16 December 2010 – The observance of the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9 continues this week
with the official launch today of the Integrity Initiative project of the private sector, led by the
Makati Business Club (MBC) and European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP)
in a press conference at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
The Integrity Initiative is the boldest move yet by the private sector to combat corruption in the
Philippines. It begins by getting top management of companies to expressly commit to ethical
business practices and good corporate governance through the Integrity Pledge. “Our focus is on
the CEO. It’s not just about signing a pledge, but walking the talk, with zero tolerance for
bribery and favoring long-term sustainability over short-term gain. If you have integrity, you pay
proper taxes, take care of your people and the environment,” said ECCP executive vice president
To date, almost 300 companies representing a cross-section of industries and size have signed
the Integrity Pledge through their CEOs, presidents, managing directors, and other top-level
officials. As company heads, they acknowledge their companies’ responsibility to lead by
example in the fight against corruption and operate their businesses ethically and with integrity.
Eventually, the project aims to get the support of all levels of the business organization,
especially the rank and file, through integrity circles, codes of conduct, and concrete control
Other groups that have thrown in their support for the Integrity Initiative are the Asian Institute
of Management-Ramon del Rosario Sr. Center for Corporate Governance, the Management
Association of the Philippines, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and the
Coalition Against Corruption. These organizations are now calling on the government to apply
the same degree of urgency in introducing similar anti-corruption mechanisms in public offices.
“The business sector’s success in fighting corruption in the country is anchored on government’s
willingness to likewise abide by the same set of rules of conduct,” emphasizes Mr. Schumacher.
The project envisions an eventual certification and accreditation system for companies, just like
the ISO system, to make it sustainable.
The MBC-ECCP initiative, which commenced late last year, has won the support of the global
Integrity Initiative of Siemens AG that was publicly announced last December 9, 2010. In
supporting the project, Siemens reiterates its belief that only clean business is good, sustainable
business. MBC chairman Ramon R. del Rosario Jr. during the press conference thanked Siemens
for the funding, saying that it will go a long way in ensuring that the anti-corruption projects that
the Makati Business Club and the other business groups have started will be sustained.
An initial tranche of US$40 million is being distributed by Siemens to more than 30 projects
from over 20 countries that have been selected. The MBC-ECCP project is the only project in the
Philippines being supported by the Siemens grant.