More than 4 in 10 Filipinos who are poor actually have jobs. They continue to struggle with poverty because they are employed in poor-quality jobs that pay less than what their counterparts in manufacturing industries get.

But as a growth driver for the country’s economy, manufacturing lags behind the services sector, including wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, real estate, tourism, financial and insurance, health and social work, and public administration and defense.

Since less than 10 percent of the population has a per capita income above the global middle-income level, the [Philippines] is still a long way from achieving its goal of becoming a middle-class society,” says the PEU report released this week.

While more jobs may have been created during the recent period of sustained economic growth, mean wage rates have “remained stagnant and people are getting poor-quality and low-paying jobs” mainly in the agriculture and service sectors.

The manufacturing sector continues to account for the lowest share—18.1 percent—of the nation’s employed population as of January 2019. The services sector is the top employer with 55.9 percent of the nation’s workers while agriculture has 26 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Of particular concern to analysts at the World Bank is the high incidence of poverty even among households where the head of the family has a job. The poverty rate in these households hovers close to the national average of 21.6 percent, according to World Bank calculations.

The Philippine labor market suffers from a lack of quality jobs, which means “most of the poor are working poor”, as low-paying jobs of underemployment prevent them from graduating out of poverty, says the PEU.

Some households, the report cites as an example, earn as little as P50 to P100 a day, or close to $1.00 to $2.00 usd and many urban poor are “trapped in a low-wage and low-productivity jobs in the informal sector.

Metro Manila Minimum Wage Increase

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on November 5, 2018 confirmed the P25 across-the-board wage hike for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila.

New minimum wage rates for agricultural workers, firms in the manufacturing sector with at most 10 workers, and firms in the retail as well as service sectors with at most 15 workers will earn at least P500 ($10.00 usd) daily, from the previous P475.

Non-agricultural workers, meanwhile, will soon have a daily minimum wage of P537 from P512.

Under Wage Order No. 22, the P10 cost of living allowance (COLA) will also become part of the basic pay. Previously, the minimum basic pay ranged from P465 to P502, with an additional P10 COLA.

National Wages and Productivity Commission Executive Director Criselda Sy explained that the integration of COLA in the basic pay means bigger computations for overtime pay and 13th month pay.

The new wage order will be effective 15 days from publication in a newspaper. Sy said a copy of the order will be sent to their office on Monday afternoon.

The order was signed by DOLE, the Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority, and an employers’ group representative. Labor group representatives signed the order, but with reservations.

What Is Average Salary For Top Paying Jobs In The Philippines?

Based on average salary pay survey (2,378 individual salary profiles) average GROSS salary in Philippines is PHP 806,560. Average NET salary is PHP 627,333. The most frequent GROSS salary is PHP 331,599. The most frequent education is Bachelors Degree. The most frequent experience are 4-8 Years.

CareerAvg. gross salary(in USD)Profiles
Human Resources ManagerPHP 1,142,018US$ 24,164160
CPA – Certified Public AccountantPHP 781,689US$ 16,44178
Human ResourcePHP 480,093US$ 10,07967
IT ManagerPHP 1,470,798US$ 31,68848
EngineerPHP 433,228US$ 9,19846
Call CenterPHP 312,007US$ 6,84045
General ManagerPHP 2,099,246US$ 43,78541
ManagerPHP 1,307,629US$ 27,57741
AccountantPHP 387,015US$ 8,29140
Software DeveloperPHP 810,740US$ 17,24138
CityAvg. gross salary(in USD)Profiles
ManilaPHP 875,732US$ 18,7671,269
Quezon CityPHP 695,540US$ 14,937233
PasigPHP 1,007,247US$ 21,407158
Cebu CityPHP 717,953US$ 15,277147
TaguigPHP 947,908US$ 19,899137
Davao CityPHP 626,707US$ 13,31976
LioiloPHP 640,288US$ 13,29418
AntipoloPHP 528,629US$ 11,35518
Jeepney most common way of travel

Cost of living in The Philippines (average)

  • Jeepney ride – ₱10 (medium distance transport)
  • Cost of fuel per liter – ₱58 +
  • Tricycad – city transport – ₱6 +
  • Small bottle of water – ₱15-20
  • Average local meal with meat – ₱69

60 pesos (₱60) = USD$1.37 approx

A village girl or boy brought to a town to work as a house keeper can be paid as little as 0 to 50 pesos per day. They are given accommodation and meals (basic, rice our flour).

