Health and Fitness

Catriona's Advocacies are Education and Poverty Alleviation: Which Social Issues do Filipinos Actually Care About?

Kantar study also reveals to what extent Filipinos act on these problems.
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Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds have evolved from sharing photos and posting updates to becoming platforms to learn and discuss various social issues. The answer to the Facebook status box’s eternal question of “What’s on your mind?” has shifted to users’ stands on current real-world problems.

And according to global research firm Kantar, the social issue that Filipinos care about the most is the eradication of poverty.

In its study called “Purpose in Asia,” Kantar surveyed over 3,000 respondents across nine Asia-Pacific markets, including the Philippines. The report revealed which five issues these consumers care about the most and distinguished them from the five problems they see discussed the most on various media platforms, which include social media as well as mass media.

Poverty ranked first in the former list of issues Filipinos care about, and other related issues such as education and hunger were also seen in the top five. It came in second in the latter group of problems Filipinos often hear about, being overtaken by discussions on gender inequality.

Kantar also reported on how these issues were distributed and acted upon, highlighting the Philippines as the market most influenced by social media. Seventy-eight percent of Filipino respondents said that they were more conscious or aware of a societal issue because they were exposed to it in a social media platform, much higher than the overall figure of 61 percent.


As well, more than a third of the Filipino respondents were classified as “digital campaigners,” which Kantar described as “people who like and share regularly online and are keen to share their views on subjects they care about.” These individuals are “highly vocal” across several social media platforms and call upon consumer brands to also take stands on issues they’re passionate about.

A smaller but still significant chunk of the Filipino respondents were labeled “social media followers,” which referred to those who are “highly active on social media, however less likely to get involved in the real world.” Kantar said that 25 percent of Filipino respondents fell in this category, whose main way of engaging with societal issues was by liking and sharing relevant posts instead of vocalizing their own opinions on the matter.

The rest of the Filipino respondents fall under one of two groups: those who have taken direct action by taking their stand offline such as in demonstrations and petitions, and those who choose not to involve themselves with these issues at all. While Kantar did not specify how many Filipinos belong to either group, those who take direct action emerged as the smallest group overall and those not involved is the largest segment.

As Kantar focuses on bringing market insights to top consumer brands, the report also highlighted how companies who bring awareness to these issues or even vocalize their stands in their campaigns are perceived, and Filipinos are among the most receptive. Seventy-six percent of Filipino respondents said they were more likely to buy from brands that share their views and passions, while 71 percent said that they would pay more for brands that promote sustainability. More broadly, 90 percent of the survey’s respondents agreed that brands should get involved in these social issues and incorporate them into their campaigns.

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“Consumers in Asia are calling for brands to have a purpose—to have a voice in the issues that matter to them,” wrote Kantar in the report. “With 90 percent saying that brands should get involved, it is now an expectation, not a bonus.”

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Lorenzo Kyle Subido
Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer for Esquire Philippines.
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