Local cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation of Mighty Corp expressed their willingness to be investigated by government that may include examining its books along with its competitors to ensure proper compliance of all tobacco industry players with the new Sin Tax Law.
Mighty Corporation is among the seven top importers of Virginia type raw tobacco. Other companies are Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc., and Associated Anglo American Tobacco among others.
Product imports last year totalled to 46.82 million kg., with a total dutiable value estimated at 5.45 billion pesos. An average price of P116.45/kg of shipment. Duties paid on all these imports are placed at P323.63 million.
BOC has placed Mighty Corporation together with the other seven top importers on the Tax watch list.
Mighty Corporation imports high quality raw tobaccos but also gets majority of their supplies from local tobacco growers mainly from Northern Luzon. In fact, Mighty Corp already doubled their purchase from local farmers this year.
Mighty Corporation however assured the government that they will cooperate with the government in every way it can.
Mighty Corp the only Filipino-owned cigarette manufacturing company in the Philippines recently received commendations from the Catholic Church for its various civic projects through its corporate social arm Wong Chu King Foundation.
Archbishop Rolando Tirona of Caceres in Camarines Sur and Archbishop Emeritus Diosdado Talamayan of the Archdiocese of Cagayan expressed their support to the initiatives of Mighty Corp and Wong Chu King Foundation. The two attested to the great support and programs of the company for the people, especially to the poor.
Archbishop Tirona said that Mighty Corporation adheres strictly to their company’s commitment towards apostolic works and programs that benefits the poor and the underprivileged sector. Through the Wong Chu King Foundation, Mighty Corp has also been actively helping with church projects, such as building and renovating churches and schools in various regions.
Wong Chu King Foundation also implemented scholarship programs for poor but deserving students, with beneficiaries from the elementary to the college level. Mighty Corp also conducted relief operations in areas badly hit by recent calamities like Bulacan, Cavite, Cebu and Ilo-Ilo.
In a handwritten letter, Bishop Talamayan said, “For the past many years, I have personally known Mrs. Nelia Wongchuking, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Wong Chu King Foundation. She, together with the entire family, is a great devotee of the Our Lady of Piat, they had even built a chapel in Malolos, Bulacan as a gesture of their devotion.”
Local cigarette manufacturer, Mighty Corporation or Mighty Corp challenged Philip Morris-Fortune Tobacco Corp (PMFTC) to disclose the nature of their merger.
“In particular, we challenge PMFTC to tell the public the business nature of their closely guarded monopolistic partnership, whether it was a corporate merger or Philip Morris bought Fortune Tobacco’s majority stocks in 2010,” said Mighty Corp Executive Vice President Oscar Barrientos.
Mighty Corp issues the challenge as a counter-statement to the giant competitor’s accusations against them of technical smuggling and tax evasion.
Barrientos reiterated that the public should know why Fortune Tobacco, the flagship corporation of taipan Lucio Tan’s multibillion-peso conglomerates gave up its operation and allowed itself to be dominated by Philip Morris. It was reported that Fortune before the partnership controlled 64% of the cigarette market, including the low-priced and premium brands while Philip Morris only had 30%.
“The merger is of high public interest issue requiring full transparency because it involves taxation,” Barrientos said.
Barrientos also said that all the allegations of technical smuggling, tax evasion, and other related crimes thrown at Mighty Corporation are baseless and malicious accusations. He said that the accusations only mask the real agenda of their competitor, which is to kill off all other local brands, especially the low-priced ones.
Bulacan-based tobacco company, Mighty Corporation or Mighty Corp assured the business community and consumers that their company have maintained a fair business strategy throughout the years.
Mighty Corp Executive Vice President Oscar Barrientos said that they have been in the industry since the 1940s producing tobaccos like La Campanilla, Magkaibigan, Campana Ringing Bell and other local brands which are all proudly Philippine-made.
Mighty Corporation Executive Vice President Oscar Barrientos said that, having no foreign equity and no foreign brands, they do not remit any royalty to any foreign headquarters and do not maintain any high-salaried consultants. This is just one of the reasons why Mighty Corp are able to produce and sell quality but low-priced cigarettes.
