Private firms join ‘integrity’ bandwagon
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
By: Abigail L. Ho
May 10, 2011
MANILA, Philippines? Close to 500 local companies have signed the Integrity Pledge, a multi-organization initiative that aims to elevate integrity standards in doing business and help eradicate corruption.
In a circular released to members on Tuesday, the Management Association of the Philippines, one of the organizations spearheading the Integrity Initiative, said 475 firms have so far signed the Integrity Pledge since the project was launched five months ago.
The signing of the Integrity Pledge, according to MAP president Felino Palafox Jr., was ?a clear demonstration of members? commitment to ?walk the talk? and implement policies and procedures that will support the initiative?
The Integrity Initiative is an advocacy for improved integrity standards. If your company is not in the list of signatories yet, please sign up immediately,? he said.
Apart from the MAP, other proponents of the Integrity Initiative are the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Asian Institute of Management, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Makati Business Club.
Companies that sign the Integrity Pledge commit to shun bribery in any form, maintain a code of conduct for employees to pursue ethical business practices and implement internal systems that will prevent any unethical conduct within their firms.
They also vow to maintain transparent and appropriate financial reporting mechanisms and to allow themselves to be subjected to audits should the need arise. They also commit to eventually enter into ?integrity pacts? with government agencies and other businesses, especially in the area of procurement.
Over the four-year duration of the project, the proponents aim to eventually formulate integrity standards by which companies will be measured?an ISO that will give qualified firms a seal of recognition.
The objective is to get government agencies on board by making them commit to accept only those bids coming from integrity-certified companies. This will encourage more companies to sign the Integrity Pledge.
So far, there is no integrity certification for private companies anywhere in the world.