Mighty Corporation aids Southern Luzon through its CSR projects

Mighty Corp. shows its support for the local farmers up north.

In line with their recent expansion, Mighty developed various Corporate Social Responsibility projects to aid millions of people nationwide.

The company also hopes that the implementation of these projects will help the economy and the country grow.

CSR projects that were implemented in North Luzon:

  1. Increased tobacco purchase – Mighty Corp. substantially increased their tobacco purchase in order to raise the income of local farmers significantly. This will also help Mighty compete in the tobacco industry on an equal playing field.
  2. Supports the use of organic Pesticides – Mighty claimed that this move will help reduce the reliance of millions of local farmers on the use of chemical-based pesticides. Mighty said that this will not only help the environment, but will also help the farmers increase their income.
  3. Scholarship Grants for the farmers’ children – Honoring their patriarch’s memory, Mighty’s foundation granted scholarships and educational assistance to children of local tobacco farmers.
  4. Provided tobacco dust to Fish Pond owners – Mighty also helped local fish pond owners fight predators that infest their ponds. The company provided them with tobacco dust, a fish pond conditioner, to help decrease the number of predators in their ponds.
  1. Absorbed Low-grade leaves – Mighty also purchased low-grade leaves from local farmers at very good prices. This helped the local farmers increase their income while also assuring them that their crops have a place on the local market.
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Mighty Corp Secrets to Success

Each one of us has different secrets in order to achieve success. Mighty Corp. is here to share theirs.

Being an underdog for many years, the oldest Filipino-owned cigarette manufacturer slowly emerged from the bottom of the industry and became one of the biggest players in the tobacco industry today.

According to the president of Mighty Corporation there are a couple of traits that each person should have in order to achieve success.

One should learn how to anticipate future trends and adjust, persevere, decide succession based on meritocracy, work hard, innovate, focus, preserve harmony, have faith, maintain people, believe in filial piety, believe in philanthropy, show humility, be loyal, and believe in destiny.

Working on these traits will help you improve your physical, mental, and emotional state. These will help shape you as a whole and improve your personality overall.

These traits will help you develop a proper mindset that can withstand problems that you are going to face. These will teach you to work hard, persevere, and focus, which are the fundamentals of a successful mindset.

Having a proper mindset will help you focus on your goal and help you to continuously improve yourself.

However, a successful man is not only about being successful in the field of business, but it’s also establishing a healthy relationship with the people around you.

These traits will help you improve your attitude towards every situation and every person you encounter.

Showing the proper attitude towards everything will not only help you ease your stress, but will also make people comfortable with you, making the work place a healthy environment to work on.

Improving one’s mindset and attitude are the first steps towards success. Once you master these traits, you will be successful in whatever you do.

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How La Campana became Mighty Corp

It was 70 years ago when Chinese migrant Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy, and Ong Pay set up La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., the country’s oldest tobacco manufacturing company.

La Campana, which had it first factory in Tayabas St. Manila, specialized in Philippine-style cigars known as cortos and regaliz. These two brands were made from a blend of dark, air-cured Philippine tobaccos sourced from Cagayan and Isabela provinces in Northern Philippines. A second factory was built in 1948 in Pasong Tamo, Makati, and in 1951, the company acquired the present site of its head office.

In 1963, Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (TIP) in a nine-hectare property in Baranggay Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan. In 1964, the company produced American blended cigarettes using the brand names Duke, Windsor, and Tricycle.

The 1965-1982 proved to be difficult years for the company but through the perseverance and ingenuity of its founder, Wong Chu King, it was able to reestablish itself and in 1985, Mighty Corp. was set up to produce American-blended Virginia cigarettes. La Campana, meanwhile, cornered the native cigarettes industry by buying in 1993 the trademarks from Alhambra Industries, its main competitor that produced La Dicha, Rosalina, and Malaya.

In 2001, the company entered into a cigarette-manufacturing agreement with Sterling Tobacco to produce the latter’s brands.

Mighty Corp. then established its own filter rod production in 2001, built up its American blended filtered cigarettes, acquired its first Protos machine to boost production in 2003, modernized and upgraded its entire Lamina and Stem lines in 2005; and purchases its first GD packing machine in 2007.

