MANILA, Philippines—Pay the right amount of taxes, avoid “magic” and cutting corners and most importantly, do business with fairness, honesty and integrity, and with much discernment of God’s will, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle told a gathering of over a thousand businessmen and professionals in Makati City, on Wednesday.
Tagle was the guest speaker of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP), a Catholic charismatic organization, which celebrated its 34th Grand National Breakfast Anniversary.
In welcoming the archbishop, BCBP president Manny Jimenez said Tagle’s presence at the gathering was timely amid the nation’s battle against the “forces of evil,” such as the controversial pork barrel or corruption in government.
In his hour-long speech, Tagle said many people would take shortcuts and pull strings in their rush to become rich.
“I know sometimes in our rush to be productive, we can cut corners and we can do magic. But let us be discerning,” said Tagle. “In our experience today, those who become productive not according to God’s way eventually lose their productivity,” he pointed out.
The archbishop also reminded the audience on Wednesday, to comply with tax laws. But he was quick to add that he also hoped that these taxes would be put to good use.
In a news conference earlier, Tagle was moved to tears when he spoke about the pork barrel scam and he appealed to politicians who dipped their hands into the national coffers to go to the slums and see how the poor suffer every day.
The archbishop had joined the “Million People March,” the protest action on Monday calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system and the prosecution of those involved in the scam.
“Let the world of business, especially through its corporate social responsibility, be a shining example of fairness, honesty and integrity,” he said, adding that integrity must be both personal and institutional.
“Personal and institutional integrity must come together because a people of integrity will work for systemic integrity,” he pointed out.
He also urged the gathering to change the face of business and make it “more contributory to development.”
“For business to imbibe the development it wants to offer, maybe we can turn to the Christian faith and learn not only from the clear teachings of Christ but also from some of his mysterious and even difficult teachings,” he said.
He added, “At first glance, they may sound impractical or impossible. It’s always like that. But if it is God’s way, then it will bear much fruit.”