President Benigno S. Aquino III graces the Forbes Global CEO Conference at the Grand Ballroom of the Solaire Resort & Casino in No.1 Asean Avenue, Entertainment City, Parañaque City on Wednesday (October 14) with the theme: “Toward A Winning Vision.” Also in photo are Forbes Media, USA chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes, Jr., Forbes Media, USA president and chief executive officer Mike Perlis, Forbes Asia, Singapore president and publisher, and Forbes Media chief executive officer for Asia William Adamopoulos  (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III graces the Forbes Global CEO Conference at the Grand Ballroom of the Solaire Resort & Casino in No.1 Asean Avenue, Entertainment City, Parañaque City on Wednesday (October 14) with the theme: “Toward A Winning Vision.” Also in photo are Forbes Media, USA chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes, Jr., Forbes Media, USA president and chief executive officer Mike Perlis, Forbes Asia, Singapore president and publisher, and Forbes Media chief executive officer for Asia William Adamopoulos (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — While public trust in Malacañang has been declining since 2012, the local government unit as a government sub-institution seems to be telling a different story as it now emerges the most trusted state entity by the public, according to the latest Philippine Trust Index study released Thursday.

In the 2015 PTI, the Office of the President suffered the greatest decline in rating with only 15 percent of the general public and 11 percent of the informed public trusting it, with a 13-percent drop since 2012. In that year, it got 26 percent from general public and 24 from informed public.

“Because of this drop the Office of the President has been overtaken by the LGU as the most trusted government sub-institution,” said Malyn Molina, EON managing director for Engage

Molina, who presented the result of the study on Thursday, also said the Senate is recovering the trust of the people this year after a steep loss between 2012 and 2014 due to the pork barrel scam.

The LGU got 19 percent from the general public and 17 percent from the informed public. Following the LGUs are the Supreme Court and the Regional Trial Courts.

Comparing PTI data from 2012 to 2015, Molina said the trust in local government units was also the most stable in relation to the more volatile levels of trust in the country’s executive, legislative, and judicial institutions.

The 4th PTI study covered 1,620 respondents from various socioeconomic, educational and demographic backgrounds.

Out of the universe of respondents, 1,200 are considered the general public and representative of the country as a whole. An additional 420 screened respondents were also added to come up with 600 respondents who are deemed the informed public—these are Filipinos who are at least college graduates and who access media for news more than thrice a week.

Face-to-face interviews with respondents from urban and rural areas in NCR, North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were conducted from July to August 2015 to get insights on the various factors that determine Filipinos’ trust in institutions.

When asked to cite a specific government agency that they trust, three out of ten respondents said that they do not trust any, said Molina.

She also said the foremost driver of the Filipino’s trust in the government is its ability to ensure national peace and security, followed closely by “helps the poor address basic needs”, “improves the Philippine economy”, and “puts corrupt politicians to jail”. These, she said, create a mix of political, social and economic considerations in building trust.

However, Filipinos largely believe that the government is unable to succeed in meeting these different criteria for trust.

The survey showed only 23 percent of the general public strongly agrees that the government is able to ensure peace and security, while only 22 percent agrees that the government helps the poor address their basic needs.

On the other hand, Filipinos see disaster preparedness as one area where the government has achieved the most success.

For the fourth year, the Church remained as the most trusted institution in the country, with 73 percent of the general public and 68 percent of the informed public trusting the Church “very much,” the survey showed.

The Academe remains to be the second most trusted institution since its inclusion to the PTI, even though far fewer Filipinos claim to trust the Academe “very much.”

Maintaining its position as the third most trusted institution is the Media.

Moreover, the study showed government is one of least trusted institutions, including the business sector and non-government organizations.

Molina noted that the 2015 PTI survey saw a plateau or no movement in terms of the ranking of institutions based on trust rating. (MNS)