Church still ‘most trusted’ institution, gov’t far behind—survey
For the fourth straight year, the Church remained as the most trusted institution in the country, while the government still lingered among the least trusted sectors, according to an annual nationwide survey.
In the 4th Philippine Trust Index, the Church received an overwhelming 73 percent trust rating from the general public and 68 percent from the so-called “informed” public. It was followed by the academe at close second (51% and 46%), and the media at third place (32% and 23%).
Among the least trusted institutions were the government (12% and 7%), businesses (9% and 9%), and nongovernment organizations (9% and 8%). There is a glaring 64-percent gap between the trust ratings of the Church and the two least trusted institutions.
The index covered 1,620 Filipinos from July to August 2015—1,200 respondents were considered general public or “representative of the country as a whole,” while 600 were deemed informed public, or those who are “at least college graduates and who access media for news at least thrice a week.”
As to believability, the report said the public needed to hear information from the government at least thrice before they actually believe it, in contrast with the Church and the media where almost half of respondents said they needed to hear information only once or twice.
Junie del Mundo, chief executive of public relations firm EON which published the report, said the index aimed to be a nation-building tool by uncovering insights on the “dynamic interplay of trust” between Filipinos and institutions.
“An institution’s integrity is key driver to gaining trust,” Del Mundo said during the index’s launch at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on Thursday.
“Specific to institutions, we learned that being incorruptible and the ability to deliver results are important trust drivers for government,” Del Mundo added, noting that the report can deepen understanding on voter perception and be a tool of voter education ahead of the 2016 polls.
Government still lags
While the government has overtaken businesses and NGOs in this year’s ranking and gained a meager one-percent in trust from the general public, its sub-institutions still fared low in the ratings.
According to the report, three out of ten respondents said they do not trust any government agency when asked to cite a specific branch that they trust.
Nevertheless, local government units (LGUs) emerged as the most trusted sub-institution with a 19-percent rating from the general public, followed by the Supreme Court and Regional Trial Courts.
For the first time in four years, LGUs have overtaken the Office of the President, which has suffered the greatest decline in trust with only 15 percent from the general public and 11 percent from the informed public—a 13-percent drop since 2012.
In 2014, only 2 out of 10 Filipinos believe that governments and NGOs were not corrupt. In the same year, “free of corruption” was named the most important trust driver.
This year, ensuring national peace and security emerged as the top driver of trust in government, followed by helping the poor address their basic needs, improving the Philippine economy, and putting to jail corrupt politicians.
“Filipinos largely believe that the government is unable to succeed in meeting these different criteria for trust. Only 23% of the general public strongly agrees that the government is able to ensure peace and security, while only 22% agrees that the government helps the poor address their basic needs,” the report said.
“Preparedness in times of calamities and disasters is a trust driver that is increasingly at the forefront of the people’s minds. Regardless of socioeconomic status, this criterion remains among the top 6 trust drivers in government,” it added.
The fourth edition of the index also identified the qualities of leaders that Filipinos deem most important. Willingness to listen to people’s feedback and opinion on important issues in the country was named the most valued quality of a government leader, followed by strong political will and genuine concern for people’s welfare.
“Communication is at the heart of good leadership. For Filipinos, the most important quality of a leader is their willingness to listen to what the people have to say. This is true for both government and business leaders,” the report said. CDG
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