08 August 2017

Integrity Pledge waived for renewal of locator’s permit

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Board has issued Resolution 17-05- 2004, removing the Integrity Pledge as a requisite for renewal of a locator’s business certificate.

The resolution came out on June 15 this year.

Earlier, Brighterday Subic Ltd. Inc. (BSLI), operator of All Hands Beach, filed a petition before Branch 75 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) challenging the requirement made by SBMA for investors to compulsorily sign the Integrity Pledge.

Mark Dayrit, Brighterday chairman, complained before the court that free port investors were being “coerced and forced” to sign the pledge for their business operations to continue.

The investors were previously required to submit the signed Integrity Pledge at least a week before the renewal or issuance of their business permit.

The RTC had issued an injunction in favor of BSLI because it found that Resolution 17-05-2004 was being implemented in an “abhorrent” manner.

It then directed the SBMA to issue BSLI’s Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption (CRTE).

Because of the subsequent issuance of the resolution, the court dismissed the petition filed by BSLI.

In his order issued on July 26, Judge Raymond Viray of RTC Branch 75 said the petition was rendered moot and academic after the SBMA removed the Integrity Pledge as a prerequisite for business registration and renewal of permit.

Viray added that the free port asked the court to dismiss the petition of Brighterday Subic Ltd. Inc., saying the SBMA had removed the pledge from its business requirements.

The SBMA described the Integrity Pledge as a commitment to ethical business practices and good corporate governance.

On May 23, the SBMA Board passed a resolution that removed the pledge from the requisites in obtaining a certificate of registration and tax exemption.

Instead, the board decided to make the Integrity Pledge a voluntary document as a “good governance practice.” (Manila Times)