Today, Mighty Corporation boasts of a fully integrated production and packing facility in Malolos, Bulacan.

Wong Chu King remained active in the management and day-to-day operations of Mighty Corp. until he passed away in August 1987, but the company remained in able hands. Mighty is now chaired by his widow, Nelia Wongchuking (the children sit in the board), while the firm is run by Edilberto Adan, president and chief executive officer, and retired Judge Oscar Barrientos who sits as executive vice president.

Congratulations and here is to many more decades and generations of business success.

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70 years and greater plans underway for Mighty Corp

When local cigarette maker La Campana, which later became Mighty Corp., now turning 70 this 20th day of the month and remarkably going strong, responded to allegations regarding its business practices, it did not only answer its rivals’ odious and malicious allegations point-by-point, but also rightfully played the nationalist card.

Why not? It’s the only Filipino-owned cigarette company in the Philippines with no foreign partners, no expensive expat workers in its factories and offices, and pride itself as the firm with no outward remittances of income to pay royalties, existing much longer than most of the top local and multinational tobacco firms operating in the country.

As Irving Berlin once said, “A Filipino who truly possesses a nationalist bent follows the country’s laws and performs his/her duties and responsibilities as a decent citizen, like paying the correct taxes.”

It is also truly a Filipino boon if the company plays fair, creates jobs and generates activities that yield multiplier effects on the economy, and gives the government its rightful due.

Its giant multinational rivals often asked: Is Mighty not an illicit trader or tax evader?

Well, the burden of proof is on those who accused and spite it, not the other way around. To date, none of its detractors has filed a case against Mighty. Neither has the government charged or imposed a fine on it.

Indeed, Mighty’s official multibillion-peso tax records are verifiable with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

Its roots

Mighty traces its beginning to La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., which was established by Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy and Ong Pay, as World War II approached to an end in 1945.

Undeterred by the devastation of war, they built their first factory that year on Tayabas Street, Manila, and produced native cigarettes. La Campana then specialized in Philippine-style cigars, known as matamis and regaliz. These two brands were made from a blend of dark, air-cured Philippine tobaccos sourced from Cagayan and Isabela provinces in Northern Philippines.

In 1948 they established their second factory in Pasong Tamo, Makati. Acquisition began on 1951 of the present site of the company head office at 39 Sultana Street, Makati, Rizal, which is now 9110 Sultana Street, Olympia, Makati City.

In 1963 Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines and, in 1995, transferred its manufacturing operation in a 9-hectare property in Baranggay Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan, as the high “labor-cost” in Makati City continued to increase.

The years 1965 to 1982 were, however, difficult for the company but, through the perseverance and ingenuity of Wong Chu King, it was able to reestablish its niche. In 1985 Mighty was set up to produce low-priced, aromatic and smooth-blend brands. La Campana, meanwhile, expanded and cornered the native tobacco industry by buying the trademarks from Alhambra Industries, its main competitor that produced La Dicha, Rosalina and Malaya.

Between 2001 and 2007, the company expanded with the creation of its own filter-rod production; the building of its American blended filtered cigarettes; the acquisition of its first Protos machine to boost production; the modernization and upgrading of its entire Lamina and Stem lines; the purchase of its first modern GD packing machine that turn the firm into a fully integrated production facility in its Bulacan complex; and the first company that set up closed-circuit television cameras to closely monitor its operations in compliance with the Bureau of Internal Revenue requirements.

Management

WongChuKing remained active in the management and day-to-day operations of the company until his death in August 1987. The board of trustees is now headed by his widow, Nelia D. Wongchuking, a philanthropist, who sits as chairman of the board, together with their children Helen Wongchuking-Chua, Marietta Wongchuking-Co Chien, Alexander D. Wongchuking. Edilberto Adan, a retired lieutenant general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is the president, while retired regional trial court Judge Oscar P. Barrientos sits as the executive vice president.

Economy of scales

Mighty produces 12 brands, competing in both high- and low-end variants against its multinational and monopolist rivals.

