Corruption – alive and kicking
INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry Schumacher (The Freeman) - October 23, 2020 - 12:00am

Looking at the headlines in national newspapers last Wednesday,

* DPWH chief forms task force to probe anomalies

* Rody won’t forgive corrupt officials

* Peso 40 billion pocketed by corrupt BI officials – Hontiveros

* Senators alarmed at influx of young Chinese ‘retirees’

* PhilHealth – ‘ghost patients, fake receipts, admissions beyond bed capacity, upcasing of claims, fake members, laxity in premium collection

It is obvious that the corruption issues are still here and are affecting all of us.

We also have to realize that corruption is only possible because people in power are using their ‘options to collect’ and the private sector is either part of the process or scared to blow the whistles.

It is time that the private sector steps back and supports the initiatives to reduce and finally eliminate corruption. The Integrity Initiative believes that corruption is one of the biggest impediments to economic growth and prosperity and has been eroding the moral fiber of society. We created the Integrity Pledge in 2011 and invited companies to commit to change.

Given the fact that 9 years later corruption is alive and kicking, let me highlight some of the commitments (abbreviated) of the Integrity Pledge:

* We will prohibit bribery in any form in all activities under our control…

* We will maintain a Code of Conduct to guide our employees towards ethical and accountable behavior at all times…

* We will conduct training programs for our employees and promote integrity, honesty, and accountability in the exercise of their duties…

* We will implement appropriate internal systems and controls to prevent unethical conduct by our employees and ensure good governance…

* We will maintain appropriate financial reporting  mechanisms that are accurate and transparent,

* We will maintain channels by which employees and other stakeholders can raise ethical concerns and report suspicious circumstances in confidence without risk of reprisal…

* We will enter into integrity pacts with other businesses and government agencies when dealing with procedures related to bidding and procurement.

To secure collective action among business enterprises to foster ethical, clean, and transparent business transactions, we commit to:

* Support a nationwide initiative intended to create fair market conditions…

* Share ‘best practice’. Tools and concepts which are intended to be used by all participating entities to achieve the goals of the Integrity Initiative,

* Assist and contribute ideas to develop a unified ‘Business Code of Conduct’, acceptable to all participating entities (actually, the Integrity Initiative is presently working on a bill that will punish private sector individuals and companies involved in corruption);

* Support the development of an audit and certification program (including a training program for advisers and auditors) that will offer a toolbox for enterprises to introduce and implement ethical practices in their business processes; and institutionalize the whole process to promote a culture of integrity in business.

 

 

I think it’s high time that you consider to become a member of the Integrity Initiativeand be part of a growing group of ethically-conscious companies spearheading positive change in the country.  Contact me if you want to join or need additional information; my email address is hjschumacher59@gmail.com

CORRUPTION
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