Mighty Corporation is the only wholly-Filipino cigarette manufacturer in the country. They have kept their operational expenses low compared to competitors who are burdened with very high operational expenses which inhibit them from selling their brands at reasonably low prices.
Barrientos said, “It was not hard for Mighty Corporation to solidify its base, enhance its core competencies and work out on its forecasts the migration of a big chunk of smokers who were faced with three choices: quit smoking, smoke less frequently or look for low-priced alternatives.”
Mighty Corporation is able to offer cigarettes for as low a P1 per stick in the market today. Barrientos also emphasized that, “Mighty Corporation’s margin of profit is certainly different from that of the competition. This is so, because being a local brand, the company does not pay royalties abroad, it had no foreign consultants and it is purely Filipino.”
Conforming to its original vision and mission of helping millions of farmers whose lives are dependent on the tobacco industry, local cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation or Mighty Corp launched projects aimed at boosting farmers’ income potential.
“We have earned our fair share of the market by making affordable cigarettes sold to the mass market. We’re proud of our modest success coming from a home-grown company,” Mighty Corporation Executive Vice President Oscar P. Barrientos said as the company’s share of the domestic market increased from a minimal of 5% in 2012 to 20% last year.
Mighty Corporation is owned by the Wong Chu King family. The company has confirmed their commitment in buying more tobacco leaves to help three million farmers in Northern Luzon and their dependents.
Barrientos added that with a bigger share of Mighty Corp in the market today, the company is giving the farmers a fair share of their success by offering competitive prices to their crops and championing the cause of the Filipino farmers by buying a larger share of the low-grade leaves at good prices.
Oscar P. Barrientos, a retired judge, claimed it is not only the tobacco farmers who benefit from Mighty Corporation’s growth but the whole country as well through the company’s payment of taxes from their sale while employing more than 2,000 factory workers.
The company will continue to expand its Corporate Social Responsibility projects to help cooperatives increase their production.
Mighty Corp’s humanitarian arm, Wong Chu King Foundation who is known for reaching out to the needy, doing educational and church projects in the country, vowed to rebuild churches in the Visayas region. The historical churches in Bohol and Cebu were severely damaged during the earthquake last year.
According to executive vice president and official spokesperson of Mighty, Retired Judge Oscar P. Barrientos said that the destruction of churches during the quake in Bohol and Cebu has prompted Mighty Corp to continue with its mission to strengthen the Filipino faith.
“The recent calamities that hit the country last year only strengthened the Filipino faith. Mighty Corp. will continue to build churches that Filipinos go to in their times of great trials,” said Barrientos.
Meanwhile, Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona expressed support done by Mighty for clearing its name amidst of the negative news against the company.
Tirona added that Mighty Corp adheres strictly to the company’s commitment to its corporate social responsibility.
Last year, the foundation helped renovate the Diocesan Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Naic, Cavite, and rebuild the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan. They also supported students who deserve to receive scholarship programs, with beneficiaries from the elementary to the college level.
Mighty Corp‘s humanitarian arm, Wong Chu King Foundation is celebrating its 24th anniversary. The foundation is known for their renovation of churches, giving livelihood projects and scholarship grants around the country.
They recently turned over its renovation project for the historic Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in Naic, Cavite. The said church is the largest in the said province.
“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,” said Alexander Wongchuking, the foundation’s executive director
The said project with the help of Mighty Corp was started in June 2013 and completed last month. The turnover was held yesterday, March 30.
Meanwhile, Wongchuking said the church had always been near to the hearts of his family and board officers of the foundation and members since Nelia Dy Wongchuking, its president and chairman of the board, was born in Naic and traces her roots to the town and its church.
“Our project aims to maintain the original structure, essence and sanctity of the church,” said James Navarette, general manager of Wongchuking Foundation.
“At first, 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,” Navarette added.
Mighty Corp‘s charitable arm, Wong Chu King Foundation entered in an agreement with the Payatas Orione Foundation Inc. (PAOFI) with the help of the UP College of Law Class of 1978 to feed the malnourished children of Payatas.