If its rivals often wondered how it can sell its products cheaply, it’s because of its excellent practice in the economy of scales, which means, among other microeconomic variables, the reduction in the per-unit cost of production as the volume of production increases.

Corporate social responsibility

Mighty maintains its own CSR program anchored on charity and cultural work mainly through the Wong Chu King Foundation that is managed by the children, their relatives and volunteers. Lately, it granted 200 scholarships to the country’s deserving dependents and beneficiaries of the tobacco growers.

The foundation works closely with religious, educational and non-governmental organizations, and has donated immensely to restore historical churches and those that were damaged by the recent typhoons.

In essence, Mighty proudly represents itself as a nationalist beacon of hope for others competing in modern business environment largely dominated by monopolists and other foreign economic interests.

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Mighty Corp and the future of Philippine tobacco industry

The steep increase in excise taxes for tobacco products produced a dramatic reconfiguration of the market. Where once a multinational corporation enjoyed near-monopoly dominance of the market, a Filipino company has now eked out major market share.

Philip Morris-Fortune Tobacco enjoyed almost complete dominance of the local cigarette market before the imposition of more punitive “sin taxes.” In a matter of only a few years, local player Mighty Corp. has taken a significant market share by catering to lower-priced products.

Few might have heard of Mighty until recently. The fact is, the company is probably the oldest Filipino cigarette manufacturer.

Mighty traces its roots to La Campana Fabrica de Tobacos, Inc.  This company was founded in 1945 by a highly entrepreneurial immigrant named Wong Chu King and several partners. The company celebrates its 70th anniversary this month, basking in the success of its strategy to win market share.

From its first factory located along Tayabas St. in Manila, La Campana produced native cigarettes as well as locally popular cortos and regaliz cigars. A second factory was built in 1948 along Pasong Tamo, Makati. In 1951, the company acquired the land along Sultana St. in Makati that now serves as the headquarters of Mighty Corporation.

In 1963, Wong Chu King founded Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (TIP) with a modern cigarette factory located in Malolos, Bulacan. From that sprawling nine-hectare factory, the company produced American-blended cigarettes using the brand names Duke, Windsor and Tricycle.   

The company went through a difficult period from 1965 to 1982. The unsinkable Wong Chu King persevered, however. By 1985, the company reestablished itself as Mighty Corp., acquiring the trademarks of its rival Alhambra Industries in 1993. This enabled the company to corner the native cigarette market.

Higher labor costs in Makati forced the company to consolidate all its manufacturing at the Malolos plant. In 2001, the company entered into a cigarette manufacturing agreement with Sterling Tobacco, producing blended cigarettes using the latter’s brand names.

Between 2001 and 2007, Mighty invested in modern plants and state-of-the-art packaging facilities. This enabled Mighty to achieve a fully integrated production and packing line. This acquisition of modern manufacturing technologies prepared the company to compete head-to-head with the once dominant player in the Philippine cigarette market.

A superior marketing strategy, expanding market share in the lower-priced segments and moving up to the higher-priced segments enabled Mighty to take advantage of otherwise hostile conditions under the new “sin tax” regime. They caught the competition by surprise, to say the least.

Wong Chu King passed away in 1987, but not without establishing a corporate culture that valued long-term relationships. He left behind a legacy of corporate philanthropy that his successors sustain. Recently, Mighty put out an add celebrating the achievement of scholars supported by the company’s foundation.

The founder’s widow, Nelia D. Wongchuking now chairs Mighty’s board.

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NBI, officials from Mighty Corp hunting fake cigarette suppliers

Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have arrested two suspects for supplying fake Mighty Corp cigarettes to a sari-sari store in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The suspects, Guillermo B. Ediesca and Jonathan E. Jimenez, were arrested for selling counterfeit Mighty Full Flavor and Menthol 100’s soft pack variants on a complaint filed by Mighty Corp., a Filipino-owned cigarette manufacturer.

Among the discrepancies confirmed by Mighty were the cigarette quality and the print packaging such as misspelling of the word “Manufactured” to “Manufacture” and the absence of a manufacturing code on the packs, among others.

