For Filipinos, listening to feedback and opinion and genuine concern for people are the two most important qualities of government and business leaders. This is according to the fourth Philippine Trust Index (PTI), a nationwide survey that examines Filipinos’ levels and drivers of trust in six key Philippine institutions – government, businesses, NGOs, media, academe, and the church. In its fourth iteration, the PTI expanded its research to include the Filipinos’ perceptions of an engaging leader for both business and government.
The survey showed that Filipinos value government leaders’ willingness to listen to their constituents garnering the highest percentages from both the general and informed publics, at 17% and 18% respectively. Meanwhile, “showing genuine concern for the people” garnered 12% from the general public and 13% from the informed public. Another important quality of a government leader that received almost the same percentage is “having a strong political will” (12% for general public, 13% for informed public). However, only two out of ten Filipinos agree that government leaders today possess these top three important qualities.
Similar to the government leaders, the most valued quality of a business leader is their willingness to listen to employees’ feedback, at 19% for the general public and 23% for the informed public. Following at second place is “genuine concern for employees” garnering 17% from both general and informed publics. However, similar as well to the results of government, only two out of ten Filipinos agree that company executives today are receptive to employees’ feedback and are genuinely concerned for their people.
“Our findings on the most valued leadership qualities further underlines the importance of conversation and communication in building trust for public and private institutions,” shared Junie del Mundo, CEO and Chairman of EON The Stakeholder Relations Group.
“The findings are very much aligned with the key insight from last year’s PTI, where an overwhelming majority of the respondents said it is ‘very important’ for Government, Businesses, NGOs, and the Media to communicate to its stakeholders. Dialogue and listening to stakeholders should be the new framework for institutions, especially leaders of institutions, to build reputation and earn trust,” Del Mundo emphasized.
Trust rating of institutions plateaus
Continuing the tradition of the previous PTI surveys, the trust rating of the institutions along with the drivers of trust for the institutions were again examined this year.
The 2015 PTI survey however saw no movement in terms of the ranking of institutions based on trust rating. Church remains to be the most trusted institution in the country, with an overwhelming 73% of the general public and 68% of the informed public claiming to trust the church very much. The academe again garners the second highest trust rating (51% and 46%), followed by media (32% and 23%). Still at the bottom are government (12% and 7%), business (9% and 9%), and NGOs (9% and 8%).
Government and business trust drivers same across different demographics
Diving into the trust drivers for government and business, survey results show that the top trust drivers for government and businesses are the same across different demographics; from general to informed publics, from urban to rural areas, as well as respondents from the different socioeconomic groups.
For government, the trust driver with the highest garnered percentage – “ensures national peace & security” – is a surprising development as this appeared only in this year’s PTI. The other top trust drivers are “helps the poor address basic needs such as housing, food, and education”, “improvements Philippine economy”, “puts to jail corrupt politicians”, “prepares communities for disasters and calamities”, and “provides better job opportunities.”
For business, the top trust drivers are “providing good salaries and benefits”, “practices fair labor”, “improves quality of products / service”, “pays the right taxes”, “doesn’t discriminate employees”, “treats its customers well”, and “implements environment-friendly policies and programs.
Another new feature of the 2015 PTI is relationship between the public and private sectors. While 23% of general public and 20% of informed public agree that collaboration and partnership and partnership between the government and business have a positive impact on the country, very few respondents agree that government supports MSME development (14% from general public and 9% from informed public) or is doing well in regulating business activities (13% from general public and 9% from informed public).
LGU now most trusted government sub-institution
Within government, survey results revealed that local government units (LGU) is now the most trusted among government sub-institutions, garnering 19% from the general public and 17% from the informed public. Following LGUs are the Supreme Court and the Regional Trial Courts.
Also, when comparing the data from 2012 to 2015, the trust in local government units also was the most stable relative to the more volatile levels of trust in the country’s executive, legislative and judicial institutions. On the other hand, the Office of the President suffered the greatest decline in trust with only 15% of the general public and 11% of the informed public trusting the Office in the 2015 PTI – a 13% drop since 2012.
Healthcare remains to be most trusted
Within the business sector, Health and Telco are the most trusted. Health garnered 37% from the general public and 29% from the informed public while Telco garnered 30% from the general public and 31% from the informed public. A close third is Water (29% and 24%). On the other hand, the least trusted industries are Legal Services (14% and 9%), Advertising and Public Relations (13% and 11%), Alcohol and Tobacco (7% and 4%) and Mining (5% and 4%).
Another new feature in this year’s PTI is the top-of-mind trusted companies and survey results show that almost a third of trusted companies are malls or manufacturers.
Internet usage continues to grow
While television remains to be the most trusted source of information on government and business, this year’s survey showed that trust on online media continues to increase. General public trust on online sources jumped to 16% this year from 11% last year for information on government, and 20% from 15% for businesses. This jump in trust may be attributed to increasing internet usage.
“Results of the 2015 PTI Survey show how important it is now to utilize all channels – from traditional media, to online news sites, and even social media,” shared Malyn Molina, Managing Director of Engage, the newly launched Public Affairs and Government Relations business of EON Group.
“The communication landscape today means that organizations and companies have to listen more to their stakeholders, even consider stakeholders beyond the usual groups it engages, and truly understand their position or concerns,” Molina added. “Increasing trust on digital platforms definitely makes the communication landscape more complicated. However, it also means that more Filipinos now can express their opinion in a bigger, more public space and participate in important national and regional discussions.”
The 4th Philippine Trust Index covered 1,620 respondents from various socioeconomic, educational and demographic backgrounds. Face-to-face interviews with respondents from urban and rural areas in NCR, North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were conducted to glean insights on the various factors that contribute to Filipinos’ trust in institutions.
The 2015 PTI Launch was attended by executives from local and international companies, representatives from business associations and NGOs, members of the academe and the media.
For more information, visit www.eon.com.ph.