04 July 2013

SBMA exec signs Integrity Pledge to boost Subic business climate

In an effort to strengthen further the agency’s good governance platform,Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia recently signed a pledge to practice ethical business and good corporate governance, joining a growing number of ethically-conscious business leaders who aspire to create positive change in the country.

The SBMA chairman was joined by SBMA directors Joseph Khonghun and Joven Reyes during the signing of the so-called Integrity Pledge with Makati Business Club executive director Peter Perfecto last week to set the tone from the top and commit the SBMA and all its officers and employees to behave with integrity and to carry on their responsibilities ethically.

“This is in consonance with the agency’s corporate governance initiative and in line with the national government’s platform of good corporate governance,” Garcia explained. “We’d like to stress here that transparency and accountability make perfect business sense,” he added.

Garcia said the Integrity Program is the latest in a series of moves by SBMA officials to instil a culture of transparency and accountability in the Subic Bay Freeport, a growing hub for business and industry.

“This is a very important step,” Garcia said. “Aside from seeking to strengthen the agency’s corporate governance initiatives, this is expected to create a more conducive investment climate in the Subic Freeport, which is what we’re after in the first place.”

Following the signing of the Integrity Pledge, Garcia said that he would require SBMA departments to come up with appropriate internal systems and controls to prevent, detect, and respond to any unethical conduct by employees; ensure good governance; and institutionalize the values of integrity and accountability in their business transactions.

“We also hope that this would set the ball rolling and inspire companies and agencies in Subic to do the same. We aim to prove that transparency, honesty and fairness can produce good results,” the SBMA official added.

The Integrity Initiative is a program developed by Transparency International (TI) as a tool aimed at preventing corruption in public contracting.

The adoption by SBMA of the integrity program has been recommended by experts from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), as well as Joel Ehrendreich, counselor for economic affairs at the US Embassy, who discussed the program during a visit in September last year. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia (second from right) shakes the hand of Makati Business Club executive director Peter Perfecto after signing the Integrity Pledge with SBMA directors Joseph Khonghun (left) and Joven Reyes.