Retired Judge Oscar P. Barrientos, Mighty Executive Vice President, said the fake cigarettes seized in Bulacan also alarmingly contained counterfeit BIR tax stamps.

Mighty has launched a relentless campaign against unscrupulous traders faking their brands and using bogus stamps in coordination with the NBI and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Last April 26, NBI-Bulacan District Office (BULDO) agents led by AIC Arnel Dalumpines conducted a buy-bust operation in a sari-sari store regularly supplied by the suspects in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Ediesca and Jimenez were immediately arrested by NBI agents after receiving marked money for their delivery of eleven rims of fake Mighty cigarettes.

The NBI filed charges against the two for violating Republic Act 8293 or the Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition Law before the Provincial Prosecutors’ Office in Malolos, Bulacan.

Earlier, the NBI also arrested three suspects for selling several cartons of fake Mighty cigarettes of the same variants in Cebu City.

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Mighty Corporation Promises a Great Year for Farmers

Local cigarette manufacturer, Mighty Corporation or Mighty Corp is out to save the local tobacco growing industry from projected collapse by buying more tobacco leaves and helping over three million tobacco farmers and their dependents increase their yield in the North Luzon provinces.

Mighty Corp executive vice president Oscar Barrientos said that the company’s share of the domestic market dramatically increased from a minimal 5% in 2012 to 20% in 2013.  This prompted them to increase assistance to millions of tobacco farmers whose lives were dependent on the tobacco industry.

“We have earned our fair share of the market by making quality but affordable cigarettes that were smartly packaged, creatively and ingenuously sold to the mass market. That is the secret of our success in breaking the cigarette monopoly in this country and we’re mighty proud of our modest success coming from a homegrown and Filipino-owned cigarette company,” said Barrientos, who also serves as Mighty Corporation’s spokesperson.

“With a bigger share of Mighty Corp in the market today, we are giving the tobacco farmers a fair share of our success by offering competitive prices to their crops,” added Barrientos.

Over the years, Mighty Corporation had consistently championed the cause of the Filipino tobacco farmers by buying a larger share of the low-grade tobacco leaves at good prices.

“Last year alone, we have bought even the low-priced tobacco leaves. Had Mighty Corp not done that, it would have created a great economic dislocation for tobacco farmers,” said Barrientos.

Barrientos also added that it was not only the tobacco farmers who were benefiting from Mighty Corp’s growth but the whole country as well through the company’s payment of taxes from cigarette sales.

“Our contribution is in the form of taxes, because it helps the development of the country, with taxes. We were paying P300 million before, now we are paying more than P8 billion in excise taxes and that helps the economy. We also employed more factory workers. Now, we have more than 2,000,” Barrientos said.

With bigger contribution, Mighty Corp was also expanding its corporate social responsibility projects to help tobacco cooperatives increase their production.

“As far as CSR is concerned, we will have irrigation pumps in their area and provide mini tractors. This will come in the form of grant. We will have scholarship grants,” he said.  “We have other plans. Aside from scholarship, by next year, we plan to give awards for outstanding farmers, in cooperation with the National Tobacco Administration.”

Mighty Corporation had a long-term plan to further improve its market share and help hundreds of thousands of tobacco leaf growers’ workers.  A 2011 data of the National Tobacco Administration put at about 3 million the number of people employed directly and indirectly in the tobacco industry.  The number also includes their dependents.

 
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Lawmaker warns of 6K job losses if Mighty Corp shut

BY  ON MAY 2, 2017

A congressional leader has thumbed down the proposed closure of Mighty Corporation, which is facing a P9.5-billion tax evasion case filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), saying at least 6,000 direct jobs are on the line if the cigarette maker is ordered closed.

“The President already ordered to deal with them thru out of court settlements. They (Mighty Corporation executives) should be penalized, but their operations should not be cancelled,” Rep. Randolph Ting of Cagayan, chairman of the House Committee on Labor, said in a statement released on Labor Day.

