Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Is P66,000 Monthly Japan Domestic Worker Salary Worth It?

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Japan’s announcement that it is willing to hire Filipino domestic workers has become a welcome news to many Filipinos worldwide. Earning a salary much higher — pegged at US$1,500 or about P66,000 — than most other countries is a welcome alternative.

Adding to the allure is Japan’s appeal as a tourist destination and a civilized society that is a contrast to what many Filipino domestic workers endure in certain places where they experience abuse, long working hours and receive low wages.

But is it worth the try?

First, applicants need to understand that there are additional requirements such as language proficiency before one is admitted to work as a domestic worker in Japan. That’s on top of the usual requirements of TESDA training and necessary paperwork at POEA.

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And since news reports say helpers will be on a live-out working arrangement, at areas such as Osaka and Kanagawa prefectures, it is also important to understand how much is the cost of living in these areas. Assuming that food and accommodation is not free, it is prudent to make conservative estimates on how much is the take home pay after calculating the cost of living in Japan.

Just like in any opportunity to work abroad, we should not look only at the salary offer but also understand the cost of living in that country.

Cost of living in Osaka – based on Expatistan data entered by 52 individuals.

Lunchtime menu in the business district Php469
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) Php262
1/2 Kg (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast Php198
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk Php73
12 eggs, large Php101
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes Php227
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese Php296
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples Php269
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes Php155
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket Php102
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality Php421
2 liters of Coca-Cola Php85
Bread for 2 people for 1 day Php85
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area Php75,697
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 2 people in 85m2 flat Php8,310
Internet 8MB (1 month) Php1,068
40” flat screen TV Php46,327
Microwave, known brand, 800/900 Watt Php4,778
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) Php698
Hourly rate for cleaning help Php1,215
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) Php3,288
1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M, …) Php1,573
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or similar) Php2,773
1 pair of leather business shoes Php4,179
Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 140 CV 6 vel. (or equivalent), with no extras, new Php862,329
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas Php56
Monthly ticket public transport Php3,613
Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 Km. (5 miles) Php1,045
Personal Care
Medicine against cold for 6 days (Frenadol, Coldrex, …) Php467
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, …) Php211
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) Php265
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) Php211
4 rolls of toilet paper Php48
Tube of toothpaste Php96
Standard men’s haircut in expat area of the city Php1,229
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub Php1,713
2 tickets to the movies Php1,329
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) Php2,620
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant including wine and dessert Php3,052
1 cocktail drink in downtown club Php270
Cappuccino in expat area of the city Php199
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) Php193
iPod nano 16GB Php5,106
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) Php21
1 month of gym membership in business district Php3,513
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes Php156
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