More than 51% of a Filipino household’s monthly income goes to covering educational costs, a new report by WorldRemit revealed.
The digital cross-borders app released its third year of global data and findings to understand how the cost of school supplies impact families around the world. The price of uniforms, stationery, and extra supplies like bags across 21 countries were compared from 2022 to 2023.
In the Philippines, the cost of school supplies rose by 16%.
“We have to think about frequency of use in relation to these school supplies. As children are more likely to go through stationery like a pencil quicker than wearing down a uniform, the higher cost adds up over time. And if there is more than one student in a household, these costs multiply accordingly,” said Earl Melivo, Head of Asia Pacific at WorldRemit.
According to Melivo, more remittances are sent from June and July to pay for tuition fees and school supplies in time for the opening of classes in August.
Amid global economic circumstances, 40% of observed countries are expected to pay more than their monthly income on school supplies. In countries outside of North America, Europe, and Australia, cost differences were far more drastic, where yearly changes averaged an increase of 78%.
Data from the United Nations states that 1 in 9 people worldwide rely on money sent from friends and relatives who have migrated abroad for work. According to Social Weather Stations, 7% of Filipino households have a family member working as an OFW, 75% say these OFWs regularly send money back home.
As of 2022, the Philippines had the third highest remittance inflows in the Asia and Pacific region at 11%.
“Education is one of the top reasons people send money back home. For Filipino families, especially those whose monthly income just suffices for daily needs, remittances from overseas supplement their ability to afford essential school supplies, as well as manage steep costs like tuition, transportation and childcare,” said Melivo.