MAP Insights


As the world prepares to observe another World Whistleblowers Day on June 23, 2024, it’s imperative to reflect on the evolving dynamics of corporate accountability and the indispensable role whistleblowers play in unveiling wrongdoing. Amidst deliberations concerning corporate governance and transparency, the Philippines finds itself at a pivotal juncture, presenting an opportune moment to fortify its mechanisms for combating corruption and malfeasance within corporate entities.

Central to this discourse is the imperative to reassess the 1980 Corporation Code of the Philippines, a fundamental pillar of corporate law in the country. While this legislation has laid the groundwork for business operations over the decades, its deficiencies in addressing contemporary challenges have become increasingly conspicuous. 

One glaring lacuna pertains to the absence of explicit provisions safeguarding and promoting whistleblowers within corporate frameworks. Often, people within organizations such as members of audit committees, compliance officers or finance officers possess intimate knowledge of unethical practices or legal transgressions.

Nevertheless, a culture of silence frequently prevails, fueled by apprehensions of retaliation, ostracization, or the perception that speaking out is futile. It is incumbent upon us to challenge this status quo and acknowledge that those privy to misconduct have a moral obligation to raise their voices.

The repeal and amendment of the 1980 Corporation Code present an avenue to institutionalize novel provisions for whistleblowers and establish mechanisms to ensure their concerns are duly acknowledged. By mandating the incorporation of whistleblower protection measures, the revised code can incentivize people to step forward without fear of reprisal, thereby nurturing a culture of accountability and integrity within corporate realms.

However, legislative reform alone proves insufficient without complementary measures to bolster whistleblowers and furnish them with avenues to securely report misconduct. This is where the ascendancy of independent whistleblowing platforms and processes assumes paramount significance in fostering transparency and accountability.

Independent whistleblowing platforms furnish a secure, confidential and accessible conduit for people to divulge malfeasance within their organizations. By affording anonymity and safeguards against retaliation, these platforms empower whistleblowers to voice concerns without imperiling their careers or personal safety. Moreover, they serve as a vital conduit between whistleblowers, corporate governance entities and regulatory authorities, expediting the investigation and adjudication of corporate malpractice.

A primary advantage of independent whistleblowing platforms lies in their impartiality and autonomy from corporate vested interests. Diverging from internal reporting channels susceptible to manipulation or suppression by management, independent platforms operate autonomously, ensuring that reports are handled objectively and ethically.

This independence assumes pivotal importance in engendering trust and confidence among whistleblowers, encouraging them to step forward, assured that their grievances will be earnestly addressed. Furthermore, independent whistleblowing platforms can complement regulatory frameworks by plugging gaps in enforcement and oversight.

Regulatory bodies may lack the resources or jurisdiction to effectively probe every reported instance of misconduct. Independent platforms can serve as a frontline defense, triaging reports and providing preliminary assessments to regulatory authorities, thus streamlining the investigative process and optimizing the use of limited resources.

Crucially, the proliferation of independent whistleblowing platforms conveys a resounding message to corporations that transparency and accountability are nonnegotiable imperatives. In an era where corporate malfeasance routinely makes headlines, companies face mounting pressure to evince their commitment to ethical conduct and good governance. Embracing independent whistleblowing platforms not only signifies a readiness to confront malpractice but also augments corporate reputation and investor confidence in the long haul.

As we commemorate World Whistleblowers Day, let us reaffirm our pledge to shield those who hazard everything to expose corruption and injustice. The repeal and amendment of antiquated laws, such as the 1980 Corporation Code of the Philippines, represent pivotal strides toward crafting a legal framework that empowers whistleblowers and holds corporations accountable for their deeds. Nonetheless, legislative reform must be accompanied by the establishment and bolstering of independent whistleblowing platforms to ensure whistleblowers find their voice and that their voices resonate.

By embracing transparency, accountability and the potency of whistleblowing, we can forge a more equitable and just society for all stakeholders.

This article reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not reflect the official stand of the Management Association of the Philippines or MAP.


Lujer P. Danao is a member of the MAP and partner for Risk Advisory and the Clients and Market head of MOORE Roxas Tabamo & Co.