 

Ting views BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay’s threat to close down Mighty Corporation as shortsighted since Mighty has 6,000 direct and indirect employees on top of some 55,000 tobacco farmers who rely Mighty to buy their produce.

Ting said the BIR’s stance runs counter to President Rodrigo Duterte’s position, which is for the government to enter into out-of-court settlements with companies facing tax evasion cases in order to generate funds for social services.

“This Mighty Corporation is already an established company, a Filipino-owned firm that has been providing jobs for Filipinos for a very long time. Without it, where will their people go for jobs? Besides, the constituents of all tobacco-producing provinces will also be affected should tobacco farmers no longer plant tobacco, making them disqualified from getting their allocation under the Sin Tax Law,” Ting pointed out.

He argued that government officials should work on ensuring investments and job generation for Filipinos, not the other way around.

“We should allow them to correct the concerns raised against them. He (Dulay) should follow the lead of the President,” Ting added.

Earlier, Rep. Manuel Lopez of Manila also opposed the BIR’s court battle with Mighty Corporation, citing President Duterte’s stance that an out of court settlement with Mighty could fund the upgrade of public hospitals in Tondo, Manila which include Ospital ng Tondo, Tondo Medical Center and Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center.

“Funding for these hospitals is very good news for my constituents because it will provide immediate relief to indigent patients,” Lopez said in an earlier statement.

Aside from Tondo hospitals, President Duterte has said he could use the money to also build hospitals in Basilan and Jolo, Sulu, as well as for building a relocation site for informal settlers.

Source: http://www.manilatimes.net/lawmaker-warns-6k-job-losses-mighty-corp-shut/325077/

 

 
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Tobacco farmers cry for help, renewing ties with San Juan’s Mayor Guia

Published April 30, 2017, 12:05 AM

By Deedee M. Siytangco

“God help me to focus on the truth instead of the trial. Help me to give thanks instead of giving in to fear. Help me to choose joy instead of anger. Help me to trust in Your power instead of my plan. Help me to elevate Your name instead of my own.”

A compromise or settlement can be an honorable, if a very practical way, to settle any dispute.

Especially in a legal issue that can drag on for years and drain the resources of both the complainant and the party being sued. Big money on both sides has to be spent, which could otherwise be used for better purposes than a lengthy legal battle.

Why am I sounding off on a legal matter this lazy Sunday, just before the rains of May and right after the ASEAN Summit?

Well, one, a very good friend of mine woefully related how her family is still embroiled in a legal tussle with her elder siblings on their vast inheritance from their banker-real estate developer father. It has been more than two decades, I asked, and you’re still at it? Why? Your lawyers are richer than you guys now!

My siblings refuse to compromise, she answered sadly. It’s all or nothing. So we are still at this “nothing” stage. For them or for us.

This week, “compromise” came floating into my consciousness again after reading in this paper the item on the opinion of Justice Secretary Vitalino Aguirre on the festering issue of collecting taxes owed to the government of a big home-grown cigarette manufacturer. Now, Mighty Corporation employs 1,600 workers and buys from local tobacco farmers, (about 55,000 of them all from tobacco producing provinces) so they do contribute to the country’s economy. How many families do those numbers add to? Somewhere along the way Mighty, according to BIR, incurred back excise taxes because of “spurious” BIR seals on their cigarette packs.

As an aside, I find this strange because I have seen the modern, highly-guarded BIR printing presses in the APO compound in Limay, Batangas and can’t imagine how the BIR seals can still be faked. Anyway, the government has decreed that Mighty owes some nine billion pesos and President Duterte, first adamant against any settlement, or a compromise (or a staggered payment offer),  is now amenable to the firm paying three billion pesos but in one swoop. Aguirre thinks this is fine, as a legal battle will not benefit any of the two parties, and government can certainly use that tax money windfall.

“R3 billion is what the government is asking as a compromise tax  payment  but only one-time payment. This way,” he observed, “the Duterte administration can avoid a long legal battle.”

Wise words, but wait, BIR’s Commissioner Dulay has announced he is cancelling Mighty’s permit to operate? Just a moment po. Mighty I know has stopped operating since the “fake” stamps were brought up rendering their worker and farmers dependent on them jobless and income-less. In fact, they are appealing for help from President Duterte.

