Philippines Recieves Award On Ethical Business Practices


The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) today recognized the Philippines with the APEC Lighthouse Award for Business Ethics for the collective contribution of the country’s government, private business sector and civil society in developing and implementing guidance on ethical business practices covering bio-pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

The Lighthouse Award, now on its second year, was introduced by the United States as recognition of an individual or an organization that has served as a bright and steady light to bringing a more ethical business environment to the APEC region.

According to Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin, the Philippine Government is pleased with the evolving maturity of industry groups like biopharmaceutical sector, the medical device sector and the various health professional associations for their coming to terms in standardizing business ethics on marketing, promotions and advertising.

The Philippines, through its Department of Health (DOH), is one of the participants in the drafting of the guidance on medical products industry involvement and on proper marketing behaviour with Health Care Professionals.

More importantly, the Philippines is one of the first economies to take seriously a 2011 APEC Leader’s declaration of the Mexico City Principle and Kuala Lumpur Principle (which was co-signed by President Benigno Aquino III) by creating a set of implementing guidelines to operationalize the said declaration. These guidelines are applicable especially to the small and medium-scale enterprises and big business players of the other 20 APEC member-economies.

The 26 year old APEC is composed of 21 “member economies”. The term ‘member economies’ is used because the APEC cooperative process is predominantly concerned with trade and economic issues, with members engaging with one another as economic entities. Health is recognized as a critical component of economic trade development and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and plays an important role as driver of economic growth.

“This work is not about the health sector. It is about transparency and upholding ethical standards of the medical industry and health professionals through stronger multi-stakeholder consultation to achieve common good. We hope that this exercise is a template that other agencies, economies, and other industry sector can emulate.” Garin concluded.

The Philippines is hosting APEC 2015 and various meetings, fora and workshops held in the country since January in preparation for the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in November.

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