Living in Manila just got pricier for expats
MANILA, Philippines – The cost of living in Manila just got more expensive, making it a little pricier for expatriates to live in the metro, according to the 2019 Cost of Living Ranking of human resource consulting firm Mercer.
Manila ranked 109th out of 210 surveyed cities, 29 places up from 2018. The city posted the 4th sharpest climb in the world.
Other cities which registered the biggest jumps were Ashgabat in Turkmenistan (43rd to 7th), Phnom Penh in Cambodia (142nd to 108th), and Havana in Cuba (165th to 133rd).
While Manila is still found in the middle of Mercer's survey, the report noted that both the government and the private sector must look into the factors why the cost of living shot up drastically in just a year.
"While the Philippines' robust economic growth continues to attract talent, business, and investments from all over the world, the findings of Mercer's 2019 Cost of Living study should signal its public and private sectors to take a deeper look and start a conversation on which factors are behind the dramatic increase in its cost of living from 2018 to 2019, and how they can be addressed or mitigated to ensure the country's continued competitiveness," said Mario Ferraro, Mercer's mobility leader for Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
Eight of the top 10 cities in the 2019 ranking are in Asia due in part to a strong housing market. The cities are:
- Hong Kong
- Tokyo, Japan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Shanghai, China
- Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
- Beijing, China
- New York, United States
- Shenzhen, China
Hong Kong remains the most expensive city for expatriates both in Asia and globally as a result of the housing market and currency being pegged to the US dollar, driving up the cost of living locally.
Mumbai (67th) is India's most expensive city, followed by New Delhi (118th) and Chennai (154th).
Bangkok, Thailand jumped 12 places to 40th, while Hanoi, Vietnam (112th) and Jakarta, Indonesia (105th) rose in the ranking, up by 25 and 12 spots, respectively.
Meanwhile, the report stated that the cheapest cities in the world are Banjul, Gambia; Bishkek, Kyrgyztan; Karachi, Pakistan; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and Tunis, Tunisia.
Mercer's survey takes into account food, alcohol and tobacco, domestic supplies, housing, clothing, home services, utilities, personal care, transportation, and recreational activities to compute for the cost of living.
Mercer said governments and major companies use the survey to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad. – Rappler.com