Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 1 February 10 - 16, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
of January 2002:
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo claims that things are looking good for the economy, citing lower inflation and higher-than-expected increase in the national income. But what about cost of living? Bulatlat.com computes anew the daily cost of living based on the government’s consumer price index (CPI) as of January 2002.
DANILO ARAÑA ARAO
Workers in Metro Manila may not have felt it, but the minimum daily wage rate increased by another P15 effective February 1. This means that the minimum wage rate in Metro Manila is currently pegged at P280.
Is this a cause for celebration? Not necessarily, if one were to look at recent computations of cost of living.
As of January 2002, Bulatlat.com computations show that daily cost of living in Metro Manila is pegged at P527.18 for a family of six. For areas outside Metro Manila, the daily cost of living for a family of six amounts to P394.91 (agriculture) and P415.49 (non-agriculture). (See Table)
President Arroyo’s assumption into power last January 20, 2001 did not stop the continuous increase in the daily cost of living. In the case of Metro Manila, Bulatlat.com computations show that the hike was as much as P26.41.
It may be recalled that Wage Order NCR-09 dated October 19, 2001 only provided for a P30 hike in the emergency cost of living allowance (ECOLA), the first half given on November 5, and the other half last February 1.
The most recent estimates by Bulatlat.com show that a family of six living in Metro Manila needs P15,815.45 to survive in one month.. On the other hand, families of six outside Metro Manila must have P11,847.36 (agriculture) and P12,464.82 (non-agriculture) monthly to meet basic needs.
The estimates are based on the government’s cost of living figures in 1988 which are inflated from the most recent consumer price index (CPI) which uses 1994 as the base year. Bulatlat.com