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Philippines

Improving Corporate Accountability (PH0041)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Philippines National Action Plan 2015-2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Integrity Initiative, Inc.

Support Institution(s): Department of Budget and Management/Government Procurement Policy Board. Makati Business Club, Philippine Business Groups-Joint Foreign Chambers (PBG-JFC)

Policy Areas

Private Sector

IRM Review

IRM Report: Philippines End-of-Term Report 2015-2017, Philippines Mid-Term Progress Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Public sector corruption will not thrive without the participation of the private sector. Many companies in the Philippines bribe government officials in order to win government contracts or expedite government processes.
The Integrity Initiative was launched in December 2010 to help create a culture of integrity within both the public and private sector. After more than four years, over 3,000 corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, have signed an Integrity Pledge where signatories commit themselves and their respective organizations not to engage in bribery and other unethical business practices. However, this remains to be a small proportion of the total number of corporations/organizations in the country.
In order to expand this number significantly, government as a whole must come out with specific policy issuances that will encourage organizations to sign the Integrity Pledge, as some government agencies and even government owned corporations (e.g. Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Education, PEZA, Subic Bay Management Authority, Clark Development Corporation, John Hay Management Corporation and Development Bank of the Philippines) have done. The mainc objective is to institutionalize public and corporate accountability, integrity, and transparency by cultivating through the promotion of common ethical and acceptable integrity standards by the public and private sector. Relevance - This commitment is relevant in promoting Public Accountability
and Civic Participation. This collaborative effort between the government and the business sector aims to:
a) provide incentives for good corporate behavior; and
b) create a mechanism through which the private sector can seek redress and/or remediation of integrity issues both in the public and private sectors.
Government will play a crucial role in recognizing entities that will follow OGP principles and observe the highest ethical standards in dealing with the public sector. Ambition - This initiative seeks to significantly expand the number of organizations that sign the Integrity Pledge. These organizations will be required to implement strict integrity management programs themselves. It is hoped that signing the Integrity Pledge will become a requirement in private sector participation in government procurement activities, thereby increasing public sector integrity and safeguarding public resources.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

13. Integrity Initiative on Corporate Accountability

Commitment Text:

Public sector corruption will not thrive without the participation of the private sector. Many companies in the Philippines bribe government officials in order to win government contracts or expedite government processes. The Integrity Initiative was launched in December 2010 to help create a culture of integrity within both the public and private sector. After more than four years, over 3,000 corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, have signed an Integrity Pledge where signatories commit themselves and their respective organizations not to engage in bribery and other unethical business practices. However, this remains to be a small proportion of the total number of corporations/organizations in the country. In order to expand this number significantly, government as a whole must come out with specific policy issuances that will encourage organizations to sign the Integrity Pledge, as some government agencies and even government owned corporations (e.g. Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Education, PEZA, Subic Bay Management Authority, Clark Development Corporation, John Hay Management Corporation and Development Bank of the Philippines) have done. The mainc objective is to institutionalize public and corporate accountability, integrity, and transparency by cultivating through the promotion of common ethical and acceptable integrity standards by the public and private sector. Relevance - This commitment is relevant in promoting Public Accountability and Civic Participation. This collaborative effort between the government and the business sector aims to: a) provide incentives for good corporate behavior; and b) create a mechanism through which the private sector can seek redress and/or remediation of integrity issues both in the public and private sectors. Government will play a crucial role in recognizing entities that will follow OGP principles and observe the highest ethical standards in dealing with the public sector.

Ambition - This initiative seeks to significantly expand the number of organizations that sign the Integrity Pledge. These organizations will be required to implement strict integrity management programs themselves. It is hoped that signing the Integrity Pledge will become a requirement in private sector participation in government procurement activities, thereby increasing public sector integrity and safeguarding public resources.

Responsible institution: Integrity Initiative, Inc.

Supporting institutions: Department of Budget and Management/Government Procurement Policy Board. Makati Business Club, Philippine Business Groups-Joint Foreign Chambers (PBG-JFC

Start date: 1 August 2015

End date: 31 December 2017

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to institutionalize public and corporate accountability, integrity, and transparency through the Integrity Initiative. The integrity Initiative aims to cultivate and promote common ethical and acceptable standards of integrity in the public and private sector. More specifically, this commitment sets out to enlist 3,000 Integrity Pledge signatories in 2015, 5,000 in 2016, and 10,000 in 2017. The commitment also aimed to issue and pass a policy in support of the Integrity Initiative.[Note: For details, see Aceron, Joy. 2017. Philippines Progress Report, 2015-2017. Open Government Partnership Independent Reporting Mechanism. ]

Status

Midterm: Limited

At the midterm, the level of completion of this commitment was limited. While several advocacy and outreach events took place to support the achieving the target, it was not reached. 2,636 out of 3,000 signatories were secured in 2015 and 3,755 out of 5,000 were reached in 2016. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has yet to issue a policy in support of the Integrity Initiative.

End of term: Limited

At the time of writing this report, the number of signatories remains unchanged.[Note: The list of signatories is available at http://integrityinitiative.com/signatories/. ] The DBM has not passed a specific policy adopting and/or supporting Integrity Initiative. Although some parameters of the Integrity Initiative have been incorporated into procurement policy, this is still limited and may not achieve the desired impact as a separate Integrity Initiative policy or program.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

Public Accountability: Did Not Change

The commitment is not directly relevant to any OGP values. However, many private sector players were willing to adopt integrity standards. This is a milestone that can be built on to achieve more systemic gains, such as policies that link compliance to those standards with the eligibility of these businesses as service providers in government procurements. Encouraging integrity in the private sector also indirectly addresses corruption in government, since the private sector is often on the other side of illegal transactions. However, the initiators must watch out for reversal of gains. Cheska Castillo of the Integrity Initiative pointed out that the Integrity Pledge adopted by the Department of Public Works and Highways, an agency with a reputation for corruption, has since been abandoned by its new secretary.[Note: Documentation Report. Roundtable discussion on ‘Did it Open Government’ organized by Government Watch. October 12, 2017.]

Carried Forward?

This initiative has not been carried forward. For this initiative to contribute to more ambitious corruption prevention,[Note: Aceron, Joy. 2017. Philippines Progress Report, 2015-2017. Open Government Partnership Independent Reporting Mechanism.] the IRM researcher recommends that the Integrity Initiative secretariat in the Makati Business Club focus on actions taken on integrity issues which surfaced through the certification system. This includes those involving corporate accountability and anti-corruption measures. Reviewing the indicators to include standards that are important to deter corrupt activities, such as anti-bribe measures, would also strengthen this anti-corruption effort. Mainstreaming the Integrity Pledge as a requirement of government in its transactions with the private sector and monitoring compliance to these integrity indicators are also good next steps to pursue.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership