Four of 10 Pinoys can't live without soap, shampoo

Kim Arveen Patria
Kim Arveen Patria
Yahoo Southeast Asia Newsroom
A Filipino woman with her daughter in a cart looks at products at a local supermarket in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 02 June 2011. Members of the Philippine Association of Supermarkets Inc., have started pulling out Taiwan-made food products that are believed to be contaminated with the dangerous chemical diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP). The move came as the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a list of Taiwan brands including fruit juices, tea, energy drinks, jams, jellies and fruit bars that are suspected to be contaminated with DEHP. The agency warned that the chemical, used in manufacturing plastics, could be harmful to the kidneys and the reproductive system. EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA

When they’re having a hard time making ends meet, almost four out of 10 Filipinos are willing to give up needs and wants, but not soap and shampoo, a new report showed.

Among the four markets included in Eden Strategy Institute’s Emerging Middle Class Survey, Filipinos were the ones who gave the most importance to the two hygiene products.

Some 32.8 Filipino respondents said they can’t live without soap and shampoo, more than twice the ratio for Vietnam (16.9 percent), India (16.1 percent) and Indonesia (10.1 percent).

But soap and shampoo came only third in the list of items Filipinos can’t live without. Mobile phones were still most inevitable to at least 58.8 percent of Pinoy respondents.

The Internet came in as a close second, being indispensible to 47.7 percent of Filipinos. Earlier polls have named the Philippines the world’s social media and selfie capital.

This, even as the study defined Filipino emerging middle class consumers as those who “may have irregular income flows, and are highly discerning about longer-term value of their purchases.”

“Our study shows that out of the four countries, the country where most EMC respondents cannot live without Internet access is the Philippines,” said the report, which polled 1,000 mobile users per country.

Internet access was of lesser importance in other markets. Only 26.7 percent said they can’t live without Internet in India, 19.7 percent in Vietnam and 16.7 percent in Indonesia.

Mobile phones were also less inevitable in India, where 32 percent said they can’t live without it. The ratio drops further to 18.2 percent in Vietnam and 13.3 percent in Indonesia.

The report meanwhile highlighted that many Filipinos are fine with not having insurance, which the report took as a tendency to be less concerned about the health, jobs or saving.

Only 10 percent of Filipinos said they were most afraid of losing their jobs. Even lower is the ratio of Filipinos who said they fear losing their house (9.7 percent) and social status (6.5 percent).

Some 12.4 percent of Filipinos meanwhile said they fear losing their friends. Being without savings and good health is a fear for 17.6 percent and 38.4 percent of Pinoys respectively.