feyma had a nephew who lived with us who drove her around. Recently, though, he got a job and moved out of our house, so Feyma will be using taxis and jeepneys more often, like I do. I expect that our spending on fuel will probably go down to $30 to $70 per month or so. So, as you can see, it’s not a major expense for us.
Even though I don’t spend that much on fuel, I certainly would like to see the worldwide cost of gas and other petroleum fuels go down!
Oh, how much is Diesel?
Well, given that diesel is roughly P48/liter, that would work out to about $4.33 per gallon.
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.