Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cost of living in NCR at P1,200/day—Partido ng Manggagawa estimate


Press Release
April 27, 2013

The labor party Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) released its own study of the cost of living for a family of six in Metro Manila as of April this year that reveals it has already reached P1,217 a day. "This estimate shows that the gap between the P456 minimum wage in the NCR and the present cost of living is a yawning P761 or 167% of the ordinary wage. Even if both parents work—which is the buy one, take one policy of the government—then their combined income will not be enough to feed the entire family," stated Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.

The group’s cost of living estimate did not provide for savings and social security which in the government’s basket of goods and services constitutes 10% of the cost of living. Furthermore, PM's study did not include items such as leisure and recreation, and the family budget for health excluded medical expenses. Magtubo said that "If we include such items, and we must in a more accurate survey, then the cost of living will significantly exceed P1,200 per day."

He added that "The National Wages and Productivity Council's cost of living estimate of P917 in 2008 is hopelessly outdated in the light of this study and in the face of continuing inflation." PM finds it a mystery why the NWPC has not updated its estimate for in the last five years. The group asserts that even if the P85 wage petition filed earlier this month is granted by the NCR wage board, such will not be enough to bridge the huge gap between the minimum wage and the cost of living.

PM however doubts that the NCR wage board will grant the pending wage petition. “Since the NCR wage board was established in 1989, no basic wage increase ever granted was above P30, whether the economy was in boom or bust. The wage boards must be abolished for being inutile. Its wage orders are always delayed, stingy and benefits merely a small section of workers because it is not across-the-board and riddled with exemptions, deferments and creditability clauses," declared Magtubo.

The group is advocating for the establishment of a National Wage Commission. “The National Wage Commission is different in that its mandate is to fix wages based on the single criterion of cost of living. And despite the huge gap between the present minimum wage and the current cost of living, the National Wage Commission can achieve equalizing the two by a host of mechanisms among which are direct wage increases, tax exemptions, price discounts at social security subsidies for workers,” Magtubo explained.

Magtubo also argued that "Since we should not impose the burden of household chores and child rearing to the female parent, then the basket of goods should provide for a househelp. That is not anymore a luxury especially in the light of the insistence of the state that both parents must work instead of having just a single breadwinner. Even the Kasambahay Law implicitly recognizes that a househelp is a necessity even for working class households. "

Cost of Living Estimate
for a family of 6 living in NCR (April 2013)


Items

Volume/Cost
Daily
Cost
Monthly
Cost
%
share
Food & Beverages


16,029.70
43.92
rice
2.5kg/day x P35 (sinandomeng)
87.50
2,625

ulam & gulay
3 servings (P65/pax/day x 6 pax)
390
11,700

condiments
2kg onion (P65),
1kg garlic (P109), others
7.97
239

fruits
4kg  x P40 (banana)
5.33
160

cooking oil
2 liters x P95.45
6.36
190.90

sugar
2kg x P50
3.33
100

soy sauce
1 liter P32.25
1.08
32.25

vinegar
1 liter P26.75
0.89
26.75

fish sauce
1 liter P30.75
1.03
30.75

coffee
2 (100g) x P75.90
5.06
151.80

milk
3 (900g) x P257.75
25.78
773.25

Utilities


3,400
9.32
electricity
200kwh (P11.17/kwh)
74.47
2,234

water
20cu.m. (P20.80/cu.m)
13.87
416

LPG
1 cylinder
25
750

House rental


6,000
16.44

1 month rent
200
6,000

Toiletries


1,224.10
3.35
soap
6 bars x P37.75
7.55
226.50

shampoo
2 (200ml ) x P99.80
6.65
199.60

sanitary napkins
3 (packs of 8) x P40.00
4
120

toothpaste
2 (150ml) x P67.50
4.5
135

laundry soap
24 (70g pack) x P9.50
7.60
228

deodorant
4 x P78.75
10.50
315

Education


3,748
10.27
enrollment fees
4 pax x P500 = P2000/schoolyear
5.56
167

school allowance
50 x 3 pax & 25 x 1 pax/day x 22 days x 10 months = P38,500/yr

107

3,208

theatre tickets
1 ticket x P160/grading x 4 periods x 4 pax/schoolyear
7.11
213


school projects
2 subjects x P60
/grading x 4 periods x 4 pax = P1,920/schoolyear

5.33

160

Health


198
0.54
ascorbic acid
6 (1 tablet ascorbic acid generic) X P1.10
6.60
198

Communications


1,500
4.11
phone or cellphone
at least P25/day load x 2
50
1,500

Transpo expenses


4,400
12.05
fare to and from work
2 pax x P100/day x 22days
146.67
4,400

Total

P1,216.66
P36,499.80


NOTES:

1.     Family is composed of a couple with 4 children. Children are all in public schools (3 HS level and 1 elementary), school supplies, work books expenses, internet use for research are not yet included
2.     Basket does not include bill for a house-help
3.     Utilities such as electricity and water vary from time to time depending on consumption so its ++
4.     No item for leisure/recreation
5.     Health budget does not include medical expenses
6.     No budget allotted for savings.  NWPC basket provides 10% of the total

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