Manila - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Household help is fantastic and super expensive. Service culture is the Philippines comparative advantage in the global economy. We have had three different nannies and one housekeeper. The housekeeper is the most thorough housekeeper anyone has ever had in the history of housekeepers. She cleans the entire four-bedroom townhouse, tends the garden, mends clothes, and washes the car for roughly US $20 a day. The nannies have all been wonderful with our children and are all beloved by them. They work exceptionally hard and are almost always on time despite grueling traffic. Just keep in mind that there will be cultural issues, but they can be easily navigated through communication and mutual respect and you shouldn't have any problems if you do proper screening in your hiring process. - Oct 2020


Drivers -16,000 php (325 USD) to 22,000 php (450 USD) per month Depending on hours and days. OT about 100 php (2 USD) per hour. (Many drivers like OT). Yayas and household help are common and prices can really vary. Live in or live-out, full-time or part-time. One can pay anywhere from 10,000 php (200 USD) per month to 20,000 (400 USD) per month, depending on what you need. - Feb 2020


Expats typically employ one household helper and a driver. Salaries for either is generally less than 400 USD/month. Experienced drivers seem harder to come by but there are lots of helpers/nannies available. Most housing options have helper's quarters but live-out is readily available. - May 2018


Household help is widely available. The cost ranges a bit, depending on hours, experience, and English fluency, but $300-400/month is the usual ballpark for salary and benefits.

Drivers are very common here, because they reduce the stress of driving in local traffic, and are also indispensable for simple errands that (if you did them on your own) could take hours in that traffic– getting gas, oil changes, pickups and drop-offs, etc.

Many families also have a housekeeper/nanny of some type, ranging from full-time yayas (exclusively nannies), to part-time cooks/maids, to “all around” helpers that cook, clean and babysit as needed. Employers seem to be evenly divided among those with live-in and live-out help; it’s simply a matter of your (and the employee’s) preference. - Feb 2017


Very inexpensive. Nearly everyone with kids employs a "yaya" (nanny), who often double as housekeepers while the kids are at school or camp. Most people employ drivers. - Jul 2016


Very affordable. I haven't had any issues with finding a reliable helper, but apparently it can be a problem. - Jan 2016


Help is very affordable. Many people go through several helpers before finding a reliable person, but the affordability of household help is a major draw to this post. - Jan 2016


The best way to hire a helper is through a direct recommendation from someone you know. Prices vary. - Jan 2016


Very cheap. Like 4-5k pesos a month or to US$80-100/per month. - Sep 2015


Great and cheap. We pay ours about US$300 a month full-time. - Aug 2015


Very available. Okay price wise, I'd say. Our driver is particularly excellent and his base rate is around US$400/month. - Aug 2015


Lots of help available about US$15/day for maid services or gardener. Drivers are also very common for about US$300/month. - Sep 2014


The cost of maids can and does vary depending on the area you live and the people you know. The maid we had costs us 4,000 pesos a month and worked about 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. After a couple of months, I let her go because there was not enough work in my home as we usually keep our place clean anyway. - Jan 2014


Domestic help is the best part of living in the Philippines and you will be spoiled. Cost is rough US$10/day and an extra month's salary at Christmas. - Dec 2013


Cheap, reliable, plentiful. - Nov 2013


Available & pretty inexpensive. The range seems to be pretty large with help being paid 550-1000 pesos a day [the current exchange rate is 43 pesos = US$1] - Aug 2013


The domestic help is very cheap and very good. - Apr 2013


Plentiful. Drivers, nannies, cleaners, cooks -- this is one of the best parts of living in the Philippines for many people. We do not have any help and we're doing okay as well. - Feb 2013


Cheap. We have a 2-bedroom condo and have a woman come in once a week to do cleaning, laundry, and ironing. - Sep 2012


Plentiful. $200-400/month per person you hire (driver, maid, cook, nanny, etc. Some families have more staff than family members! - May 2012


Widely available, and it's great. We spend about $250/month for our full-time helper and $300/month for our driver. That's on the high-end, which is what embassy folks pay. We love our helper and she's 100% worth it. As for drivers, you can totally drive in Manila, even if it looks scarey at first, but we only have one car, so having the driver helps. - Mar 2012


Crazy cheap. Americans are advised NOT to pay more as it skews the economics and makes the local staff not hireable when you leave. About 11,000-13,000 pesos a month for an all-around or yaya/nanny. You can pay lower if they are live in. Drivers get more. - Jan 2012


Cheap. Drivers, nannys, housekeepers, and cooks are about $400 - 500/month. You are also required to give a bit more for Social Security and a bit of a food allowance. - Jul 2011


Very affordable. Quality can be touch and go (I ended up with an AMAZING helper, some have had troubles). Drivers average salary of 500 to 700 Pesos/day; Helpers' wages depend on if you provide housing. Live-out, part-time runs 500 to 800 pesos a day depending on other benefits and duties. Ya ya's (nannies) are very common and their cost is comparable. - May 2011


Cheap and plentiful. However, you get what you pay for. - May 2011


Readily available. Drivers, nannies (Yayas), cooks, and all-around helpers (Katulongs) can be hired live-in or live-out for about $10 a day. Quality is variable, as is trustworthiness. - Feb 2010


Household helper ranges 4000p-15000p. live-in or live out. 4000p you get someone who probably hasn't worked for expats and a big language barrier.10,000 gets you someone usually really good with good english. I have one for 7,000 and her English is good, but cooking is less experienced with AMerican food. We eat Filipino food about 3 times a week so not a problem for us. Also I would expect less issues with the higher paid. Driver- salary and hours vary too. For about 10,000 you can get decent driver. For more you can get very good driver. Most expat drivers are higher salary. Again depends on hours. Mine works Mon-Sat, 730-5 and we pay overtime and holiday pay. - Jan 2010


Domestic help is both inexpensive and plentiful. Expect to pay about $200-$300 for a live in all-around maid, about $200 for a yaya (nanny), and about $300-350 for a full time driver. Having domestic help makes life much easier in Manila, especially because most tasks, such as paying bills, must be done in person. - Jul 2009


Very available. They range in price from 4,000 (if no ex-pat experience) a month to 12,000.That is about US$80-$220 a month. Be careful when you hire, red flags should go off if your maid complains about her bathroom size. - Apr 2009


Help is everywhere. Many people have at least a driver (~US$200-300/month) and a maid (~US$100-200/month). Families with small children often hire a yaya (or two). Cooks, gardeners, pool cleaners, lavanderas (laundresses), guards, etc. are also common. It's best to get recommendations from colleagues or parents at school. - Jun 2008


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