By Leslie D. Venzon
MANILA, Oct. 21 (PNA) — More publicly-listed companies are encouraged to practice good corporate governance to enhance their performance and help improve the ranking of Philippine public listed companies (PLCs) in ASEAN.
“…Consciously adopt good corporate governance for the benefit of investing public. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between good corporate governance practices and how PLC shares are regarded and therefore attractive to investors,” said Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairperson Teresita Herbosa during the Corporate Governance Forum.
Herbosa noted that Philippine PLCs seem to be lagging behind in disclosure and transparency and responsibilities of the board.
These are among the areas of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) principles covered by the ASEAN Scorecard joint initiative with the ASEAN Capital Forum.
In order for the Philippine PLCs to improve in these areas, Herbosa said companies should adopt higher standards even as there are certain requirements that are not in the country’s laws.
“We don’t have to wait for new legislation, the SEC or new amendments of the laws, you have to do it now,” she said.
Herbosa said the proposed amendments to the Corporation Code are already in Congress.
”Hopefully, that will help us score higher,” the SEC chair added.
Herbosa cited for example the need for companies to reflect in the minutes of stockholders’ meeting questions raised by the stockholders and the answers.
“The problem is sometimes they (companies) do not include all of the discussions in the minutes when that’s a factor in the scorecard. You have to reflect in the minutes any issue raised by the stockholder. That’s easy to comply,” she said.
“To be globally or regionally competitive, our corporate governance practices must be progressive and be at par with the rest of our ASEAN neighbors,” she added. (PNA)