The Grey Chronicles


Relative Hardship in Iligan? Part II

In my previous post, I introduced the concept of Relative Hardship after finding out that India is currently ranked as an extreme hardship location, which typically commands a 40% salary premium for hardship; and began the quest to find a suitable figure for Iligan City.

Using Coleman’s (2009) eight-point criteria on economic, religious, public service, climatic, safety, health, education, and transportation conditions, my web search was enlightening. Acknowledging that India commands a 40% in hardship salary premium, it follows — for purposes of comparative computation only — that each of these points be assumed to have some percentage weights. Economic, political, public service and climatic conditions are non-personal, i.e., not ruled by personal preferences, taste or choice. These, given 4% each, will be tackled in this post. The last five conditions: religious, safety, health, education and transportation conditions — which are more personal — are given 5% each, will be considered next.

Economic conditions include poverty and service provision. Swanson (2008), the principal author of a supplement to World Development Indicators 2008, wrote:

“The $1.25 a day poverty line measured in 2005 prices replaces the $1.08 a day poverty line measured in 1993 prices. Often described as “$1 a day,” $1.08 has been widely accepted as the international standard for extreme poverty and was incorporated in the first of the Millennium Development Goals. . . new data on purchasing power parities (PPPs), compiled by the International Comparison Program, and an expanded set of household income and expenditure surveys. . . . [is] designed to compare the consumption of the poorest people in the world, might provide a better basis for comparison of poverty across countries.”

World Resources Institute (2005) states that in 2001 India is home to the most people living on an income of less than $2/day, over 800 million; and the World Bank estimated that in 2004, urban India has 25% of its population living below poverty line. By 2002, WRI (2005) found that India’s Human Poverty Index: 31.4 (100 = highest poverty, Burkina Faso at 65.5); while the Philippines’s Human Poverty Index: 31.5 (100 = highest poverty).

Serrano (2005) states:

“The [Philippine] Government is compromising long-term sustainability by not investing enough in human security. Instead of social cohesion we may have a more divided society by 2015. . . . Poverty declined by 15.5% in the last 15 years, from 40.2% in 1990 to 24.7% in 2005. Over 21 million Filipinos remain poor today.”

Iligan City is a chartered city of the Philippines, listed as a highly urbanized, first-class city. The Commission on Population estimated in (2000) that 24.97% of 285,000 lived in urban areas. The National Statistical Coordination Board (2005), using 2000 census data, estimated in November 2005 for Iligan City with 0.2803 poverty incidence, the proportion of individuals living in that area who are in households with an average per capita expenditure below the poverty line, $1 a day.

Yet, the 2005’s Purchasing Power Parity [PPP] India is rated 0.64, while the Philippines at 0.58. Similarly, with Hong Kong as base, ADB (2007) compared PPP and Price Level Indices. Philippines redounds to 3.828 PPP and 54 PLI compared to India’s 2.583 PPP and 46 PLI. Meaning, an Indian in Hongkong would spend 2.583 as much rupees to buy Hongkong goods, while Filipinos would have to shell out 3.828 more pesos for the same goods. IMF (2006) reports that actual consumer price indices percent change in 2005 for India grew 4.2; while in the Philippines 7.6. NSCB (2009) recently published that for 2005, National Capital Region, including Metro Manila, was pegged at 8.6, while Areas Outside NCR was at 7.2.

In comparison, the Philippines has greater poverty incidence and less purchasing power parity.

Political conditions include tolerance of diverse views, life style and conformity to cultural norms.

World Resources Institute (2005) found that in 2002, India got scores of 9 in the Level of Democracy (10 is most democratic, such as Japan), 4 in Political competition (5 is most competitive, like Japan); 2.8 in corruption (10 is least corrupt, Finland the top spot at 9.7), 32 in digital access index (100 for most access, Sweden topped at 85); and 41 press freedom index (0 for most free; Sweden, Iceland, and Denmark tied at 8; North Korea with 98 as least free).

The Philippines scored 8 for Level of Democracy, 4 in political competition; 2.5 for corruption, a 43 for digital access index; and 34 for press freedom index.

Thus, the Philippines, compared to India, is less democratic, yet greater incidence of corruption, more digital access, and more press freedom.


Coleman, Steven (2009). International Cost of Living Trends 2009 Online: Online: ArticleBase, 30 January 2009. back to text

Commission on Population (2000). Iligan City POPDEV Indicators, Cagayan de Oro: Commission on Population Regional Population Office No. 10, 2000. back to text

Economics and Research Department (2007). A Snapshot of Asia in 2005: Purchasing Power Parity Manila: Asian Development Bank, 31 July 2007. back to text

IMF (2006), World Economic Outlook – April 2006; Globalization and Inflation. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, p. 209. back to text

National Statistical Coordination Board (2005). Estimation of Local Poverty in the Philippines, Manila: National Statistical Coordination Board, November 2005, pp. 4, 98. back to text

National Statistical Coordination Board (2009). Consumer Price Index for all Income Households and Headline Inflation Rates January 2004 – January 2009. Online: National Statistical Coordination Board, accessed 20 February 2009. back to text

Serrano, Isagani (2005). Ten years over, ten years to go. Social Watch Report 2005, Roars and Whispers, edited by Roberto Bissio [editor-in-chief], Montevideo, Uruguay: Instituto del Tercer Mundo, 2005. pp. 232-33, 257. back to text

Swanson, Eric [principal author] (2008) Poverty data: A supplement to World Development Indicators 2008 Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, December 2008. back to text

World Resources Institute (2005) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, and World Bank. 2005. World Resources 2005: The Wealth of the Poor—Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 2005. pp. 9, 12, 188-9, 196-7, 200. back to text

Disclaimer : The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.


1 Comment »

  1. I found this site using And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

    Sorry for offtopic

    Comment by Speerepes — 2009.November.8 @ 06:51 | Reply

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