Freeman Cebu Business

Integrity matters, Excellence counts

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry J. Schumacher - The Freeman

I love the two journalism pillars on which Business World stood for the past years and still stands today.

Excellence is needed to move organizations forward. Excellence is driving us in business faster and faster as digitalization creates new compliance environments almost daily.

And we cannot be successful without observing integrity and ethics in what we do.

Understanding of ‘public interest’ and ‘political integrity’

Political integrity means exercising political power consistently in the public interest, independent from private interests, and not using power to maintain the office holder’s own wealth and position.

Understandings of ‘public interest’ are ever evolving and at times hotly debated. What is clear, is that political integrity is only possible when safeguards exist throughout the political process:

1. The process to elect, appoint or select those who hold power is free from the undue influence of vested interests.

2. That all stakeholders have inclusive, open and meaningful opportunities to equally influence decision-making.

Political decisions and power holders are subject to scrutiny by the public and institutional checks and face consequences for using power for private gain.

Undisclosed, unchecked, or undue influence over the powerful skews resources and policies away from the common good. It perpetuates inequality, undermines democracy and deprives people of their human rights.

I enjoyed the letter of Nono Felix, monitoring and evaluation manager, [email protected]  in last Wednesday’s Inquirer under the headline: Transparency and Accountability: Make LGUs do development work like NGOs.

In the end, we should all promote more effective cooperation between LGUs and NGOs, as both are accountable to their constituents and beneficiaries, respectively, and to their funders and donors/supporters.

President Marcos’ urging LGU’s to tap PPP as project cooperation and financing mode makes sense as the way forward; this is a good example of getting LGUs and the Private Sector, including NGOs, to work together.

Rightsizing – why is it needed?

The regulatory mania of the authorities can be excessive, and many rules are pointless and contradictory, and sometimes incomprehensible and obstructive.

The following urgently needs to happen: Fundamental dismantling of bureaucratic obstacles, simplification of rules, automation/digitization of processes wherever possible.

In other words, the President’s instruction to right size is needed.

Education Reform – investments in human capital are needed

The investment in human development is a strategy for economic recovery and inclusive growth. The private sector would love to cooperate with Education Secretary Sara Duterte to specifically focus on technical training and ‘learning by doing’. Workforce skills are critical if the Philippines is to gain from its ‘demographic dividend’.

Tax Reform – how will it affect us?

President Marcos identified his administration’s priority in tax reforms. Unfortunately, details on the tax reform are not available yet. We are still hoping that Finance Secretary Diokno will outline the balancing act between supporting economic recovery and containing the country’s fiscal deficit. We need to understand the tax reform the Marcos Administration through the DOF wish to introduce and how tax incentives for local and foreign investors will be handled. The suggestion to manage the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs more effectively is certainly appreciated.

Exciting times with the need for change, for the common good. There is no question about the willingness of the private sector to cooperate with the Administration and Congress to ‘imagineering’ the future!

The time for change is now; let’s work together. You can contact me at [email protected]

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