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In the Philippines, it takes P2.9 million to belong to the top 1% according to a report

By Bim Santos Published Mar 04, 2021 4:13 am

The price of admission to belong to the top 1% of the richest of the rich in the Philippines is among the lowest in the world according to a report.

Based on the 2021 wealth report of property consultancy firm Knight Frank, a person in the Philippines and in Indonesia needs to have a net wealth of $60,000 (or P2.9 million) to belong to the 1% club.

The only country lower than the Philippines and Indonesia in the research report was Kenya, which has a threshold of $20,000 (P972,000) to be considered rich.

Knight Frank noted that the “level of net wealth that marks the threshold for entering this rarefied community varies widely among different countries and territories.”

Monaco, which has the densest population of super rich people, has a benchmark of $7.9 million (P384 million) to belong to the country’s top 1%.

“Wealth inequality has become starker within countries and globally, particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is likely to become a point of growing contention,” the firm said.

To become a member of the more prohibitive “0.1% club” in the Philippines, however, one needs to rack up $210,000 (P10.21 million). The steepest 0.1% club ticket is in the US, where one needs a pot of $25.1 million (P1.2 trillion).

Knight Frank did not detail where it sourced its data for the wealth thresholds. In the case of the Philippines, the seemingly low bar of entry, when compared to other more wealthy countries, could be taken in light of the endemic poverty that still afflicts a large part of the country.

According to recent data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the poverty incidence in the country, demarcated by those living below P10,481 a month, is over a fifth or 21% of the population in 2018, which was already down from over a quarter of the population in 2015 or 27.6%.

But with the deleterious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihood of many Filipinos, the ranks of the poor are now expected to swell, undoing years of development work by the country by pulling millions back under the poverty line.