Contractors urged to sign ‘integrity pacts’
A Washington-backed grant agency has asked contractors and suppliers to sign “integrity pacts” in relation to the conduct of projects under its $434-million facility, amid perceived proliferation of corrupt practices in public projects.
Ma. Victoria E. Añonuevo, managing director and chief executive of Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines Corp. (MCA-P), said in a statement that MCA-P and its partners had signed an “Integrity Pledge” as a commitment to ethical business practices and good corporate governance.
“The pledge is a private sector-led effort to initiate controls to help curb corruption,” Añonuevo said.
Aside from MCA-P staff, other signatories are Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares.
Añonuevo added that MCA-P also required all its contractors and sub-contractors to sign integrity pacts for “procedures related to the bidding and procurement of supplies, materials, equipment and construction.”
She said these steps were needed considering that the use of foreign aid in the Philippines has been rife with allegations of fraud and irregularities, resulting in the government suspending the projects or the foreign donors shelving their aid initiatives.
Añonuevo added that “in ensuring the judicious and transparent use” of the $434-million grant from the US government, MCA-P is partnering closely with local government leaders and civil society organizations.
Guarding against possible misdeeds “becomes daunting considering that the biggest project is the rehabilitation of a 222-kilometer road network and many others are infrastructure projects in six regions,” she added.
With a $214.4-million budget, the Secondary National Roads Development project will see the rehabilitation of a road network on Samar Island.
Another major project under MCA-P is the $120-million Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services.
A third project includes the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s revenue administration reform project and the strengthening of the Revenue Integrity Protection Service, the Department of Finance’s anti-graft unit.
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