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Most Filipinos went out 1 to 3 times a week for essentials, mainly food -SWS

Four out of five Filipinos went out of their house one to three times within seven days from late April to early May to access essentials, mainly food, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results showed Wednesday.

The mobile phone survey of 4,010 working-age Filipinos across the country showed that 81% went out of their home one to three times to buy cooked or uncooked food, 98% went out the same number of times to buy medicine, and 98% went out for financial transactions.

On average, the survey respondents went out 2.6 times to buy food, 1.3 times to buy medicine, and 1.2 times for financial transactions, the SWS said.

The survey was conducted from May 4 to 10 and asked the respondents, aged 15 and above, about the frequency of their essential activities out of the house in the week before the interview.

The SWS reported that 17% of respondents went out to buy food four to seven times, and only 2% did so eight times or more. In Balance Luzon, 84% of respondents went out one to three times to buy food. This is slightly higher than 82% in Mindanao, 81% in Metro Manila, and 76% in the Visayas. 

The average number of times that one went out to buy food in the week referred to by the survey was 3 in the Visayas, 2.7 in Metro Manila, 2.5 in Mindanao, and 2.4 in Balance Luzon, the SWS said.

Meanwhile, 2% of respondents went out four to seven times to buy medicine and only 0.02% went out eight or more times for this purpose. In all areas, the respondents went out to buy medicine an average number of 1.3 times within a week.

For financial transactions, 1% went out of the house four to seven times and 0.1% went out eight times or more. Nearly all of them across all study areas went out one to three times for this purpose, and the average number of times was 1.3 in Visayas, 1.2 in Metro Manila and Mindanao, and 1.2 in Balance Luzon.

The SWS conducted the survey through mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing and released the results while places in the country are under community quarantine due to COVID-19.

Government response to COVID-19 involved subjecting Filipinos to home confinement, except when accessing essentials, to prevent the further transmission of the virus, which has infected more than 14,000 and killed more than 800 people in the country, as of Tuesday. —AOL, GMA News