Europe-PH News

\'Integrity Pledged\' Companies Said to Gain Advantage

April 17, 2011

Max V. De Leon

Europe-PH News

The Integrity Pledge program is fast becoming a tool to gain competitive advantage for companies as the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines ECCP and other business groups started to convince government agencies to stop dealing with firms that have not signed the pledge.

Henry Schumacher, outgoing ECCP executive vice-president, said the departments of Education, Energy, and Public Works and Highways have committed they will come up with new rules that will bar from any bidding the companies that have not signed the Integrity Pact.

The Integrity Pledge cooked up by the ECCP, Makati Business Club, and Management Association of the Philippines binds companies that will sign the pact not to engage in corrupt and unethical practices.

Since the program was launched in 2009, about 500 companies have so far signed the Integrity Pledge.

Schumacher said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have agreed to give preferential treatment to pact pledgers.

"The BIR is looking at a 'blue lane' and the BOC a 'super green lane'.  They will probably issue a circular that contains the parameters," said Schumacher, referring to the two agencies' actions to pave the way for pact pledgers to deal with them.

ECCP president Hubert d' Aboville said with these developments there is no doubt that more companies will be signing the pledge as it becomes a competitive advantage for them especially with the decision of the new administration to work with the business sector on this pledge making the campaign against corruption more effective.  "[Corruption] has [become] a cancer
and we have found the cure to this cancer," said d' Aboville.

Of the 500 companies that have signed the pledge, Schumacher said about 200 are members of the ECCP.

He said in the next board meeting of the group, they will determine if the group will make the signing of the Integrity Pledge mandatory for ECCP members.  The chamber currently has 680 members.

D' Aboville said once the number of signatories has reached 1,000, the program will surely become a norm for the private sector.


Source: Business Mirror; Companies; 15 April 2011

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