Saturday, April 13, 2024

Converge ICT unveils upgraded whistleblowing policy

Fiber broadband and technology solutions provider Converge ICT Solutions has fortified its corporate governance practices with a whistleblowing policy that now includes the protection of human rights as one of its guiding principles.

Converge SVP and corporate compliance and data protection officer Laurice Esteban-Tuason said the company has added ‘Human Rights’ in its categories for reported violations and wrongdoings under its two-year-old Whistleblowing Policy. 

“That’s one improvement we’ve done with our Whistleblowing Policy this year, and this is in line with our company’s Human Rights policy. This is a sure signal that we are taking a strong stand against corporate wrongdoing. We are sending a message of good corporate governance,” said Esteban-Tuason on the occasion of National Whistleblower’s Appreciation Day recently.  

Converge reintroduced a stronger Whistleblowing Policy in 2022 to uphold corporate governance and as a sign of good corporate housekeeping in the company. The establishment of the policy is aimed at ensuring that employees and partners are upholding the highest level of corporate governance. This will result in stronger performance and better customer service.

“This National Whistleblower’s Appreciation Day is important for Converge because we value the importance of courageous whistleblowers for speaking up and strengthening the integrity of the company. Whistleblowers need to be empowered to speak up and report any wrongdoing so we can take appropriate action,” Grace Y. Uy, Converge president and co-founder, added. 

The reinvigorated whistleblowing policy empowered employees to report misconduct or wrongdoing without fear of retaliation through an online platform. Aside from enforcing ethical corporate behavior and practice, the whistleblowing policy contributes to operational efficiency and savings.

“Whenever there’s a report, we see that there are lapses in the process so the next step is to sit down with the business units and empower them and help them create a policy to ensure that there’s also no room for people to be enticed with performing corrupt deeds. In terms of savings, we see some revenue leakages because of the gaps in the process when we analyze the incidents. The procedures that we draft with the business units fill in those gaps,” Esteban-Tuason said. 

The incidents reported through the Whistleblowing Platform that are considered as serious offenses undergo administrative hearing, and can lead to disciplinary action of up to termination of employment once the grave misconduct has been proven true. So far, the majority of reported incidents were resolved through dialogue with the supervisor, managing head, and Human Resources team.

“With around 53% of reported incidents settled through dialogue, it shows that we have a strong internal conflict resolution in place here at Converge,” Esteban-Tuason said.

She also noted that there was also an increase in the number of reported incidents which indicates that employees feel open and empowered to report perceived violations but in the long term, she expects to see a decrease in reports as corporate behavior improves over time. 

The whistleblowing program forms part of the Converge Sustainability strategy, as one of the sustainability principles of the company is to “uphold integrity and good governance.”

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