An Exploration of the Impacts of the Rooted in Trust Project in the Philippines

Rooted in Trust’s core premise is ‘local’: to work with trusted members of local communities, first to track rumors about COVID-19 that are circulating, and then to dispel them in ways that have local resonance, as well as combat misinformation about the pandemic. (See: Understanding Trust: Global Conversations & Local Realities during the COVID-19 Pandemic)

In the Philippines, Rooted in Trust addresses, first, the lack of reliable reporting on the pandemic overall. The news coverage “is just stats,” says Gian Libot, a Senior Program Officer for Internews in the Philippines, and a former Rooted in Trust project manager there. “There’s no in-depth reporting, no long-form piece to explain what COVID-19 really is. Most Journalists rely on virtual press releases being done by local governments – that’s what people read. Beyond the numbers, there’s nothing else.”

So, Rooted in Trust aims to create virtuous information-exchange loops between public health agencies, humanitarian organizations, and the local media and help them connect effectively with COVID-19-affected communities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).