Over the last year or more, I have written a lot of times on this site how prices in the Philippines have been going up quickly, how the Philippines is so much less affordable than it used to be. Feyma has said it too. Other writers on this site have echoed the thought that the Philippines is becoming more expensive to live in as the days go by.
It happened that a few days ago, I was doing some work on this site. As part of what I was doing, I was reviewing some articles from the past archives, and I happened upon an article that itemized a number of items, and what they cost to purchase. The article was entitled “How much is it to buy _____” and was originally published on February 7, 2007, about 2 1/2 years ago. The title kind of intrigued me, so I decided to go back and refresh my memory, and it was an article listing a number of items, and how much the purchase price was at that time.
Out of curiosity, I started wondering what the difference in price was now, compared to 2 1/2 years ago. I knew that prices were up, but just wanted to verify how much. So, I made a list of the items in the article, and I sent one of my nieces out to find out what the prices were today. Below, you will find a chart listing the items, their 2007 price, their 2009 price, and the percentage change in the past 2+ years. Are you ready for the results?
Everyday Philippine Price Comparison
|Frozen French Fries
|P109/2 Kg Bag
|P180/2 Kg Bag
|Sliced Chicken (Pieces)
|P299 w/free Ironing Board
|P579 no free Ironing Board
|Toilet Paper 2 Ply
|Emperador Brandy 750ml
|Carton of Winston Cigarettes (10 Pks.)
What do you think about this? I’ll be honest, even though I knew how prices had gone way up, I was rather surprised at how much they have gone up! And, these are all common household items that are used every day, or at least regularly.
OK, the only items that have not had significant inflation are the two “vice” items, cigarettes and Brandy. Not counting those two, the lowest price increase has been 33% in 2+ years, all the way up to a whopping 500% increase! A number of items are in the +100% range. Again, this is in about 2 1/2 years.
What do you think? Is the Philippines still “the cheap place” to retire? A month or two ago, I had put a Poll on the site, asking why people were interested in living here. By far, the number one response was because of the low cost of living! If prices have gone up 33 to 500% in 2.5 years, what will the prices be like 5 years from now? How about in 10 years?
Will a nice life still be possible in the Philippines a decade from now? The only way it will still be possible is if something changes. What will change?
Now, I know for sure, the first thing people will think, and possibly say in the comments is that “prices have gone up here too!” Well, yes, prices go up everywhere in the world over time. However, prices have not increased at this rate in the USA, or other developed parts of the world. In fact, in the past year, much of the developed world has experienced deflation, or prices going lower!
On top of this, in this time of economic decline in much of the world, many of us are earning less money than we did a year or two ago. If this trend continues, will you still be able to afford the “cheap living” in the Philippines?
What do you think? Does this information make you think twice, or does it alter your retirement plans? Me? I’m here to stay. I also know, though, that this is something to be watched, and plans must be made. Business must be altered in some way to earn more income instead of less. It’s the only intelligent thing to do.