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How can I have better luck finding a toilet that actually has a seat? (Or an accommodation where the toilets will likely have seats?)

Is it by original design that they were simply omitted? Or do perhaps people have a habit of stealing them? Or something else?

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    @Flimzy isn't it ? If I was going to the Philippines I'd like to know how to use their toilets – blackbird Jan 15 '16 at 14:15
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    Is it ok to genericize this? I found this to be true in many asian countries and eastern european countries. Why not just say "Why are toilet seats often missing from bathrooms in some countries?" – RoboKaren Jan 15 '16 at 18:41
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    @RoboKaren - It's true that this problem afflicts every country to some extent. But the Philippines is the worst of the 30+ countries I've ever been. Poor areas in poorer countries in Asia tend to have squat toilets, which I much prefer, since when I squat, my ass isn't in direct contact with the rim of the toilet bowl. Trying to use a seated Western-style toilet without direct contact with the toilet bowl requires some mad kung-fu skills (the "horse stance" is what the Chinese call it), which unfortunately I do not have. – Kenny LJ Jan 16 '16 at 1:13
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    "Where can I find toilets with seats?" sounds travel related. "why are they missing seats?" is not. – Flimzy Jan 16 '16 at 9:31
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    This is also true in much of the world, I imagine. I've experienced it extensively in Mexico and Guatemala. – Flimzy Jan 16 '16 at 9:31
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Toilet seat theft is a common and real problem in the Philippines. One of the major reasons listed for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 being voted the worst in the world to sleep in is toilet seat theft.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/235691/money/economy/naia-voted-world-s-worst-airport

People list Manila as having the same problem.

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia/avoid-manila-international-airport.cfm

It seems that toilet seats are a complete luxury and theft of the seat and other vital toilet components may be common.

http://an-american-in-the-philippines.blogspot.com/2008/04/bathrooms-in-philippines.html

My advice would be, rather strangely. Carry your own. A variety of products exist. 1 and 2 are in case your fear is falling in (as per @LessPop_MoreFizz comment), 3 is for hygiene.

  1. Luggable Loo Seat and Cover - not too practical.
  2. ROHO TOILET SEAT CUSHION - Hmmmmm
  3. Health Gards Toilet Seat Covers - my winner enter image description here.

I should note I have never been to the Philippines and do not intend to go until they have their toilet seat theft epidemic under control. It has often confused me as to why people think the toilet seat is any cleaner than the top of the toilet without a seat, surely they are equally disgusting. I suspect in all situations (no seat or seat) that this is the best toilet seat.enter image description here

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Unlike the west where people feel a need to cover their toilets, there are plenty of toilets in the Philippines (and the rest of Asia) designed without seats. And plenty more cases where the owner didn't bother with the extra cost of the seat (or replacing it).

Higher end hotels will usually have western set ups with a seat and lid, lower cost guesthouses may go local style. Restaurants that are purely tourist oriented (dinner shows, etc) with again have western style, other restaurants, shops, cafes, gas stations etc will likely be local style.

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Is it that by original design, they were simply omitted?

In general no, it's largely because if nobody complains then there's no incentive for somewhere to spend the money/effort to replace a missing seat. In some places you do get purpose made toilets that don't have seats or don't have removable seats however these are obvious and the cases you mention it's likely just poor upkeep but the seats where there originally.

And, yes, people may steal them for whatever reason making them less likely to be replaced.

How can I have better luck finding a toilet that actually has a seat? (Or an accommodation where the toilets will likely have seats?)

Look for places where people would expect seats and complain if they're not there. I.e. higher-end hotels and restaurants, anywhere likely to be populated by tourists or locals with money that will complain about it.

I'd expect seats in any en-suite toilet in a hotel (possibly not in any public toilets they have) unless it's a really cheap place or a remote place that possibly never had them. It sounds like you're implying you're staying somewhere where this is not the case.

Also any public toilet that charges a fee is more likely (but definitely not guaranteed) to be in a better state of repair.

  • Unfortunately I've definitely been in pay CRs (P5) where the toilet had no seat. I was also at the Robinson's in Puerto Princesa (pretty much the fanciest shopping mall in PPS) and at least one toilet there had no seat. So perhaps they're just randomly stolen and it depends on how good the security is? – Kenny LJ Jan 15 '16 at 10:49
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    It's possibly theft, also seats tend to break / fall-off so maybe they're just not getting fixed. Problem is that not enough people care to make it worth it for anyone to fix them (it's not like people will not go to the mall just 'cos they know the toilet is broken ...). – SpaceDog Jan 15 '16 at 11:03
  • It is not (just) Philippines, or (just) Asia. I have noticed a lot of missing toilet seats in hostels in France. – Willeke Jan 15 '16 at 15:48

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