Europe-PH News

Firms Urged To Report Graft, Change System

July 04, 2012

Kathleen A. Martin Patria

Europe-PH News

Firms should tattle on government officials seeking bribes and move to address fears of retaliation via anti-corruption alliances, a veteran journalist yesterday said.

Noting that companies would rather not be whistleblowers,former broadcast journalist Maria A. Ressa now CEO of online news organization, said doing so was almost similar to paying hush money and “helps perpetuate the system.”

“Instead of succumbing to the system you should start reporting it,” Ms. Ressa said a forum hosted by the Makati Business Club (MBC), European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Management Association of the Philippines.

“Find your allies. You’ll need help,” Ms. Ressa said, noting that the business groups’ “Integrity Initiative” would provide” strength in numbers”.

A total of 1,064 firms have so far signed up for the initiative with MBC Executive Director Peter Angelo V. Perfecto yesterday saying he expects the number to double by yearend.

Some 20 state agencies have also signed on but still “a concern of many corporations is whether there will be government on board,” he noted adding that organizers also wanted more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to join.

“We recognize that with SMEs, the challenge is much greater. They are even more fearful because they are the ones who are easily bullied by officials,” Mr. Perfecto said.

The Advertising Board of the Philippines’ participation was welcomed as “this will help us reach out to the media and also propagate the idea of a private-led drive against corruption.” – KAMP


Source: Business World; Front Page; 5 July 2012

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