By Junex Doronio

ACKNOWLEDGING THE SUPPORT of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the improvement in the ease of doing business,” several Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) have called on the country’s Chief Executive to take a stronger hand of curbing graft.

This is the “clarion call” of some business leaders following a 2023 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey in partnership with the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) whose result showed that 97 percent of the 157 CEOs in the country said that the government is not performing well in fighting corruption.

“Usually not mentioned in terms of corruption in different speeches during the State of the Nation Address (SONA)… but the President has always supported the improvement in the ease of doing business,” PwC Philippines Deals and Corporate Finance Managing Partner Mary Jade Divinagracia lamented.

Last year’s survey, however, revealed that 67 percent of 119 CEOs all over the country believed that no strong action has been taken so far against corruption.

Divinagracia called on PBBM to include the eradication of corruption in the government’s prime focus and to develop a stronger policy against any form of graft.

“For the private sector, if we are able to address that properly or if we streamline the bureaucracy in government, especially in permits and licenses, I think it will somehow reduce corruption,” she noted.

On the other hand, MAP Conference Committee Chief Executive Officer Alma Rita Jimenez blamed what she called “enablers” for the continuing corrupt practices in the country.

“It is not going to be rocket science. But I will just say that it takes two to tango: there is no corruption if we are not going to have corruptors. Two always play the game. For me, it is a systemic problem, but it can be gradually managed if we refuse to be the initiators of corruption,” Jimenez said. (ai/mnm)