SINCE its launch in 2011, the Philippine Trust Index has conscientiously and consistently charted public opinion and attitudes toward six key institutions in society, namely: church, government, academe, business, media, and non-government organizations (NGOs).
Conducted annually by EON Stockholder Relations, the PTI is regarded as one of the most intensive and respected surveys because of the scope of its research (which is undertaken nation-wide and in all major population centers), and its utilization of two groups of randomly picked respondents (1) the general public, represented by respondents from various socioeconomic, educational and demographic backgrounds; and (2) the informed public, consisting of Filipinos who are college-educated and have access to news media more than thrice a week.
The release of the fourth PTI survey last Thursday, in a press conference at the Makati Shangrila Hotel, was therefore viewed with considerable interest and expectation.
Because of the earlier releases of trust and satisfaction ratings by Pulse Asia and SWS, the PTI 2015 survey findings appear stunning.
While Pulse Asia and SWS were trumpeting high approval ratings for President BS Aquino 3rd and his administration, the 2015 PTI reported that government is one of the least trusted institutions in society.
Church enjoys highest trust rating
In contrast, the church (which comprises not just the Catholic Church but other churches as well) attained and maintained the highest position of trust with the public,
Academe (which comprises the country’s institutions of learning) attained and maintained the second highest trust ranking.
Perhaps not surprisingly, media (which comprises all media, and now includes social media) attained and maintained the third highest trust ranking in the trust index.
In the 2015 Trust Index, the Church received 73 percent trust rating from the general public. It was followed by academe with 51 percent and media with 32 percent.
The government received a trust rating of 12 percent, while business and NGOs obtained nine percent each.
Aquino suffers biggest drop in ratings
The government’s low trust ranking deserves an additional note.
The Office of the President suffered the biggest drop in trust ratings from 28 percent in 2012 to 15 percent this year.
Among government sub-institutions, the local government units (LGUs) enjoyed the highest trust rating with 19 percent.
The House of Representatives is the least trusted with a rating of eight percent.
The Supreme Court obtained a 17 percent trust rating; while the Senate got 10 percent.
The PTI has credence because its survey asks respondents not only about their trust in certain institutions; it also asks specific questions about policy, practices and public attitudes.
Much still can be accomplished in eight months
Given its standing in the trust index, President Aquino and his administration should be motivated to act with greater dispatch on outstanding problems and issues.
They cannot tarry because there is a clock to all their actions today. There are just eight months to go before the Aquino presidency ends its term.
There is still a lot that the President can accomplish in eight months if he and his team will focus on problems and priorities.