A Filipino family of four will need to have a gross monthly income of P120,000 to live a “simple, comfortable life,” according to a survey conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and reported by Rappler.
The said amount will allow the family to live in a medium-sized house, own a car, travel occasionally and send two children to college, adds the report.
Majority of Filipinos would be content with a “simple, comfortable life” as 79.2% of survey participants reported that this was what they aspire for, says NEDA Director-General Emmanuel Esguerra during a media forum. Among those surveyed, 16.9% Filipinos say they who want an affluent life, and the remaining aspire for the life of the rich.
To reach the P120,000 dream, a two-parent family will need to earn P60,000 each per month. With the Philippine’s average monthly wage at just P11,700 (calculated by the International Labor Organization) the dream feels far from achievable.
However, the study does not mean to show us what our country and its people lack. Esguerra clarifies the study is meant to be more of a "vision" for the Philippines by 2040, 14 years from now. “This is not meant to be prescriptive. This is just saying where Filipinos want to go, and the trade-offs. This is a vision.”
To put things into perspective, based on the NCR commodity price index in 2011, a family will need P993 a day to cover average daily costs, showed by data collected by IBON Foundation. NCR’s minimum wage is at P426 a day, a number that doesn’t even cover half of it. Our estimate also shows it will take a middle class family about P5 million to raise a child born in 2015 and living in Metro Manila.
But hope isn’t lost. Alvin Ang, Ph. D., professor of economics at the Ateneo de Manila University says P5 million isn’t as staggering as it seems. “Since the Philippine economy is getting better now, babies born around this time will grow up enjoying lower costs compared to the income that their parents will be earning.”
Also believing in what a strong economic growth can achieve is NEDA Deputy Director-General Rosemarie Edillon who says the P120,000 “simple, comfortable life” goal will be easier to attain if the economy continues to grow. “The Philippines will be able to eradicate poverty should it triple the per capita income over 25 years,” Edillon told reporters.