Around P60,000 needed to afford basic items for a newborn in Phl

Published by rudy Date posted on December 3, 2021

by Franz Lewin Embudo, 3 Dec 2021

According to iPrice, the P60,000 will only be for the one-off purchases of a newborn’s basic necessities, thus excluding bath products, cleaning accessories, clothing, feeding items, baby décor, or healthcare.

Filipino parents have to spend an average of P60,000 to cover the basic essential items for a newborn, a report by an electronic commerce aggregator showed.

Taking into account the minimum wage in the country, an iPrice Group study revealed that a single earner would need to save about 69% of his or her salary for eight months to be able to afford a newborn’s basic necessities.

“In the Philippines, the minimum wage is P537 per day. If a minimum wage earner in the Philippines worked for 20 days a month, he or she would only earn about P10,740 per month,” iPrice stated.

In iPrice’s platform alone, the one-off purchases – such as baby car seats, strollers, five toys, cribs, step stools, and many more – would amount to about P57,800.

On top of this, iPrice obtained the median prices of items that need to be bought on a regular basis such as diapers, wipes, and milk formula. These items cost about P1,600. Thus, Southeast Asians need a total of about P59,400 to cover a baby’s basic supplies and items once born.

“And these are only the basic items,” iPrice said. Not included are other items such as bath products, cleaning accessories, clothing, feeding items, baby décor, or even bigger non-item necessities such as healthcare. These are just the average prices on iPrice platforms, which means that there could be cheaper alternatives.

“Nonetheless, it may take a while for some parents to save up for a baby since some countries’ minimum wages are alarmingly low,” iPrice noted. “And parents usually need to save up for eight months prior to the birth of their babies.”

The average prices of baby items were taken from iPrice Malaysia’s database, taking the median prices of selected basic baby items for the period of December 2020 to October 2021.

Items included are necessities for newborns within the categories of baby gear, feeding products, nursery items, maternity care items, diapers, and toys. iPrice filtered the products that would cater only to babies who are zero to three years old and pregnant women.

Compared to Filipinos, Malaysians and Indonesians would only take up about half their salaries for eight months to cover the basic needs of a newborn. Malaysia’s minimum wage is P14,500 per month, while Indonesia’s is P15,600 per month.

In Singapore, the cost of basic baby items would only take up only 14% of a single minimum wage earner’s salary for eight months as it had the highest minimum wage of P51,900 per month.

“Luckily, this is only [on] the premise that a single minimum wage earner is expected to solely provide for a newborn. Usually, there would be two members in a family making an income,” the research noted.

The minimum wage numbers for the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia were taken from ASEAN Briefing while Singapore’s minimum wage amount was taken from an official news report by Channel News Asia. Indonesia’s minimum wage numbers were taken from Trading Economics.

Based on iPrice’s price data from thousands of sellers and merchants on its website, the online interest in baby items is “on the rise” despite the decreased birth rates in several Southeast Asian countries.

iPrice recorded a 127% increase in Google impressions on baby categories across all six of the company’s platforms in 2021.“The toy category seems to be the most in-demand, with a 222% increase (in) Google impressions, followed by diapers (160%) and nursery items (127%).”

“Filipino parents may be forced to shop online for their babies’ needs since the pandemic has greatly affected their movement outdoors,” it stated.

The study also found that items like inflatable pools and bicycles for babies had the most Google impressions on iPrice Philippines.

Aside from these items, strollers, diapers, and milk formula also had the most impressions in the Philippines and the other countries.

“Filipinos’ interest in these items increased by 146%, but Singapore and Thailand had the highest increase in interest in baby items, surging by 184% and 180% respectively,” it said.

“The only country that didn’t have much difference in interest is Malaysia, having only an 8% increase in Google impressions on all product categories observed,” the study showed. “Their interest in baby gear, maternity care items, and baby feeding products specifically actually decreased by an average of 13%.”

With all the challenges that Southeast Asians are facing during the pandemic, on top of potential financial uncertainties, according to iPrice, having a child right now could be “extra challenging.”

The e-commerce aggregator advised parents to be smart about their money by tracking expenses closely or using price comparison tools like iPrice when purchasing for their babies.

The research also emphasized that “family planning is a really vital necessity” in Southeast Asia and this should include financial planning “since it’s very important for parents, especially in the lower-income tier, to save up before having a child.”

“Otherwise, the baby’s quality of life would be compromised,” it stressed.

iPrice used Google Analytics to record the Google impressions from all six of their platforms in Southeast Asia. Impressions during the period of Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 2021 were compared with the same period in 2020.

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