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AGSB and EON launches the 2012 Trust Index


Filipinos became more trusting of institutions in 2012, with more people saying they trusted the Government than the previous year, according to the 2nd Philippine Trust Index (PTI), undertaken by EON Stakeholder Relations in partnership with the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB).

Now on its second year, PTI—a study on trust among different stakeholder groups in the Philippines—showed that the most trusted groups in 2012 for the general public were the Church (68.1%), the Academe (45.1%) and the Media (32.2%). Ranked as the least trusted in 2011 with a 7% trust rating, Government mustered a trust rating of 15% in 2012, higher than NGOs (12.%) and Business (8.9%).

There were big jumps in trust levels of the informed public in urban areas for the different government agencies, starting with the Office of the President, for which trust levels almost tripled from 9.4% in 2011 to 21% in 2012; and the Cabinet, which saw its 2011 trust level of 4.4% more than triple to 14% in 2012. Trust levels for LGUs doubled from 7% in 2011 to 14.7% in 2012. There were also improvements in trust levels for the Supreme Court, Senate, RTCs, and Congress.

Undertaken in 2012, the expanded survey covered 1,575 respondents, both from the informed and general public nationwide, to provide a deeper understanding of the factors that create trust among institutions, and to identify the qualities and traits that Filipinos value the most.

“The findings show us that establishing trust is a dynamic process that all institutions need to pay close attention to – and we have seen in that in 2012 trust levels increased for the government, media and the church. This highlights the important role of communication and engagement among all organizations, whether they are building their brand, enhancing shareholder value, or rebuilding their reputation.” said Junie del Mundo, Chairman and CEO of EON.

AGSB Dean Albert Buenviaje added that “the findings are instructive and will guide us in better understanding the way Filipinos think and establish trust, whether for an individual or an institution. For the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, the PTI highlights trust an important ingredient in shaping effective leaders in the Philippines”

Other significant findings in the survey are the following:

  • TRUST GAP BETWEEN INFORMED AND GENERAL PUBLICS FOR SOME INSTITUTIONS – The informed public was generally less trusting of institutions than the general public. The informed public, comprising 600 respondents equally representing urban and rural areas, were at least 25 years old, had spent more than 2 years in college, represented economic classes A to C, and had significant media consumption. The general public, comprising 1,200 urban and rural respondents, were 18 years old and above and represented economic classes A to E, with majority not going beyond 2nd year college and with less media consumption
    The gap in trust levels between the informed public and the general public was especially pronounced in their trust levels for the Church (56.3% informed, 68.1% general public); Academe (39.5% informed, 45.1% general public); and Media, (32.3% general, 24.8% informed). Although trust levels of the informed public for NGOs, the Government, and Business were still lower than that of the general public, the gap between their trust levels was not as pronounced.

    Similarly, urban respondents indicated lower trust levels for the institutions than rural respondents. In particular, NCR respondents gave the lowest trust levels while North Luzon respondents gave the highest trust levels for the different institutions.

  • HEALTHCARE RECEIVES HIGHEST TRUST RATING – Among businesses, companies engaged in health care (37.3%%) emerged as the most trusted, followed closely by businesses in information technology (25.3%), agriculture (25.3%), and water and sanitation (24.7%). On the opposite end, the least trusted firms were those in the real estate (8.9%); the alcohol and tobacco sectors (6.2%); and mining (4.7%)
  • MOST TRUSTED NGOS ARE ON HEALTH AND NUTRITION – The most trusted NGOs were those that advocated health and nutrition (31.3%), youth and children (27.6%), and human rights (28.8%).
  • TRADITIONAL MEDIA STILL HAS HIGHEST TRUST – Traditional media earned the highest trust levels, but trust for online media increased. Television networks had a trust rating of 44.4%; radio, 31.3%; and newspapers, 24.1%.
  • UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES MOST TRUSTED – Universities and colleges had the highest trust levels among academic institutions (46% urban, 47.2% rural).
    • For the government, staying corruption-free (37% urban, 30.2% rural) remained the most important quality that respondents expected from the Government and its attached agencies. Other important attributes were being able to help the poor (rural 26.5%, urban 20%); holding on to campaign promises (rural 20.3%, urban 18.3%); and creating jobs (rural 14.8%, urban 13.3%).
    • How business treats its internal stakeholders is the most important driver of trust. Providing fair wages and salaries was ranked highest by all respondents (35.2% general public, urban and 35. 3% general public, rural areas). Slightly lower on the rankings were the following attributes: offers quality but fair-priced products; concern for society; and pays proper taxes.
    • Trust in Media was largely driven by being truthful (72.6%). Adherence to fairness came in a distant second (21.1%).
    • Trust in NGOs was driven largely by their ability to help those in need (71.2%). Other traits mentioned were being incorruptible, clearly defining advocacy, and fighting for people’s rights.
    • For the Church to keep its trust levels, respondents said it had to provide spiritual guidance (32.8%); be a role model of holiness (28.6%); and maintain its separation from the state (21.8%). In 2011, when only the informed public constituted survey respondents, separation from the state was the top ranked driver of trust in the Church. In addition, separation from the state was most important for the informed public in urban areas (52.7% in 2012 versus 46% in 2011). In contrast, this was considered an important trust driver by 25.3 % of the informed public in rural areas; 27.5% of the general public in urban areas, and of 16% of the general public in rural areas.
    • For the academe, the quality of the teachers was the single most important driver of trust (48.8%), followed by improved standards in education (18.8%); lower school fees (18%); school discipline (12.1%); and improved school facilities (9.5%).
  • TRUSTED SPOKESPERSONS VARY – In general, respondents trusted the head of the institution to give credible information about it. For the Government, media emerged as the second most trusted source of information on the institution, while volunteers emerged as second most trusted source of information for NGOs.

    Television is the most trusted source of news on the Government (54.6 urban, 59.1 rural) and on Business (41.1% urban, 49.8% rural). Radio and newspapers competed strongly for the second spot.

About the Philippine Trust Index

The inaugural edition of the Philippine Trust Index was launchedin September 2011. The study examined trust levels and drivers across the stakeholder groups of government, church, NGOs, business, and media. In addition, the first PTI also studied which communication channels and spokespersons are trusted by the Filipino Informed Public (Filipino Informed Publics are adult Filipinos aged 25 years and above, with educational attainment of at least 3rd year college, belong to economic class A to C, and access print, online and broadcast media at least twice a week, on average.)

In 2012, EON and AGSB expanded the PTI to the Filipino General Public (Respondents include all Filipinos who are at least 18 years old), and added the Academeas 6th stakeholder group. Data gathering for the 2nd Philippine Trust Indexwasheld in November to December 2012 through face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. Respondents are 1,575 individuals (general and informed public combined) across rural and urban areas from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

About EON The Stakeholder Relations Firm

EON is the Philippines’ premier stakeholder relations firm with expertise in public affairs and government relations, consumer PR, and CSR communications. With expertise that cuts across industries and communications practices, EON empowers its clients and partners by building trust-based relationships with their various publics.

EON initiated the Philippine Trust Index to generate critical insights useful in its efforts to help organizations protect their reputation, engage with their stakeholders, and build relationships with their publics.

EON is the Philippine affiliate of Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm.



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