Inflation Rate for January 2011 Rises 3.5 % in the Philippines

The Philippines' inflation rate rose to 3.5 % for January 2011, the highest level in the past five months. The increase was mainly due to higher food and fuel costs.  December's rate was 3%. We'll be doing our monthly shopping trip in Iloilo this Saturday, and it will be interesting to see if we notice any substantial increase in prices. One thing that is hurting us, however, is the poor rice production on my mother-in-law's land she leases in Guimaras.My Baby Seems that the land The Feared Giant Lizard was leasing to a schoolteacher was hit hard by an insect infestation which destroyed most of her rice crop.  Because of this, my mother-in-law has voided the lease and the school teacher that was leasing the land had to pay P5000 (around 114 US Dollars) to my mother-in-law. The rice fields have been sprayed since the insect invasion, but it was too late to help the current crop. We've only had to buy a 120 pound bag of rice once this past August since we moved to the Philippines in July 2009. My wife informs me that we are out of rice and will have to buy another bag from her cousin Emma's "Jade and Joe Market" (it used to be just the "Jade Market", but son Joe's name  has been added to the signage.)

Fortunately, my sister-in-law Marjorie, who is working in Kuwait as a domestic helper,   has sent some of her wages to her bank account in Iloilo, and my wife will be getting P2000 (about 45.69 US Dollars), most of which will go for the purchase of the rice which sold for P1,750 at Cousin Emma's market last August.   That nowhere covers the expense we have in caring for Marjorie's 11-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter that we support at "The Compound," but it helps. But since Marjorie only makes 200 USD a month and has to pay off loans she acquired in order to get to the job in Kuwait, she doesn't have much cash to spare.  A bag of rice seems to be lasting a little shy of three months, and I seldom eat any.  I'm still somewhat a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy from the Midwest,  but will have rice when I eat fish for my dinner.

But with four out five people in our household eating rice three times a day, it seems that the 120 pound bag of rice is stretching pretty far. Just wish that my mother-in-law's rice production in Guimaras would pick up again. The rainy season is over now, and the hot and dry weather will start again soon. Despite some cooler weather this past December and January, it looks like we'll have to run the fan at a higher speed tonight for the first time in two weeks. But all things considered, we're doing fine, and it sure beats working and driving to the job site in bitter cold and on dangerous snowy roads. That I don't miss at all!

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28 Comments on Inflation Rate for January 2011 Rises 3.5 % in the Philippines

  1. Good timing on this article Dave, I asked a question on your “money” article yesterday if the cost of living was rising faster in the USA or the Philippines recently. The highest inflation worldwide lately is coming from food and energy prices, and since poor countries spend a greater portion of their income on food and energy it impacts them more.

  2. Dave, why did the insect infestation that destroyed the schoolteacher’s rice crop force her to pay your mother-in-law P5000 and have her lease voided? Is the schoolteacher considered responsible for the insect infestation?

    • Lance…I think its the culture there……..if you plant rice or lease the ground for a share of the crop…there best by hell or high water be a crop or you the person that leased the ground are in deep do-do..other wise you will end up paying any way…..I quess in one way would be better to lease for cash money up front……..but probably there in the Phillipines very few have the cash money up fron to pay for a years lease or what ever so they cut a deal with the land oner for a share of the crop or crops, etc.

      • I have to get the details on the lease, Dan and Lance, but I’m inclined to go with Dan’s explanation. The lady had to borrow money from the bank to pay off my mother-in-law, I do know that, but once I get this last shopping trip out of the way today in Iloilo, I’ll be able to research the matter more.

  3. If Marjorie only makes 200 USD a month working in Kuwait as a domestic helper and she doesn’t have much cash to spare after paying off loans she acquired in order to get to the job, then it sounds like she might have been better off financially trying to get a job or start her own business in the Philippines (like your brother-in-law did). Plus she wouldn’t be away from her kids.

    • Sounds about right to me also a there Lance..$200.00 usa a month in Kuwait as rich a country as that is..is nothing more than slave labor…I am thinking the people that come out on top on all these OFW’S is the companys that get the work or the middle people and the poor worker is a slave for a long time..sucks bad to me…….

      • The Koran says that slavery of non-muslims by muslims is okay but most muslim countries (including Kuwait) have outlawed it nowadays. However the attitude still exists today amongst some muslims who see it as okay because their prophet Mohammed himself was a slave trader.

        I wish the Philippines government would get it’s act together and pull the country out of poverty, then Filipinos wouldn’t have to work overseas for slave wages.

        • I doubt that the Philippine government will do anything but give lip service to the OFW issue, Lance. So many are treated as slaves and are victims of physical and sexual abuse. It’s an outrage, but as long as the OFWs keep sending money home, the government is happy.

          • Unfortunate about the govt of the Philippines. It will take some time, but the recent reduction in the birthrate will help Filipinos, parents can afford to better educate each of their fewer children and an overall smaller labor supply will drive up wages and then fewer workers will have to go overseas to find a job.

          • I didn’t realize there was a recent reduction on the birthrate, Lance. I think I have 999 nieces and nephews in the Philippines at last count. However, if the proposed RH (Reproductive Health) bill passes in the Philippines, the rate should go down even more, if it passes. President Aquino has already stated that the bill is not one of his priority pieces of legislation he wants passed.

          • Dave..You said something been wondering for a long time about..{but as long as the OFWs keep sending money home, the government is happy.} so my question is……does the goverment get a cut of the OFW money they send home? If so……then that is also a shame……

          • The OFW remittances help boost the economy of the Philippines, Dan, and helps them sustain their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth. I notice Lance’s comments now, and it looks like OFWs in Canada have to pay a tax to the Philippines government. Well, I checked with my wife who worked as an OFW in Taiwan and Singapore, and she also had to pay an OFW tax to the Philippines. Now that really sucks!

