• Perks for integrity pledge eyed

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    The Integrity Initiative, a private sector-led effort promoting good governance and transparency, wants the government to recognize companies with certification of practicing ethical business and integrity through incentives like providing faster government services.

    Integrity Initiative Chair Ramon del Rosario, at the sidelines of the Integrity Summit in Makati City on Wednesday, told reporters that they would be putting in place certification system to recognize enterprises that adhere and commit to integrity practices.

    “(What) we need is to put in place the certification system. We don’t want companies to be recognized just signing the (Integrity) Pledge,” del Rosario said.

    The Integrity Pledge is a concrete commitment of companies to ethical business practices and good corporate governance.

    After signing of the Pledge, the company must adopt the Unified Code of Conduct for Business then go through integrity self-assessment provided via an online tool. The next process will be validation, learning interventions to address gaps, and then certification.

    Del Rosario mentioned that they want the Department of Finance (DOF) to support the Integrity Initiative in order to involve the Bureau of Internal Revenues (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BOC)—the two government offices which transact with businesses, to this initiative.

    “Once those certification are in place, I am hoping that the Department of Finance through BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) and BOC (Bureau of Customs), will recognize these companies through things like faster processing of income tax returns. In Customs side, we talk green lanes or facilitated lanes for importers who have a good track record and who have certification as participants of this program,” he said.

    “That’s the kind of encouragement that we find very helpful. And we hope to see more and more of that,” he added.

    “Once we get that, there is much stronger interest in participating in Integrity Initiative from private sectors,” he pointed out.

    Currently, there are 3,004 small, medium, and large enterprises that signed the Integrity Pledge.

    Although, 260 companies have undergone self-assessment while 14 companies were already rated as “advanced” in the level of their integrity practices.

    PNA

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