By Corina Oliquino

MANILA – Kantar’s COVID-19 Global Barometer study revealed 58 percent of Filipinos are worried over their financial planning and security as the coronavirus pandemic swept the country.

The Study, which was conducted across Asia between February and March 2020, sought to determine the top concerns of consumers in the region.

“This resonated with the rest of consumers in Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Thailand, wherein 60 percent of respondents were admittedly anxious about their financial security in the future,” Kantar said.

The study also revealed that 42 percent of Filipinos were concerned about contracting COVID-19 while 29 percent feared they would run out of essentials prompting “panic purchases” of items including hygiene and cleaning products.

“Based on the data, there was a 124 percent increase in the purchase of rubbing alcohol in February compared to a year ago,” it said.

Kantar Philippines Business Development Director Lourdes Deocareza-Lozano said Filipinos also stocked up on health and nutrition items such as fruits and vegetables.

“Filipinos look to the promise of health and well-being when choosing which brands and products they will purchase, especially at a time like this. They want brands that are safe to use and of high quality. Thus, it is crucial for FMCG brands to deliver on these aspects especially during these tough times,” Deocareza-Lozano said, noting the full impact of the crisis felt in March may reveal an even higher consumption of health and nutrition products.

Kantar said, “consumers also expect companies to go beyond offering their products and services and do more to help out during this challenging time.”

“Especially during a time of crisis, brands must be able to bridge the gap and reassure consumers of their presence. They need to be creative in effectively and affectively showcasing Filipino values that remind consumers of their support and malasakit when the challenge becomes too difficult to bear,” Kantar’s Insights Division CEO Gary de Ocampo said.

“As consumers are also faced with limited purchase options, it is even more important to discover meaningful and innovative touchpoints to deliver on a seamless shopping journey toward building brand love and loyalty,” he added.

In a report by the ABS-CBN News Channel, Kantar said Filipinos are also conflicted between staying home or going out as they are concerned for their safety.

“Unfortunately, with the unique combination of a strict lockdown, which is the longest in the world, and lower spending power, the typical Filipino buyer is the most challenged in Southeast Asia,” de Ocampo said.

“The biggest barrier to addressing the negative demand shock in most industries is that consumers or customers are afraid,” he added.

Burn-out rate

Research compiled by think tank SavvySleeper, run by writers and sleep experts, ranked Manila as one of the top 10 cities in 53 countries with the highest risk of employees experiencing burn-out.

According to the think tank, it reviewed data from seven reputable sources including the International Labour Organization, the Global Employee Engagement Index and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation on top of over 340,000 employee reviews on Glassdoor to rank global cities by their burn-out potential.

In a report by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the research ranked Manila as fifth among chief cities with the highest risk of employee burn-out with an overall 5.51 burn-out score along with Istanbul in Turkey, Seoul in South Korea, Mumbai in India and top-notcher Tokyo in Japan.

SavvySleeper also cited the World Health Organization’s definition of burn-out, which is a result of work stress that has not been managed and has the following signs: feelings of low energy and exhaustion, decreased motivation and increased distance from work as well as the feeling of cynicism towards a role and in wider society, and reduced performance and results at work.

“With increasing professional pressures, heavy workloads and unclear expectations, employees often find themselves working later, socializing less and having impacted sleep,” SavvySleeper said.

In May 2019, WHO said “burn-out remains an occupational phenomenon that could lead someone to seek care and is not considered a medical condition as earlier reported.”