Private sector urged to take more active role in fighting corruption

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 06 2014 08:18 AM | Updated as of Feb 06 2014 04:18 PM

MANILA - The private sector has to take a more active role in participating or implementing programs to fight corruption, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) said.

Speaking at the NCC Dialogues held yesterday, NCC private sector co-chair Guillermo Luz said that while there has been an effort from the private sector to contribute in the fight against corruption, he said much more needs to be done.

“We need to step it up a lot more,” he said.

He said companies could take a more active role in the fight against corruption by participating in the Integrity Initiative.

The Integrity Initiative, which is a private-sector led effort, aims to help the country escape from the vicious cycle of corruption through strengthening ethical standards in the society.

The initiative, launched in 2010, is a formal and concrete expression of commitment by companies to abide by ethical business practices and to support a national campaign against corruption.

Luz said companies could help put an end to corruption by preventing it from happening.

“Preventive step is the best way to prevent corruption. Cut opportunity and look at internal systems,” he said.

Social Weather Stations (SWS) president Mahar Mangahas said in the same event the private sector has to examine itself by having public universities conduct studies that would look at corruption in companies.

“The biggest impediment to corruption in the private sector is that the private sector does not want to examine itself,” he said.

The 2013 SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption showed that 56 percent of 951 executives of companies interviewed in selected cities of the country see a lot of corruption in the public sector.

The same survey showed that 42 percent say most or almost all companies in their own sector of business give bribes to win government contracts.

To determine other steps that could be taken by the private sector, Luz said the NCC is considering coming up with a study on

the perception of corruption focused on specific industries.

“Only with data can we find out what to do,” he said.

“We still have to design it and we still have to get funding,” he added.