Freeman Cebu Business

Integrity Nation now?

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry Schumacher - The Freeman

Wouldn’t we all like to see that the new political decision-makers, who just won in the elections, put our shared interests ahead of their own?

Business and government are encouraged to scrutinize their cozy relationship and see to it that politics and regulations are made in favor of the common good and not in favor of narrow personal interests.

Consequently, both the private sector and the new government should call for coordinated action against the usual efforts that are undermining integrity. Let’s also get the message across that building political integrity requires more than fighting corruption.

Government and private institutions need to make immediate and concerted efforts to ensure that the lives of ordinary people are not affected by corruption, being aware that corruption aggravates inequality: the well-off can afford bribes, but the poor often do without basic services.

Government and private institutions should:

1. Build people’s trust and participation by ensuring that decision-making is fully transparent, enabling citizens to hold governments to account.

2. Protect all who expose corruption, including through the protection of whistle-blowers.

3. Build integrity standards in the private sector by strengthening corporate anti-corruption standards.

4. Reduce opportunities for corruption in government contracting by improving the availability and quality of public procurement data and inviting civil-society organizations to observe the contracting processes. Let’s expand the Integrity Circles that we have established with quite several LGUs across the country; the representatives of the Integrity Circles are regular participants in the public procurement processes.

5. Ensure accountability for abuses of power, including breaches of the rule of law, through effective monitoring, enforcement, and dissuasive sanctions.

Let’s clearly understand that the future of the country and our societies hang in the balance of integrity, ethics and equality. It is up to citizens like you and me to create change. We have to make our voices heard by those in power – both in government and in the private sector. If you too would like the common good to prevail, let’s create the Integrity Nation, a nation where transparency and integrity rule and where corruption in no longer part of everybody’s life.

The time for change is now. Let’s work together in the Integrity Initiative and in Integrity Circles. Feedback is more than appreciated – contact me at [email protected]


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