Working and Living in Philippines

Working and Living in Philippines

Labor market

If you want to work here, you should apply for the residence papers in advance from the Comission on Immigration and Deportation in Manila. However, a completely normal job is very difficult to find. It is also a low-wage country.

Only foreigners who are legally married to a Filipina can get a work permit. For everyone else there is only the option of a large international company or self-employment. However, the high minimum investment is only feasible for a few.

One possibility is to work as a German-speaking diving instructor if you can show a license. You have a good chance here. Beware of other, sometimes fraudulent, job offers (e.g. craftsmen) or employment agencies! With a good knowledge of English or a little Filipino you can get along well in the country.

Due to the lockdown in the corona pandemic, unemployment has risen to 17.7 percent. According to countryvv, a year ago the unemployment rate was 5.1 percent. Many employment relationships are informal and underemployment is widespread. Around a quarter of all workers work in agriculture, around 18% in industry and 56% in the service sector.

Cost of living

With around 600 euros a month, you can make ends meet fairly well, but only if you rent a cheap apartment that doesn’t meet Central European standards.

You would need around € 2,372.91 in Manila to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,700.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Manila are 39.64% lower than in Berlin (excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices in Manila are 35.87% lower than in Berlin (including rent)
  • Rental prices in Manila are 27.41% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Manila are 58.51% lower than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Manila are 30.33% lower than in Berlin
  • The local purchasing power in Manila is 79.56% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Manila (from 09/2019 – 08/2020)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 3.11 1.73-6.04
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 17.26 8.63-34.53
Local beer, 0.5 l 1.21 0.69 – 2.07
Imported beer, 0.33 l 2.24 1.29-3.45
cappuccino 2.28 1.04-3.11
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 0.62 0.43-1.04
Water (0.33 l) 0.36 0.26-0.60
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 1.50 1.21 – 2.07
White bread (500g) 1.08 0.86 – 1.73
Rice (white), (1kg) 0.93 0.78 – 1.21
Eggs (12) 1.62 0.84 – 2.07
Local cheese (1kg) 4.95 1.86-13.81
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 3.20 1.86-4.32
Beef (1kg) or other red meat 5.20 3.45 – 7.77
Apples (1kg) 2.21 1.04-3.45
Bananas (1kg) 1.33 0.69 – 2.07
Oranges (1kg) 2.03 0.86-3.45
Tomatoes (1kg) 1.32 0.52-2.07
Potatoes (1kg) 1.57 0.86-1.90
Onions (1kg) 1.66 0.69-2.76
Lettuce (1 head) 1.47 0.52-2.24
Water (1.5 l) 0.68 0.43-1.04
Bottle of wine (middle class) 6.91 4.32-10.36
Local beer (0.5 l) 0.98 0.60-1.31
Imported beer (0.33 l) 1.66 1.12 – 2.59

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Manila (from 09/2019 – 08/2020)

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 0.35 0.17-0.52
Monthly pass 11.47 7.77-17.95
Taxi base amount 0.69 0.69-0.86
Taxi 1 km 0.23 0.14-0.35
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 114.37 69.05-205.43
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.13 0.09-0.14
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 44.95 29.35-60.42
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 41.05 20.72-69.04
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 27.66 13.81-43.16
Nike sports shoes, middle class 76.11 51.79-108.76
Leather business shoes 77.07 34.53-103.58
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 44.06 17.26-60.42
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 6.04 3.45 – 7.77
a movie ticket 5.18 4.32-8.63
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 170.57 86.32-345.27
International primary school per year and child 7,337.23 3,452.68 – 17,608.65

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Manila (from 09/2019 – 08/2020)

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 537.13 379.79-1035.80
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 238.81 146.74-431.58
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 1,891.12 1,035.80-2,589.51
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 554.25 345.27 – 1,122.12
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 2,785.86 1,726.34 – 3,797.94
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase 1,737.13 1,035.80 – 2,718.78
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 361.32

Emigration and Living in the Philippines

Those who have sufficient capital and can tolerate the climate can live here very well and cheaply. If you are looking for a job, you hardly have a chance, unless you are married to a local or are a certified diving instructor. In some regions there is a danger of attacks by Islamist terrorists. Some advantages of the country: Free of nuclear power, low cost of living (LHK-I 56.6).

The Federal Foreign Office has issued the following warningMartial law will apply to
the entire island of Mindanao until at least the end of 2019. This measure includes curfews, military checkpoints and the suspension of certain civil rights, such as the right to immediate judicial review of detainees. In view of the security situation and the acute risk of kidnapping, warnings are given against traveling to the following regions or areas:

Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX), Northern Mindanao (Region X), Davao Region (Region XI), including Samal Island, but with the exception of Davao City, Soccsksargen (Region XII), Muslim Mindanao Autonomous Region (ARMM) with the Sulu -Archipelago, i.e. the islands between Mindanao and East Malaysia (such as Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan), Sulu Lake, South Palawan (south of Puerto Princesa).

Working and Living in Philippines