          • Dan, Filipinos working in Canada have to pay a special OFW tax to the govt of the Philippines. This is in addition to any Canadian taxes they pay. But once they become Canadian citizens they can drop their Philippines citizenship and stop paying the OFW tax.

          • The birthrate in the Philippines has been trending downwards for at least the last 10 years. There was a spike up in 2008 but then it resumed it’s downward trend.
            http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=rp&v=31
            However at 3.3 children born per woman it is still way above the replacement level of 2.1.

          • Thanks for the info, Lance the Canadian. Well, hopefully the birthrate will continue to go down. So many people here unable to feed the children they already have, unfortunately.

      • It does pretty much amount to slavery, Dan. My wife worked as an OFW in Taiwan for two straight years without ONE day off. It was in violation of her contract, but if she complained, another Filipina would just take her place.

        • That is why they can get away with it……because some one else take the persons place that complain…well..glad she got a good Kano dude like you to take care of her…..there a Dave…..

  4. Richard D // 02/06/2011 at 7:35 am //

    This is my first time growing rice but I think we are doing OK. I can see some damage, and I was told it is a lack of fertilizer and spraying for bugs. Last year when we bought our land it was already planted and the people owed us 25% of the crop for leasing it. I am assuming this is the same with the school teacher and since she didn’t treat the rice properly then she owes what should have been the yield to your mother in law. We had to politely inform the leaser that they owed us our 25%, while they fussed about that being their only profit and why did a rich Kano need the rice. In the end they gave us most of it. I figured they felt they got over on me and I got some rice which was not top grade and I gave it to my workers. So we both won and everyone was happy. I have noticed increased fuel cost, and food cost, but the pigs are selling for less and still selling for the same thing at the store. Well maybe the price will come up this year, I won’t have any for sell for months anyway. We only pay around 1550 for 50 kilos of rice.

  5. Gary Wigle // 02/06/2011 at 9:16 am //

    Got my electric bill yesterday. Went down, must of been the cool weather. Less fan use. 698.4 pesos for the 3 of us.

    Went to the supermarket at G-Mall and Meriam spent 7,000 pesos. The highest yet. I did see some great looking porterhouse steak but didn’t buy any.

    Richard: I would be VERY careful having folks fuss at you there. Abu Sayyaf and the New People’s Army are very active there. Even the police have to be very careful.

    73 de kb0ni

    • Richard D // 02/06/2011 at 3:21 pm //

      Gary, I didn’t speak to them. My partner has a Filipina wife that did all the talking and her father has some ties with the NPA, so I’m not really worried about that. Abu Sayyaf in Davao del Norte? Maybe you know something I don’t. I just treat people with respect and they don’t give me trouble. I do know some foreigners here that might get in trouble one day.

    • 698.4 pesos is a great rate, Gary. We just went grocery shopping at SM City Saturday and spent a total of 8,500 Pesos for five of us, including me. I got all my groceries for the month, and my wife will spend maybe another 1500 pesos the rest of the month for the rest of our group.

  6. Dave…sounds like you will have to take charge of the rice fields and get the production up. Time to get the wife and the neices and nephews along with the Mother in-law with her whip made from a giant Phython she got with one of her bolos a few years back and had the skin made into a whip, out there taking care of business. They say that rice will be going up along with other things this year…….funny I can still buy 5 kilo of some of California/s best Niko Niko Calrose rice for $9.99…thats pretty cheap here,but dandy rice…..I used to be more of a spud guy my self untill starting eating rice and so like rice better than spuds other than Sweet Potatos..So..maybe the wild Mother in Law has a big garden there…that would stretch out the bucks a lot I would think depending on that you plant…

    • Good idea Dan to get Dave out into the rice field, he did after all say he didn’t like how his legs were dazzling white. He will have them tanned in no time. :)

      • Yes!, Lance…be good for him and win him a few brownie points with the Lovley wife of his and is dear a there a Mom-in-law…and probably the rest of the neighbor hood…show them a kano can work heavy and hard and are not lazy…

        • That’s the only reason I get the water, Dan, although I AM incredibly lazy when it comes to manual work. I just do it for the brownie points.

    • Dan, to be honest, I’m too lazy to take over the production of the rice fields. I’m too busy “working” on this website, and I want to tell you it’s hot out there. The farm is literally in the middle of the jungle filled with pythons.
      Your rice is pretty cheap, that’s a good price. I’m still sticking with the potatoes, and not rice, guess this old dog doesn’t want to change, but I do like sweet potatoes.

      The Sainted Patient Wife did have a garden last year, but the lot she used is overrun with weeds again, and our main week pickers, our twin nieces Michelle and April left “The Compound” to go to college and be with their Mom in Manila.

      • well..that sounds like a good new kind of business to get into…rounding up the pythons and skinning them out and who knows maybe snake meatis good fryed with rice……and make the skins in to flip flops…hahaha just kiding….oh….ya…I think in time this web site make u a few pesos..hope so…just kidding about the rice fields…..sounds like hard work to me…..

  7. Good point Dan, some hard work outside would be a great way to get Dave off his computer and meeting with his neighbors. Rice planting doesn’t look too difficult for Dave to handle, here are some pics and videos from another expat’s rice planting experience, although it seems he is just filming and not doing any actual work:

    http://www.myspace.com//495233545/blog/541596207

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