Payatas Orione Foundation Inc. (PAOFI), a philanthropic non-government organization implementing health, nutrition and education programs to children and tuberculosis patients from poor families in Payatas, Lucena City and Mauban, Quezon.
Under the signed memorandum of agreement (MOA), the three entities will provide nutritious meals to 75 children beneficiaries in one of the PAOFI feeding centers in Payatas for one year.
The meal which includes a therapeutic food supplement initially provided only to tuberculosis patients but was later found to be effective for malnourished children as well. The supplement, which can be spread on bread or mixed with rice, consists of peanut butter paste, coconut oil, soya, micronutrients, multivitamins, sugar and powdered milk.
“PAOFI’s program aims to ensure that the children each achieve their normal weight within a year from enrolling in the program,” said Fr. Mroz.
The MOA signing that was held at the Wong Chu King Foundation (WCKF) office located at Sultana Street in Makati City was attended by James Vincent Navarette, WCKF general manager; Fr. Martin Mroz, PAOFI executive director; and Atty. Antonio Ocampo, representative of UP College of Law Class of 1978.
“The foundation specifically aims to establish an average weight gain of two kilos above the normal level of nourishment for each child and impart knowledge to participating parents in the preparation of nutritious and balanced food,” Fr. Mroz added.
Mighty Corp through the Wong Chu King Foundation aims to help the people of Payatas, especially children who are in need of nutritional intervention. The feeding program will be administered by PAOFI and it will run a total of 240 days, five days a week, from Monday to Friday.
Child Enrolees will be required to undergo a de-worming procedure before taking part in the program.
Once a month, a volunteer nurse will record the weight and height of each child. At the end of the year, the feeding center staff will discuss the progress of each child with the parents. Children who have not reached the desired weight will be required to stay for another year in the program or until they have reached their target weight. Children who achieved the desired weight will graduate from the program and will then be replaced by new program enrolees.
“The supplement was first used in Malawi, in southeast Africa, and has been used in the Philippines for three years,” Fr. Mroz said. “This has become possible here because the machine used for making the food was donated to us from the USA. A manufacturing facility was set up for this purpose in Barangay Fairview, Quezon City.” He added.
Mighty Corporation supports the programs of Wong Chu King Foundation
The Roman Catholic prelate of La Union has commended the social action arm of cigarette manufacturer, Mighty Corp on giving their top priority to apostolic work and Catholic education in its programs and projects. According to Bishop Rodolfo Beltran of San Fernando City said Mighty Corporation‘s Wong Chu King Foundation donated to church projects and funded the education of poor students in Lagawe, Bontoc, in which includes four seminarians.
“The parents of these students are low-income farmers producing only for local consumption. You can imagine the positive impact this kind of support has for them,” Beltran said. WCKF renovated the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat Church in Piat, Cagayan in 2012 and the Diocesan Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Naic, Cavite last year.
In case you didn’t know, Wong Chu King Foundation created in 1990. They aims to perpetuate the memory of Wong Chu King, the family patriarch, a philanthropist known for his generosity to the poor. The foundation’s thrust include scholarship programs and raising funds for charitable causes. Auxiliary Bishop Ricardo Baccay of Tuguegarao City said that WCKF’s work as “A step in the the direction … if WCKF is out to help schools, putting up libraries is the best form of help it can give.”
Archbishop emeritus Diosdado Talamayan of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao City said: “I have personally known Mrs. Nelia Wong Chu King, WCKF chariman of the board of trustees. She and her family are great devotees of Our Lady of Piat. They have erected a chapel in Malolos City, Bulacan, dedicated to Our Lady of Piat, which was blessed by many Bishops led by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales in 2012.”
Aside from the fact that Mighty Corporation doing their charity works through their CSR (corporate social responsibility) projects, they also gave livelihood projects to the farmers from Ilocos region. They also restored churches in the Visayas region. Though having a hard time with several issues that MC is facing right now, they are standing with their goals for their business and for the welfare of their workers.
Kudos to Mighty Corporation and WCKF! Their initiatives in helping the people to rebuild the churches and their lives, not just earnings gazillions. They must be the role model in giving hope, whether it’s a typhoon victims or not.
Mighty Corporation supports the programs of Wong Chu King Foundation