Utilities, tourism most trusted industries – survey
MANILA, Philippines – Utilities such as health care, water, Information Technology, and telecommunications are among the industries most trusted by Filipinos surveyed for the 2014 Philippine Trust Index.
Business, as one of the 6 institutions surveyed, saw a 4-percentage point increase in trust rating to 13% from 2012’s 9% vote of trust from the general public.
Trust from the informed public dropped to 1-percentage point for business as an institution, from 2012’s 11% to 2014’s 10%, according to the survey results presented on Monday, October 27.
There were 1,626 Filipinos from various socioeconomic and educational backgrounds in urban and rural areas all over the country who were tapped for the survey. The survey data was gathered from May to June 2014.
“Informed public” are those Filipino respondents from 25 to 65 years old; have completed at least 3 years of tertiary education; and have access at least twice a week to print, online, and broadcast media.
Compared to the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business has a higher “somewhat much” trust approval, with 55% from the general public and 54% from the informed public.
Cora Guidote, SM Investments Corporation senior vice president, noted the irony, saying that business should have the lowest trust rating because “it’s primarily driven by profit.”
Government, particularly the Office of the President and the Senate are the least trusted institutions according to the survey. (READ: Trust in President's office, Senate declines – survey)
The insurance and water sectors are significantly and consistently improving their trust ratings since 2011, the survey revealed.
Insurance gained a 4-percentage point trust rating to 16% from the previous period’s 12% in urban areas.
Water jumped 5-percentage point rating to 23% from previous survey’s 18%, based on results from the urban areas.
For this year’s Philippine Trust Index results, health services gained 35% general public trust and 28% informed public trust while water earned a 30% general public trust and 25% trust from the informed public.
Information technology has a 30% trust approval from the general public while it earned a trust rating of 28% from the informed public.
Telecommunications earned a 29% trust ratings approval from both the general and informed publics.
Outside of utilities, tourism achieved a 29% trust ratings nod from both the general and informed publics.
Malou Tiquia, a political management expert said that Filipinos put a lot of weight on basic services. They turn to businesses for basic needs that government is unable to provide them, as shown in the relative high trust rating for utilities.
“I give you so much trust, [so] I expect a lot from you,” Nandy Villar, ABS-CBN’s customer relationship management head said by way of explaining the trust given by Filipinos to brands or companies they highly look up to.
Real estate is among the 3 least trusted industries in the survey.
For this round of the survey, real estate only had a 12% general public trust rating and 11% trust approval from the informed public.
Malyn Molina, EON’s assistant vice president for business development and strategic planning, said the decline in trust rating for the real estate started in 2013, and could be attributed to the P6-billion ($134 million*) Globe Asiatique housing scam.
Alcohol and tobacco has a 6% general public trust approval and 5% from the informed public.
Mining is the least trusted of the industries, with only a 5% trust rating approval from the general public and 4% from the informed public.
Molina said that the alcohol and tobacco and mining industries have always been laggards in the trust ratings, attributing to respondents’ perception that institutions in general should always consider the environment when they make major decisions, and these industries are not highly perceived to be concerned for the environment.
SMEs must improve their labor practices
Over 30% of both the general and informed publics said that businesses which give fair salaries and benefits, and those implement fair labor practices, are the most trustworthy.
About 3 of 10 Filipinos strongly agree that businesses practice fair labor and give salaries and benefits, while Businesses overall are highly rated in urban areas.
Donald Lim, chief digital officer of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation said the prevalent mindset in the country is still “if the company is earning higher, my income should also be higher.”
In terms of employees’ treatment, 18.7% of the general public “trusts” businesses that has fair labor practices while 16.3% of the informed public also regard businesses as “trustworthy” when they implement fair labor rules.
Since 96% of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Guidote said they must improve their labor practices considering that most of them are still run informally, unlike large corporations that must be compliant to labor laws.
Competent leaders and willingness to communicate and listen to their stakeholders are among the other drivers of trusts for businesses, the survey showed.
The chief executive officers (CEOs), media, and the employees are considered the “most credible sources of information” about a business.
“It’s still natural for Filipinos to look up to competent leaders that’s why CEOs are still perceived as the most trusted source of information about a business,” Molina said.
The Philippine Trust Index is a research instrument that the country’s top 100 corporations subscribe to. The survey is done annually. The results were presented on by EON Incorporated, the local affiliate of Edelman, the international public relations firm which devised the research tool. – Rappler.com
($1 = P44.78)