By Wilnard Bacelonia

TRANSPARENCY. Commissioner Geraldine Marie Berberabe-Martinez discusses the Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations’ Anti-Corruption and Integrity Program at the Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Network on Corporate Governance of State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) on Dec. 8, 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia. She spoke during a session on “Preventing Corruption and Improving Business Integrity in SOEs.” (Photo courtesy of GCG)

MANILA – The Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) on Wednesday announced that it had launched an active approach to transparency and accountability in the GOCC sector during a recent meeting of the Asia-Pacific Network on Corporate Governance of State-owned Enterprises (SOE) held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

GCG Commissioner Geraldine Marie Berberabe-Martinez presented during the meeting GCG’s whistleblowing policy to enable any concerned individual to report and provide information on matters involving the actions of GOCC officials and employees.

In 2016, Martinez said GOCCs were required to establish their own whistleblowing systems as well as an online link in their official websites to the GCG’s Whistleblowing Web Portal.

“We needed to enumerate specific acts or omissions so that it will be easier for us to respond… this is to clearly inform stakeholders the nature of acts that may be reported so that this will not be merely customer service complaints,” she said.

Under the revised policy, Martinez said the GCG created an Integrity Division to serve as the dedicated unit that implements the whistleblowing policy of the GOCC sector which will focus on procurement, disposition of properties, bonuses, allowances and incentives of GOCCs.

A GOCC Anti-Corruption Task Force will also be created to safeguard the PHP10 trillion in total assets of the GOCC sector and prevent the dissipation and wastage of public funds from corruption.

It will be composed of agencies that will primarily coordinate for fact-finding that can gather, consolidate and analyze information to build a solid case against erring GOCC officers and employees.

Gathered information will then be submitted to the proper bodies for the prosecution and final determination of administrative, civil, or criminal liability.

Martinez also mentioned to the body the appointment of GCG chairperson Alex Quiroz, a former magistrate of the Sandiganbayan, the anti-graft court of the Philippines.

“This in itself signals the serious drive towards anti-corruption in the government corporate sector,” she said.

The Asia-Pacific SOE Network provides a forum for policymakers, practitioners and experts from Asia and the Pacific countries to discuss common challenges and share good practices regarding SOE ownership and governance.

It also serves as a venue to evaluate corporate governance policies and practices and develop recommendations for effective reform adapted to Asian economies. (PNA)