The Philippines has always been known to be one of the world’s most corrupt countries. That perception has done much to erode the nation’s credibility and has resulted in its citizens seeming lack of hope and perpetual cynicism.
An opportunity to drastically transform that image came with the change in administration of the country with President Benigno Aquino III’s anti-corruption platform, a clarion call which also allowed and emboldened the country’s private sector to face and address the problem squarely as it never had before.
For too long businesses in the Philippines had always acknowledge that corruption cuts into the cost of doing business in the country and perpetuates a skewed system that only favors entities willing to engage in unethical business practices.
Five business organizations decided to put a stop to this practice. They came up with an idea of promoting a standard way of doing business in the Philippines by committing their members to adopting a Unified Code of Conduct for Business or UCCB.
Enshrined in the Code are Integrity Standards that commit companies to institutionalize ethical business practices within their organizations and among their business partners starting with the signing of an Integrity Pledge.
In the next post, I’ll describe how the Integrity Initiative is changing attitudes and building a culture of integrity and compliance in the Philippines.
Jose Solomon “Cortz” Cortez is the Project Coordinator for the Integrity Initiative and Project SHINE, and the Makati Business Club’s Special Projects Unit Manager. Recently he represented the Philippines as a plenary speaker during the Lightning Talks session of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Asia Pacific Regional Conference held recently in Bali, Indonesia.
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