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Coronavirus pandemic panic buying
58% of Filipino adults have been unable to buy essential items amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
As COVID-19 has spread across the globe so too has panic buying, leaving many unable to buy basic necessities. But just how bad is it in the Philippines? To investigate, Finder surveyed 2,021 Filipino adults from March 16-18.
Finder’s research reveals that more than half of Filipinos (58%) surveyed couldn’t purchase basic necessities in the past month. That’s an estimated 39.8 million Filipinos who were unable to buy items like food, medicine, toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
|Those unable to buy essential items in the last month||% of Filipinos|
|Able to buy||58%|
|Unable to buy||42%|
Fresh food and hand sanitizer are the hardest to come by
It turns out that fresh food products are the hardest to come by, with 27% of Filipinos unable to make a purchase. With most local wet and dry markets being ordered by local governments to close down, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
More than one-quarter of Filipinos (26%) have been unable to buy hand sanitizer and soap. If you’re still struggling to find hand sanitizer in-store you may want to consider rubbing alcohol instead. Here’s a list of places to buy rubbing alcohol online. Don’t forget the two-item limit!
Sadly, more than a fifth of Filipinos (22%) say they couldn’t buy medicine. Other products people couldn’t buy include dry food (17%), toilet paper (16%) and other toiletries (14%). Hopefully, the stricter shopping guidelines set by the Department of Trade and Industry will help abate these difficulties.
|What have you been unable to buy in the last month?||% of Filipinos|
|Toilet paper or tissue||16%|
|Hand sanitizer or soap||26%|
Filipinos aged 45-54 most likely to struggle at the shops
Among the age groups, Finder’s survey reveals that Filipinos aged 45-54 are having the hardest time buying necessities. About three in five of Filipinos (61%) in this age bracket couldn’t purchase at least one of the items included in the survey. Those aged 25-34 are a close second (60%), followed by those aged 35-44 (58%).
Luckily, the eldest Filipinos don’t seem to be struggling as much as the rest. 36% of those aged 65 and above report being unable to purchase necessities.
|Hand sanitizer or soap||29%||28%||25%||25%||26%||23%|
|None of the above||45%||40%||42%||39%||46%||64%|
Filipino women find it harder to shop than men
In terms of gender, more women (59%) found it harder to make a purchase compared to men (55%). In fact, women were consistently more likely to face trouble at the shops across all product categories.
The gap widened for medicine, with 26% of women saying they couldn’t buy medicine compared to just 18% of men – a difference of eight percentage points. However, the gap was less significant for other products like dry food, hand sanitizer and fresh food. For instance, men (16%) and women (17%) were almost just as likely to face trouble purchasing dry food.
|Toiletries aside from toilet paper/soap||16%||11%|
|Dry food (rice etc)||17%||16%|
|None of the above||41%||45%|
How the Philippines compares to other countries for hoarding
Finder ran the same survey in six countries: the United States, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
The Philippines recorded the highest number of people unable to buy essential goods (58%), followed closely by the United States and South Africa (56% each). Of the six countries, those living in Hong Kong are least likely to report being unable to buy what they need (43%).
|Country||% Unable to Buy Essential Goods|
North Americans struggling to buy toilet paper
Nearly one in three North Americans have been unable to buy toilet paper, suggesting it’s a popular item to panic buy in the region – or perhaps demand has simply outstripped supply for other reasons. 32% of Americans and 30% of Canadians have been unable to buy toilet paper compared to 16% of people in the Philippines, 17% of people in Hong Kong and 18% of people in Ireland.
|Country||% Unable to Buy Toilet Paper|
South Africans unable to buy hand sanitizer
Over a third of South Africans say they’ve been unable to buy hand sanitizer in the last month (37%), the most of any country in the study. Nearly a third of Americans reported the same (32%), followed by Canadians and Irish (29% each).
|Country||% Unable to Buy Hand Sanitizer|
South Africans and Filipinos struggle to buy dry food
18% of South Africans reported they were unable to buy dry food like rice. Filipinos were the next most likely to report the same (17%), followed by Americans and Canadians (15% each).
|Country||% Unable to Buy Dry Food|
Fresh food hardest to buy in the Philippines
Those living in the Philippines had the most difficulty buying fresh food, with 27% reporting they’ve been unable to buy fresh food in the last month. South Africans were the next most likely to report being unable to buy fresh food (21%), followed by North Americans (18% for Canadians and 17% for Americans).
|Country||% Unable to Buy Fresh Food|
South Africans struggling the most to buy toiletries
South Africans are the most likely to say they’ve been unable to buy toiletries (excluding toilet paper), at 18%. Those from the United States and the Philippines are the next most likely to say they’ve been unable to buy toiletries (14% each).
|Country||% Unable to Buy Toiletries|
One in five Filipinos (22%) have been unable to buy medicine in the last month, the most of any country included in the survey. A large proportion of South Africans (19%) said the same. A similar number of Hong Kong residents, Americans, Canadians and Irish reported being unable to buy medicine – roughly 1 in 10.
|Country||% Unable to Buy Medicine|
Where to buy necessities online
With the uncertainties of how long this pandemic will last, it’s no surprise that many are still flocking to supermarkets to stock up on necessities. However, it can be daunting for many to leave the house – even if it’s just to pick up the groceries.
Online shopping is a great way to find those products that are unavailable in physical stores and to help limit community transmission of the virus. Here are our handy guides on where to buy products online:
|Where to buy||Guide|
|Isopropyl Alcohol||Where to buy isopropyl alcohol online|
|Hand soap||Where to buy hand soap online|
|Tissues||Where to buy tissues online|
|Cleaning sprays||Where to buy cleaning sprays online|
|Surface disinfectant wipes||Where to buy surface disinfectant wipes online|
|Laundry detergent||Where to buy laundry detergent online|
|Bleach||Where to buy bleach online|
|Garbage bags||Where to buy garbage bags online|
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