A lot of people, who are planning to come to the Philippines, like to know more or less the costs of living in the Philippines. How much you actually need per month depends on the lifestyle you are going to live here and the needs you have. In this list I’m giving you some prices of basic needs for living in the Philippines.

I realize that the list is far from complete. If you want to know more about specific items or products, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it.

Most prices (all in pesos) I?m mentioning here, vary from one location to the other. Personally I?m living nearby Manila and the prices mentioned here are from this region and from may 2009. Prices of food products are lower when bought on a wet market.

1 US$ is about 47.3 pesos. 1 Euro is about 65.5 pesos ( as of may 28, 2009)

HOUSING

Renting a house, check also my post about this subject by clicking here
Depending on the subdivision it can go from 6,000 and more pesos a month. The state of security, location, building quality and type of house is forming the prizes.

Apartments in better areas in Manila can be rented from 15,000 and up (depending on location)

Bying a house and lot, check also my post about this subject here
The same as in renting: the better the subdivision, the higher the prizes are. Can go up to 100 million or more. Also depending on the lot size.

Apartments (studio?s) can be bought from 3 million and up.

MISCELLANEOUS

Health care insurances, check my post about this subject here
Cheapest is PhilHealth, costs 100 pesos a month, but doesn?t cover all expenses. Insurances that cover most expenses costs sometimes up to 1,000 US$ a month and are mostly international companies.

Owning a car, check also my post about this subject here
It?s not realy necessary to own a private car, because public transport is not expensive, but also not always very comfortable.
Brand new cars can be bought from around 600.000 pesos and up depending on brand and model. (see the websites of the car dealers). Used cars are also available but not always reliable.

Fuel
Diesel, around 25 pesos per liter

Gasoline, around 32 pesos per liter

Car insurance
Depending on brand and model, from 15,000 pesos a year and up

Telephone
*landline
On most places in the PI landline is available but not always working 24 h a day. Major city?s have no problems. Costs depending on kind of contract from 700 pesos and up per month.
Local calls are mostly free.

*mobile
Most available is prepaid. Several providers and each has a lot of options. Usually only used to send texts (SMS). Each text costs 1 peso (same network) or up to 3 pesos (to different network)
Text abroad costs from 15 pesos and up.
Calling from cell phone is expensive and can go up until 20 pesos per minute.

Internet
Reliable DSL only available in populated areas
Several providers available. Like PLDT, but also wireless broadband like Smart Bro.
Prices vary on speed and contract. Count around 1000 pesos for acceptable speed.

Electricity
Widely available in the PI, but not always 24/7 available (remote areas), After a storm or other calamity there might be ab interuption of electricity from a few hours to several days.
System: 220 to 240 volts @ 60Hz
Costs vary a lot on what appliances are used in the house. Air conditioners are consuming a lot of energy.(more than 1500 watts p h)
Without aircon count 1000 to 2000 a month.

Water, tap
City areas mostly have water distribution system, none in remote areas
Water distribution, if available, about 200 to 300 per month.
Water, drinking
Drinking water is available at specialized shops. Costs about 20 to 30 pesos per 5 gallons.

Cooking gas
Per container available
Prizes vary a lot depending on brand and location. At the moment around 50 pesos per kg.

Electric appliances Widely available in different qualities, also imported brands available.
When coming to PI, you might bring your own appliances. For US appliances you need to have a converter. They usually work fine here.
System here is 220-240 volts @ 60Hz. (Two wires of 110-120 volts, making 220 volts together) check also here
Earth (grounding) is hardly used in the Philippines.

Furniture
Bringing your own furniture to the Philippines might be a good idea !!
Quality of local furniture is low, mostly made of pressed wood covered with plastic or paper finish.
Solid wood furniture also available, even made to order, but more expensive.

San Miguel beer
The best beer in the Philippines, and my favorite
Available in Pale Pilsen: 19 pesos per 320 ml (bottle) and 23 pesos (can)
San Mig Light (low calories, but same alcohol 5 vol%) 21 per bottle, and 25 pesos (can)

Imported beers
Only in selected supermarkets and liquor stores available
American: Budweiser
Mexican: Corona
European: Heineken (80 pesos per bottle)

Clothing
Compared to western stores, cheap, but also quality is low. Imported (designer) clothing is available in major cities but expensive.
Simple shorts and t-shirts (for daily use) can easily be bought here and are not expensive (from 50 pesos and up).

FOOD

Prices vary a lot, depending on the location where you buy and season availability. During Christmas season prices of meat and vegetables go up sometimes 20% or more.
Meat, Chicken, Fruits and Vegetables are cheaper on the wet markets and more expensive in supermarkets.

Bread, loaf, white
Depending on brand from 45 and up per 500 grams

Bread, loaf, whole wheat
Depending on brand from 55 and up per 500 grams

Butter
From 70 and up per 200 grams

Milk Fresh
A lot of varieties available, local and imported (mostly Australia) from 55 pesos and up per liter

Milk (powdered)
Several brands available, around 175 pesos per 700 grams

Nescafe instant coffee
75 pesos per 100 grams

Sugar white
About 30 pesos per kg

Cooking oil
Market: 50 pesos per liter

Supermarket: from 85 pesos and up per liter

Pork meat
From 120 pesos per kg and up, widely available

Beef
From 200 pesos per kg and up (depending on cut), NOT widely available

Chicken
From 110 pesos per kg, widely available

Fish fresh
Widely available, price depending on location and kind of fish, seasonal prices.

Bananas
From 30 pesos per kg

Mangoes
From 60 pesos and up per kg (depending on quality and season)

Pineapple (fresh)
From 10 to 15 pesos per piece (small) and up, depending per season

Potatoes, good quality
From 45 pesos per kg and up (depending on season)

Rice
From 25 per kg and up depending on the kind of rice and quality

GOING OUT

Cinema
Prices vary, but you can see a good movie for 100 pesos

Fine dining
Depending on the kind of restaurant. About 500 pesos and up per head.

Local restaurants and food stalls
From 50 pesos and up

Junk food restaurants like McDonalds, Jollibee etc
Burger and large fries and soda about 100 pesos, also other meals available from 50 pesos and up

Beer in a local bar, beer-house
25 pesos and up, drinks for entertainment girls are 75 pesos and up

Drinks in a fancy bar or restaurant
70 pesos and up

Taxi
Depending on the distance, but always ask first to put the taximeter on, otherwise do not get in the taxi.

About 100 pesos for a twenty minute ride.

Official airport taxi (yellow color) is more expensive than a normal taxi.

Jeepney
About 7 to 8 pesos for the first 4.5 km

Tricycle
8 to 8.5 pesos per head, if only one passenger you have to pay double.

Public bus
Depending on the distance and quality of the bus. In Manila from 10 to 40 pesos.

Going to the province by bus is also possible on a few terminals, prices vary on the destination and quality of the bus. From 100 pesos and up to above 1000 pesos

Domestic flights
Available from: Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific, Asian Spirit, Pacific Air, SEair.

For prices check their respective websites. One way tickets already from about 1300 pesos all in.

EMPLOYEES

Maid, general help in the house
From 2500 p.month and up, +board and lodging

Yaya, help for small children, usually with diplomas
From 5000 p.month, +board and lodging

Private driver, serves mostly also as gardener
From 7000 p.month