Anti-corruption drive in private sector gains tractionBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
By 2014, business groups and individual companies under the Integrity Initiative led by the Makati Business Club and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) may do business only with firms that follow the same unified code of conduct.
Eduardo Francisco, president of the Management Association of the Philippines and co-vice chairman of the Integrity Initiative, said the goal was that eventually, members would only do business with other companies that follow the unified code of conduct.
So far, about 1,500 companies have signed up under the initiative.
Yet there is “a long way to go” with about 700,000 companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said Hubert D’Aboville, past president of the ECCP and co-vice chairman of the Integrity Initiative.
“Clean business is good business,” D’Aboville said at a briefing announcing the upcoming Integrity Initiative Week on September 17-21.
The convenors called on companies supporting the national anti-corruption drive through the so-called Integrity Initiative to do business with fellow signatories in order to encourage more enterprises to shun bribery in any form.
D’Aboville said the aim was that by 2014, Integrity Initiative would implement a certification standard and provide compliant members with a “seal” that would give them priority in business dealings with fellow member-companies.
The standard is meant to harmonize existing ethical standards used by signatory-companies. At present, Integrity Initiative members sign the Integrity Pledge to shun bribery in any form, implement internal systems that will prevent any unethical conduct within their firms and maintain a code of conduct for employees to pursue ethical business practices.
Signatories also pledge to maintain transparent and appropriate procurement and financial reporting mechanisms as well as allow themselves to be subjected to audits if needed.
The Integrity Initiative also aims to get government agencies to commit to accept only bids coming from integrity-certified companies. This will encourage more companies to sign the Integrity Pledge.
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