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Business group targets private sector corruption

Posted on January 14, 2011

ANTI-CORRUPTION efforts -- this time directed towards the private sector -- will be added to the Makati Business Club’s (MBC) priorities, its new executive director said.

Peter A. Perfecto

The business group will also be ramping up lobbying for key reforms in Congress as well as continue playing a ‘watchdog’ role albeit with more research to back petitions, Peter A. Perfecto yesterday said.

The former head of various advocacy groups like the Philippine Business for Education and the Alliance International-Philippines has been tapped to replace Alberto A. Lim, who gave up the post to become Tourism secretary.

"We will continue to watch government but also watch the business sector and get them to make integrity commitments especially with the big public-private partnership projects coming up," Mr. Perfecto said in a telephone interview yesterday, referring to infrastructure contracts the Aquino administration is preparing to bid out.

The "Integrity Initiative", a project of the MBC with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, is high up on the agenda.

It aims to get local firms to sign onto an "integrity pledge" where CEOs will ban bribes, conduct ethics training and improve the transparency of financial reporting.

It also seeks to establish guidelines and internal mechanisms to guard against corrupt practices, culminating with "an integrity certification system" which will hopefully be used by the government in screening bid participants.

"And we want to continue what we are doing: voicing out position based on research. We want to beef research up," Mr. Perfecto said.

The government has so far been "cited for good developments" but the MBC will be sure to call out any missteps should they arise, he added.

The anti-corruption approach will go on to guide the group’s fund-raising efforts with the bulk of the funding likely to go to this cause.

"That’s where there seems to be a lot of need," Mr. Perfecto said.

The group is also busy with a review of measures Congress has tagged as priorities as compared with what other business groups’ desired legislative reforms are, he said.

"We will have to [call for legislative priorities] ourselves."

Mr. Perfecto went on to note other key tasks: continuing efforts to increase MBC membership and also preparing how to mark the organization’s 30th anniversary this year.

Before joining the group, Mr. Perfecto was executive assistant to PHINMA President Ramon R. Del Rosario, Jr., chairman of the MBC, from 2007 to 2010.

He had a stint as a director of the Public Affairs Staff of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process from 2005 to 2006.