How will we cope? Mario Cabasal, president of the 55,000-member National Federation of Tobacco Farmers Associations and Cooperatives asks. No other cigarette manufacturer buys locally produced tobacco except Mighty. I believe it’s time to let Mighty go back to its operations and pay its obligations!

As I said, compromises are better than long drawn-out litigation. Look at Pacquiao, the boxer-senator. Then BIR Commissioner Kim Henares went after him for non-payment of taxes due the government but his defense was that he already paid in the US! Now he still owes back taxes and with hope the government’s economic team can hammer out a “deal” with Pacman and get some of his earnings !

* **

Meanwhile, in the tiny city of San Juan, (population 150,000; voters, 80,000) site of the historic  Battle of San Juan del Monte (Pinaglabanan) in 1896,  now with the best “tiangge” for locals and tourists in the country, its  gracious “mayora” is busy making sure the informal dwellers in dangerous areas are being relocated to livable sites. Providing housing is, after all, her flagship project.

Mayor Guia Gomez Ejercito realizes that she is losing many registered voters when she relocates them outside the city but she continues with her housing projects. Happily many come back to vote as they are still registered and because they know who to be loyal to.

At 77, Mayora Guia has some difficulty walking fast now, but she retains the charm, graciousness, and beauty that made her the beloved First Lady of San Juan and for the past seven years, its beautiful, approachable, hard-working “mayora.” I first met her when Joseph Estrada, the love of her life and Senator JV Ejercito’s father, was first elected mayor of San Juan, then a struggling municipality.

She was already the hands-on First Lady with her clean-up and community livelihood endeavors (which are still alive now) and when her son JV became mayor after, she quietly helped, too. Politicos in and out of San Juan beat a path to her residence through the years, especially when they   wanted her sage advice and help in their campaigns. She was always ready to extend a helping hand or give pointers. Her image was clean and friendly and this helped them, just to be seen in her company.

To the disadvantaged, her motto was “Give until it hurts.” She put her soul, passion, and heart into her public service.

“I gave San Juan my all my best,” Guia told us. And now that she is on her last term, she confided during a dinner at the XO Heritage Bistro in Estancia that she regretted none of the heartaches or brickbats and poisoned arrows from some of her political foes as long as she helped her constituents, rich or poor.

San Juan has its own PUP university campus and will soon have its own general hospital. A San Juan museum is in the works and more housing. But the location sites must be equipped for people to start their lives decently, their mayor asserts.

So why is this lady mayor being mercilessly pilloried by her political rivals in all venues, especially in social media? C’mon guys…you used to be on the same side. Don’t let greed and ambition get the better of you!

Source: http://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2017/04/30/tobacco-farmers-cry-for-help-renewing-ties-with-san-juans-mayor-guia/

 

 
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Mighty Corp. Preserving Historic Churches in the Philippines

They already pledged to aid in the seismic retrofitting of historic churches in Philippines.

In fact they started renovation project for the historic Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the largest church in all of Cavite,

Alexander Wongchuking, WCKF executive director said:
“We cannot allow this historic church to go into disrepair because it had not only strengthened the Filipino faith but also stands as a mute witness to the martyrdom of the defenders of Philippine freedom and nationhood,” , recalling the church’s role in the fight for Philippine independence from Spanish, American and Japanese conquerors.

As they offered help, the foundation focused on repairing the church’s roof and ceiling. But Mrs. Wongchuking heard of the personal project of Fr. Virgilio Saenz-Mendoza, the parish priest, and the people of Naic to refurbish the outer walls of the church.

WCKF did the same help to San Juan City, The foundation celebrates by giving support to some educational projects and program by funding the Sacred Heart Chapel of the Senior High School Building for Xavier School in San Juan City. I

The Foundation is the social action arm of cigarette manufacturer, Mighty Corporation (MC), for giving top priority to apostolic work and Catholic education in its programs and projects.

 Mighty Corporation supports the programs of Wong Chu King Foundation.

 
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