It was reported that personal hygiene products became so high in demand to the point out-of-stocks in supermarkets as more and more customers continues to buy such products in bulk, with announcement updates by Department of Health in regards to the increasing rate of confirmed Covid-19 cases triggered citizens to go into panic buying.
On Wednesday, the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association (Pagasa) makes a proposed protocol in limiting the retail sale of personal hygiene products per customer, as the serious rise of panic buying was observed while the Covid-19 outbreak remains strong.
Pagasa eyes to “set a limit to the number of face masks, bottles of alcohol/hand sanitizers, packs of sanitary wipes or bars/bottles of hand/liquid soap” to prevent these products being out of stuck in stores. “By limiting the sale of these items to our customers, we allow as many households to avail these products.”
Their proposal, for instance, is that customer can only buy two bottles of alcohol per customer. It is also recommended to all retail sellers to expand the brands of alcohol on their shelves.
“When our regular suppliers cannot deliver to us the purchase volumes, we are demanding from them, better to have any brand of rubbing alcohol or face masks or hand sanitizer than none at all to allay the fear of customers that stocks are running out,” it said.
Furthermore, Pagasa also put up a reminder of its members to be wary of customers buying hygiene products in bulk to sell, to give away to charity, or to distribute to colleagues at work, considering supplies in supermarkets are only good for individual end-users. By this, bulk buyers are advised to purchase the products from distributors or wholesalers who can sell these products in higher volume.
“Let us explain that the few who can afford to stock up on personal hygiene products will soon have to go out into the real world and face the majority who have not used (or can afford to use) these products, and these people they face may have contracted Covid-19 because they did not have access to products which help them from the virus,” explained Pagasa.
It is also not advisable to be compelled into panic buying as there are enough stocks of personal hygiene products in the local market, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“We advised consumers not to panic buy; so many stocks in the country. Many areas in China [are] getting back to normal, so less pressure on having supply chain disruptions,” Lopez said in a text message to reporters.