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The Philippines continues to be the top pick for expatriates looking or being assigned abroad. Out of all the Asian countries, it is one of the least expensive cities for employees working outside their home country.

Manila ranked 109th out of the 210 cities in the most recent survey, rising 29 spots from the previous year. This jump registered as the 4th sharpest climb among the surveyed cities. The Mercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living Survey has also announced that majority of the most expensive cities globally are located across Asia.

Hongkong takes the top spot with its dynamic housing market and high cost of living. With New York City prices as a baseline, the top 10 expensive cities for expats include Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, Ashagabat, Shenzen, and Beijing. Zurich was also tagged as the lone European country to have made it to the said list.

Despite being one of the most affordable cities in the world, the Philippines has been named the 24th best place to live and work in, next to the United States, which ranked 23rd, and two spots ahead of China. Forbes, citing the 2019 HSBC Expat’s annual survey, reported that the country is chosen by expatriates as one of their preferred countries to be relocated into when it comes to living, career opportunities, and family life. In 2018, the country was ranked two places lower at the 26th spot.

Benefits to PH business viability

The affordability of the Philippines adds to its attractiveness for businesses to expand in the country. The government has been targeting a steady inflow of both people and investment to continue attracting foreigners to live and work in the country.

"While the Philippines' robust economic growth continues to attract talent, business, and investments from all over the world, the findings of Mercer's 2019 Cost of Living study should signal its public and private sectors to take a deeper look and start a conversation on which factors are behind the dramatic increase in its cost of living from 2018 to 2019,” Mario Ferraro, Mercer's mobility leader for Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey said in the report.

All of these considerations should be focused and addressed to ensure the country's continued competitiveness," he added.