Official minimum wage in The Philippines is based on regions, and noted later on. also you have low income earnings, middle income earnings, and upper income earnings which will also give examples below.

Low income earnings: 

The average security guard man or woman earns ₱358 per day ($6.97)

The average housekeeper earns ₱370($7.21) per day

The Jollibee (fast food) starting salary is ₱500($9.74) per day

receptionist earns: ₱300 ($5.84) per day

(it should be noted that government regulation states benefits should be given to every permanent employee. So most employers only hire people for 5 months then release them. Supermarket chains and fast food restaurants in particular)

Middle Income Earnings

A starting bank teller earns ₱10,000 – p11,000 ($194.73 – $214.19) per month

A call center employee earns ₱15,500 ($301.79) per month

A office administrator earns ₱15,000 ($292.06) per month

A basic teacher earns ₱18,555($361.36) per month

Note: there are hidden extras in many middle-income salaries. Many will also be given a free sack of rice every month, a health care plan and transport. Depending on the job and circumstances.

Upper income

A doctor earns between ₱41,205 ($802.64) per month

A airline pilot earns ₱59,559 ($1,160.18) per month

How Much Does Government Official In The Philippines Make?

PositionSalary gradeMonthly salary
President33₱399,739 ($7,784.21)
Vice-President32₱353,470 ($6,883.20)
Senate President32₱353,470 ($6,883.20)
Senators31₱295,191 ($5,748.32)
Members of the House of Representatives31₱295,191 ($5,748.32)
Provincial Governor30₱196,206 ($3,820.42)
Provincial Vice-Governor28₱153,658 ($2,991.95)
City Mayor30₱196,206 ($3,820.42)
Vice Mayor (Manila, QC, and highly urbanized cities)28₱153,658 ($2,991.95)
Vice Mayor (component cities)26₱120,337 ($2,343.23)


The massive fringe benefits politicians get in The Philippines. Not forgetting the wealth of political dynasties, perks, expenses, shady business partnerships and corruption the countries politicians have been known for. They are among the richest earners, one way or another. there was a story I was told about a politician that came in to the waitress job she said “the politician came in as he does regularly and orders ₱10,000 ($194.76) steak dinners for him and his guest” which is probably more than a month of her pay but what was not something that happened regularly was the little girl that came to finish what was leftover on the plates. The scale is odd in itself not only from the larger gaps or the minimum pay but look at the class difference you have a security guard making less than a fast-food cashier, a teacher making only $70.00 more than that fast food employee. its no surprise as to why money can actually and does contribute to bribes and unethical situations I am guilty of this during my first trip I arrived at the airport and the line was extremely long a employee approached me and asked me which terminal after I told him he stated if I had $20.00 he could get me pass security I agreed and he put my luggage on a cart and escorted me with a nod to security took me to the front of the line and helped me obtain my boarding pass. not bad for two days worth of pay only breached security and could have potentially put others in harm.

Bonuses and other incentives

The highest officials of the land aren’t entitled to receive additional compensations like allowances.

They are however entitled by the constitution to charge their basic living expenses to the government. On top of that, they are entitled to a mid-year bonus which is equivalent to one (1) month basic salary as of May 15.

It will be granted to those who have rendered at least four (4) months of satisfactory service and are still in the service as of the same date, to be given not earlier than May 15 of every year.

The existing Year-End Bonus equivalent to one (1) month basic salary and Cash Gift at prescribed rates shall be given in November of every year.

Regional Minimum Wage Difference

As I wrote above the minimum wage is not a national minimum wage and differs by which is broken up by 16 regions. wages are also paid by day and not by hour.


NCR500.00 – 537.00
CAR300.00 – 320.00
REGION I273.00 – 340.00
REGION II320.00 – 360.00
REGION III284.00 – 400.00
REGION IV-A303.00 – 400.00
REGION IV-B294.00 – 320.00
REGION V310.00
REGION VI295.00 – 365.00
REGION VII313.00 – 386.00
REGION VIII285.00 – 315.00
REGION IX303.00 – 316.00
REGION X331.00 – 365.00
REGION XI381.00 – 396.00
REGION XII290.00 – 311.00
ARMM270.00 – 280.00

