Fourteen book publishers this month signed the “Integrity Pledge,” a document which calls on businessmen to observe ethical business practices and good corporate governance. The Integrity Pledge specifically binds business owners andmanagers to “prohibit bribery in any form in all activities under their control and ensure that their charitable and political contributions, business gifts,and sponsorships are transparent and will not be for the purpose of attempting to influence the recipient, whether government or private, into an improper exercise of functions duties or judgment.”

The fourteen signatories from the book publishing Socorro Ramos of National Book Store chain, Bienvenido Tan of Bookmark,Marily Orosa, President of Studio 5 Designs Publishing, Rhodora de Leon,Marketing Manager of Gabay Eskwela Publishing House, Rossana Llenado, Presidentof Ahead Books and Things Enterprises, Deo Alvarez, General Manager of AtlasPublishing Company, Conchita Ramirez, Assistant General Manager of Brown Madonna Press, Doroteo Gerardo Alanguilan, Jr., Owner of Komikero Publishing,Jerry Vicente Catabijan, President of St. Mary’s Publishing Corporation,Rebecca Veloso, President of Studio Graphics Corporation, Elizabeth Ocampo,General Manager of Wiseman’s Books Trading, Jigger Latoza, Director of theUniversity of San Agustin-Iloilo Center for Research and Publications, Olivia Limpe-Aw of Foresight Books Publishing and Distribution Co., and Paul Aragonesof OMF Literature, Inc.

Dr. Dennis Gonzalez, the NBDB chair, said that they invited book publishers and textbook manufacturers early this month to sign the Integrity Pledge in support of President Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid” initiative to curb graft and corruption in government and to level the playing field in business. “Without support and cooperation from the private sector, any anti-corruption program that will be initiated by the government will likely fail. And a level playing field can only be achieved when textbook suppliers do not resort to bribery and other questionable practices to bag government textbook contracts,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez disclosed that early this month, NBDB circulated the Integrity Pledge among the 200 estimated book publishing firms currently operating in the country. He is hoping that more book publishers will sign the Integrity Pledge and join NBDB in its efforts to raise the quality of textbooks in the Philippines.