The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) will mobilize all its member companies to do their part in fighting corruption as part of the private sector's efforts to clean the country's image and boost its competitiveness.
PCCI president Francis Chua said the organization was part of the original group that signed the Integrity Initiative, a private sector-led campaign to curb the incidence of corruption in the country.
Being the biggest business organization in the Philippines, with members ranging from small to large businesses, Chua said the PCCI recognized its role in making sure that the Integrity Initiative would succeed.
Retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, in a column piece published in the INQUIRER, challenged PCCI to lead the fight against corruption, especially among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
"The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the champion of SMEs... I challenge PCCI to match the big leaguers and launch an anticorruption drive among the grassroots enterprises. How about it PCCI?" Panganiban said.
Chua said this was exactly what PCCI planned to do.
"We are taking the challenge. We will ask all our chapters to sign up for the anticorruption campaign. We will present this to President Aquino during the Philippine Business Conference this month," Chua said in a text message yesterday.
The Integrity Initiative is spearheaded by the Makati Business Club and European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
Participants in the Integrity Initiative are committed 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 have also expressed their intent to enter into "integrity pacts" with government agencies and other businesses, especially in the area of procurement.
The goal is to eventually get government agencies to commit to accept only bids coming from "integrity-certified" companies. This is expected to encourage more companies to join the Integrity Initiative.
To date, more than 700 private companies and key government agencies have signed up for the Intergrity Initiative. This number is expected to reach at least 1,000 before the end of the year.
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer; Business; 04 October 2011