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A list of things underpriced and overpriced in Philippines

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A list of things underpriced and overpriced in Philippines

Post by Winston » March 29th, 2008, 9:00 am

A list of things underpriced and overpriced in the Philippines, explanations?

Hi all,
Just to show you how strange prices are here in the Philippines, here
is a list of things that are dirt cheap and things that are overly

Underpriced items:

- Movies - only 80 pesos or $2 (compared to the $7 in US suburbs and $9-10 in US cities)

- Haircut - 40 pesos/$1 if at salon in local neighborhood or
nontouristy area, or 60 pesos/$1.50 if downtown. (compared to $10 and up in the US)

- Meals - usually between 100 pesos and 200 pesos (3 to 4 dollars) for
a full meal at a restaurant, or a bit more if it caters to westerners,
but still cheaper than in the US, where the average restaurant meal is $7.

- Taxis in Manila - $2/80 pesos for a 15-20 minute ride by meter!

- Jeepney - 7.5 pesos, just under 20 cents.

- Intercity buses - $3 or 120 pesos for a 90 minute ride between
Manila and Angeles City

Overpriced items:

Now here's the weird part.

Electronic items tend to be double the price of the US and UK!

- digital cameras - gotta spend at least $250 for a decent one whereas
in the US you can now get a decent one for around $100

- camcorders - similar to above

- laptops - now 10,000p or $500 for state of the art capacity (used to
be a lot more), whereas in the US, you can get a state of the art
laptop for half that price (check ebay).

- cell phones - has gone down recently, but still 25 or 30 percent
higher prices than in the US, on the average

(I've never understood why electronic items are more expensive in Asia
than in the US, since most of them are made in Asia!)

Snacks imported from the US are also more expensive than they are in
the US.

- Hershey's kisses - a total ripoff, but my Filipina girlfriend
pressures me to buy them for her! Here a SMALL bag is 184 pesos,
that's over $4! In the US, you can get a large bag of Hershey's
kisses for 2 or 3 dollars! Who in their right mind would pay that
much for it?

- Doritos, Pringles - same as above, almost double the cost as in the US.

Anyhow, those are some of the bizarre prices here in the Philippines.

I still don't get how most Filipiinos who make around $8 or $10 a day
can afford anything above at all, even the underpriced items, esp the electronics stuff that are double the price of them in the US and UK. It doesn't add up and everyone I ask just gives vague answers or guesses. The math doesn't add up and I can't find a satisfactory explanation.


PS - A guy on the Streetwise Philippines Yahoo Group added these examples: ... sage/26061
Add to the list of items priced the same as or higher than in the US:
- some health supplements like CO-Q10. About twice as high.
- Gas: About 44 to 48pp per liter. Over $4/gallon. I wonder how the
taxi drivers make a living.
- Electricity: A pinay I know runs a salon in Manila. It isn't that
big, but her electric bill can get up to 40,000pp per month during the
hot season. Higher than the rent she pays for her space!
- DSL service. That 999pp per month basic service is about $25. For
that amount, I get AT&T's mid-tier service at home.

One time I visited and my hosts prevailed on me to take them to the
duty-free shop near the airport. This is sort of like a indoor mall
and you can pay in dollars here. They'll even charge your credit card
in dollars. But ... the prices are almost invariably higher than in
the US and I let my hosts know what I thought about the prices they
were paying. They still bought a lot, but I refused to buy much due to
the prices. I prefer to bring some pasalubong from the US.
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Post by momopi » March 29th, 2008, 6:44 pm

Might want to check the import duties on electronic goods.

Many, many years ago, before NAFTA, I had a friend who "moved" to Mexico every weekend in his camper. He'd bring with him, 1 computer, 1 microwave, 1 TV, 1 VCR, etc., which was permitted and tax exempt. Once he was over the border, he'd have someone buy the goods off him in cash, and he "moves" back to the US a couple days later.

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Re: A list of things underpriced and overpriced in Philippin

Post by Zambales » May 27th, 2016, 9:13 pm

Cigarettes, beer from sari-sari's, laundry - all cheap

Footwear by Nike etc. & backpacks - expensive

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