“Here are some survey results.”
The public relations and research firm EON Group this year disclosed the findings of its trust research, based on a face-to-face poll nationwide of 800 respondents 18 and above. The results are disturbing—for business.
Business is losing the public’s trust. In 2017, business enjoyed a trust rating of 75 percent. In 2021, that trust fell to a low of 66 percent, a drop of 9 percentage points or 12 percent.
Business has been the most dynamic and helpful in helping the nation go through the most difficult pandemic of the century and enabling the country to recover from the economic slump caused by the pandemic. The major corporations like SMC, Ayala and PLDT Group spent billions to help with the pandemic, biting into big chunks of their profits to fund their generosity.
All the other institutions of society showed gains or held on to their high trust ratings—the Church 90 percent in 2019 and 91 percent in 2021; the academe 90 percent in both 2019 and 2021; media 69 percent in 2019 to 76 percent in 2021; and government, 76 percent in both 2019 and 2021.
The fact that the Church has kept its high trust rating befuddles me.
If you ask me, our Catholic Church failed the Filipino people. Its leaders retreated into the safety of their cocoons, seldom seen or heard from, even after 100 nuns got sick with COVID in a Quezon City convent.
The senior Church prelates failed to fight for the right of Catholics to go to their church and hear mass. That is a gross violation of the Constitution, of the people’s right to practice their religion. It is not the business of the government to count how many churchgoers could enter a particular church on a particular day.
The Church also failed to help the people in their hour of greatest need. It took a nondescript girl in suburban Quezon City to think of community pantries—to give away basic goods to the poor, hungry and the jobless.
The Philippine Catholic Church is one of the richest in the world. It is one of the biggest contributors to the Vatican, another institution that did not help much during the two years of the pandemic.
With its network of churches (there is one in every small town and big city), schools, and convents, the Philippine Catholic Church could have readily marshalled the resources, funds, manpower, and retail stations to erect community pantries in all the country’s barangays. But it did not. And one cardinal caught COVID.
Also a big trust rating winner is media, up from 69 percent in 2019 to 76 percent in 2021, a 10-percent gain, despite disinformation and disinformation peddled by mainstream media outlets as well as the social media.
Amazingly, despite Pharmally, Duque dropping the ball, twice, first on Pfizer vaccines and then on US-made syringes, the government kept the trust of the people. It scored a healthy 76 in both 2019 and 2021, approximating President Duterte’s own high trust ratings. This is amazing considering that the government is generally perceived as having mismanaged the pandemic.
Duterte imposed the severest and longest pandemic lockdown in the world, from March 15, 2020 to this day. The lockdown eviscerated 20 percent of the economy, collapsed 70 percent of businesses (half of them, for good), and displaced 30 million workers nationwide.
NGOs-civil society was also a big winner. Its trust rating leaped phenomenally, almost double, from 37 percent in 2017 to 70 percent in 2021.
Said Eon Group on its own findings:
“The 2021 PTI, titled RISE & RESPOND: Trust Rewards the Agile and the Future- Ready, reveals that the trust level for the business sector declined while the other five institutions were able to maintain or even increase public trust in them from 2019.”
“Four of them, notably the Church, the academe, the media, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), saw a rise in trust. NGOs, in particular, saw the highest gain, nearly doubling its 2019 trust rating this year. The government’s level of trust, however, has remained constant since 2019.”
“Trust in the media has increased since 2019, though it has yet to reach its 2017 rating. This institution earned its highest trust ratings from Gen Xers and its highest boost in trust from the Visayas.”
“Trust in the academe has maintained its 2019 trust level, though its 2017 trust rating still remains its highest. It earned the full trust of Baby Boomers but saw a downward trend in trust level among Metro Manila and South Luzon residents.”
“Trust in the Church has remained high since 2017. The institution rates the highest among Baby Boomers and North/Central Luzon residents, though its trust levels in South Luzon and Mindanao decreased.”
“Government has maintained public trust in spite of the pandemic. Trust in government has maintained its 2019 level despite the pandemic. It received a very low trust rating from millenials, however, and it continues to receive its lower score from the Visayas.”
“Trust in business has been declining since 2017. For 2021, it received its lowest ratings from Baby Boomers and saw a trust level increase only in Metro Manila.”
Speaking of media, in a separate survey, by PublicusAsia on Oct. 11-18, 2021, among 18 media outlets rated by respondents, GMA Network 7 topped the field, with total high trust rating of 52.6 percent, and a total low trust of just 11.6 percent. A close second was CNN Philippines, with a total high trust rating of 50.8 percent and total low rating of 11.6 percent.
More than half of Philippine tv viewers have a high trust in GMA7. Only one of every ten TV viewers has a low trust in the network.
Among the 18 media outlets polled, GMA enjoyed the highest “very high trust” rating of 21.667 percent. GMA also had the lowest No Trust among the 18 media companies, just 2.533 percent.
Rappler had the highest No Trust rating among the media outlets, a disturbing 23.67 percent, followed closely by ABS-CBN Online, with 20.467.
Rappler and ABS-CBN Online are the only two media outlets with double-digit No Trust ratings—one of every four Filipinos in the case of Rappler, and one of every five in the case of ABS-CBN Online.