(source) Dept of labor and employment Philippines

Manila with a population of 13,698,889 people has 3.1 million of these people being homeless. the city has the highest homeless population of any in the world. In the Philippines, more than 1.2 million children are homeless and over half of these are found in Manila. There are an estimated 6,000 slum- dwellers from 800 families living in cemetery slums in Manila North. Within these slums, frequent, violent anti-drug raids by the Philippine National Police which have killed more than 12,000 people since June 2016. the killings are linked to a war on drugs that President Rodrigo Duterte strictly enforces. Slums are scattered over 526 communities in all municipalities of Metro Manila the facts stated about poverty in Manila illustrate the extremes the people of this city live under, but this does not illustrate facts of there not being a opportunity for change. this is where we come in supporters and Project Payatas we can work in the Philippines to help the urban citizens in poverty and improve their quality of life. I wrote this to bring understanding of how critical this situation is and to answer the questions I get ” why don’t they work?”, “why do the people not provide for the children”? well as you can see many do work unfortunately just enough to have enough strength to work and make other peoples lives easier including our own. could you imagine living on just 5-10 dollars a day? many companies in the US take advantage of the minimum daily wages in the Philippines as capitol gain so does the number of children suffering.

utility and necessity cost

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant200.00 ₱150.00-350.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course1,000.00 ₱700.00-1,200.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)150.00 ₱100.00-200.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught)65.00 ₱50.00-100.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle)100.00 ₱70.00-150.00
Cappuccino (regular)129.52 ₱100.00-150.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle)34.30 ₱25.00-50.00
Water (12 oz small bottle)18.86 ₱15.00-50.00
Milk (regular), (1 gallon)302.09 ₱264.98-367.19
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)50.60 ₱45.36-58.97
Rice (white), (1 lb)22.78 ₱18.14-30.39
Eggs (regular) (12)80.94 ₱60.00-100.00
Local Cheese (1 lb)116.47 ₱51.30-272.16
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb)81.84 ₱63.50-106.59
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)137.17 ₱104.33-204.12
Apples (1 lb)65.78 ₱40.82-90.72
Banana (1 lb)31.15 ₱18.60-45.36
Oranges (1 lb)60.33 ₱27.22-90.72
Tomato (1 lb)32.96 ₱22.68-45.36
Potato (1 lb)40.82 ₱27.22-45.36
Onion (1 lb)41.05 ₱27.22-60.33
Lettuce (1 head)70.00 ₱30.00-120.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle)38.55 ₱25.00-50.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)400.00 ₱250.00-500.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)47.80 ₱40.00-63.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle)80.50 ₱65.00-100.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)97.50 ₱60.00-110.00
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)20.00 ₱10.00-30.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)600.00 ₱450.00-1,000.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)40.00 ₱40.00-40.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff)21.73 ₱12.87-25.75
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)120.00 ₱120.00-150.00
Gasoline (1 gallon)201.67 ₱170.34-222.58
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)936,900.00 ₱898,000.00-1,500,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)956,248.18 ₱750,000.00-1,100,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment6,929.55 ₱4,000.00-10,000.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)7.65 ₱6.00-10.00
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)2,807.22 ₱1,500.00-4,000.00
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult2,557.27 ₱1,500.00-3,500.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)320.00 ₱150.00-500.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat300.00 ₱230.00-350.00
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child9,502.04 ₱5,000.00-20,000.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child357,399.49 ₱200,000.00-1,000,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)2,499.95 ₱1,538.93-3,500.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …)1,512.46 ₱1,000.00-2,500.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)4,175.95 ₱3,000.00-5,000.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes4,325.00 ₱3,000.00-5,000.00
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre28,871.11 ₱15,000.00-40,000.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre11,238.10 ₱8,500.00-20,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre86,800.00 ₱35,000.00-150,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre24,350.00 ₱18,000.00-45,000.00
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre12,795.18 ₱8,268.30-18,580.45
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre6,157.36 ₱3,251.58-8,361.20
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax)22,499.70 ₱
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate8.066.50-10.00

Prices in Manila

CategoryAmount in USD
Clothing And Shoes85.38
Sports And Leisure168.46
Utilities (Monthly)237.53
Rent Per Month737.16

Nearby cities:

Cost of Living in Pasay5.21 miles
Cost of Living in Mandaluyong6.99 miles
Cost of Living in Makati7.06 miles
Cost of Living in Dasmarinas7.30 miles
Cost of Living in Quezon City7.32 miles
Cost of Living in Valenzuela10.08 miles
Cost of Living in Pasig11.22 miles
Cost of Living in Cainta11.89 miles
Cost of Living in Bacoor12.87 miles
Cost of Living in Imus14.50 miles

support and create opportunity here.

Project Payatas Inc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Federal Tax ID: 83-4286912.)
%d bloggers like this: