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.

 

Tobacco farmers air plight

 / 12:18 AM April 23, 2017

Seldom heard in the cacophony surrounding government allegations of tax evasion by local tobacco firm Mighty Corp. is the side of the folks who will bear the brunt of the burden should the company close its doors.

Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay suggested last week that as early as May the tobacco firm might have to cease operations as a penalty for using “fake” tax stamps and thereby evading proper tax payments. This came on the heels of a series of revelations and accusations that Mighty, a homegrown firm that was founded soon after World War II, had been evading taxes mainly by producing bogus tax stamps, totaling P9.6 billion in back charges. By law, the Bureau of Internal Revenue is authorized to cancel the license to operate of companies found guilty of tax evasion.

But if Mighty’s factory in Bulacan is shuttered, the biggest number of people to be adversely affected by it would not be the Wongchuking family or its factory workers, sales force and other allied workers. The most deeply affected would be local tobacco farmers, most of them in the Ilocos. As well, farm workers hired on a seasonal basis following the tobacco farming cycle and numbering much more than the farmers themselves would lose their livelihood.

Mario Cabasal, national president of Naftac or the National Federation of Tobacco Farmers and Cooperatives, which counts a total membership of 55,000, says his fellow farmers are dreading the day Mighty would have to cease operations.

This is because, he says, Mighty is the only cigarette manufacturer that buys the “low-grade and reject” parts of tobacco plants from them. The other tobacco concern also buys along with Mighty the premium or “high-grade” tobacco leaves, he says, but only Mighty pays attention to the less desirable parts of the plant, which is mixed in to formulate its cigarettes. It’s the money they earn from selling the low-grade tobacco that gives farmers a comfortable edge and continued assurance of their livelihood.

The toll that a closure of Mighty, the second-largest tobacco concern in the country, would take is considerable.

Around 6,000 direct and indirect employees or workers of Mighty would lose their jobs; that means about 30,000 citizens adversely affected, including the workers’ families. The farmers themselves number about 55,000, and, counting their families, the total would come to a staggering 300,000.

Cabasal says he alone hires 10 agricultural workers to do field work, so if they and other workers hired by tobacco farms lose their livelihood, the toll could reach nearly a million.

But the issue has ramifications beyond those directly engaged in the tobacco industry. All those living in tobacco-producing provinces would likewise be affected, for if the affected farmers stop producing tobacco, then the provincial governments would no longer be entitled to a share of the “sin tax” imposed by Republic Act No. 7171.

“This is why we are appealing to President Duterte to address the issues being raised against Mighty,” says Cabasal. The firm’s owners have sought a compromise regarding their alleged tax liabilities, and there has been an apparent turnaround since the President said he was open to talks with Mighty to settle its case.

Instead there have been threats of closure and cancellation of Mighty’s license to operate, and even an order to arrest Alexander Wongchuking, the corporation’s president.

Perhaps those itching for a confrontation with—if not the closure of—Mighty, should consider that by shutting the door to any form of compromise, they will be hurting more people than a single family, firm, or community. Tobacco farming and the manufacture of tobacco products date back to the Spanish colonial times. And whatever one’s opinion may be of smoking and its toll on health and survival, the fact remains that cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products are still legal. In fact, by passing the Sin Tax Law, the state even sought to profit more from the industry, with a large chunk of the proceeds going to health programs.

Source: http://opinion.inquirer.net/103397/tobacco-farmers-air-plight

Mighty Corp. aids Southern Luzon through its CSR projects

In their visit to the south, Mighty aided in the renovation of historic churches that were heavily damaged during the 2013 earthquake.

These churches include the Diocesan Shrine of Immaculate Conception Church in Naic, Cavite and the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat Church in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

The company’s foundation will take care of the churches’ roofs and ceilings.

“Churches are also symbols of strength and hope for Filipinos. To see a church survive earthquakes and other calamities can easily uplift the spirits of our people,” said the foundation’s General Manager.

“The devastation brought about by the recent Visayas earthquake has firmed up our advocacy to build more churches and strengthen the Filipino faith.”

“However, we also understand that this is not enough. We have to make sure that the design and structure of these buildings, particularly the old and existing ones, are safe and resistant to calamities such as earthquakes,”He added.

Mighty looks to help more people through is CSR projects. Hoping to raise the tobacco industry while also helping the economy grow, the company is finding various ways to help the country grow.

Mighty Corp. Implemented Five CSR Projects in North Luzon

In their recent expansion, Mighty Corp. implements various Corporate Social Responsibility projects designed to uplift the lives of local farmers up north.

Due to the implementation of the Sin Tax Law back in 2012, Mighty expanded and decided to help uplift the livelihood of millions of local tobacco farmers while also helping the local tobacco industry grow.

The company implemented various CSR Projects to aid the local farmers, their children, the environment, and the tobacco industry.

To help the tobacco industry, Mighty Corp. executed these actions as part of the CSR.

  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.
  5. 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.

Mighty Corp. Increases Purchase of Tobacco from Local Farmers

Mighty Corp. celebrates this year’s National Management Congress with an Outstanding Corporation Award.

Philcoman Research Institute (PCMRI) will be hosting this year’s National Management Congress in simple ceremonies, allocating the funds that will be saved to further research on more important issues.

“We opted to hold a simple rite so that funds and other resources we can save can be channeled to research and further studies of important issues in politics, economics, sociology and national security,” spokesperson of PCMRI said.

The PCMRI will honor the recepients of Outstanding Corporation of the year Award and the Outstanding Management Leadership Award of the year. They will also witness the oath-taking of its newest members.

Mighty Corporation Tips to Success

The Philippine tobacco industry is not a place for companies who lack strategy and a competitive drive. Many have tried, many have failed. Mostly due to family or financial problems.

Today, the Philippine tobacco industry amass up to P150 Billion per year. It serves as the top source of national government taxes for Philhealth, education and other social services.  However, only a few companies are part of the industry’s success and only a few enjoys its perks and privileges.

One of these firm companies is Mighty Corp, the country’s oldest Filipino-owned cigarette manufacturer. The company has been rising in the local market, increasing its market share from 3 percent in 2012 to nearly 20 percent in 2013.

So what made Mighty Corp. the cigarette-manufacturer monster it is today? The company finally shares the secrets behind their overflowing success.

  1. Anticipate future trends and adjust. Wongchuking said that when he was an assistant sales manager of their company from 1983 to 1985, he noticed the changing fashion in local smoking, as well as how the new tax system was killing the local cigarette segment. So the company decided to adjust to these factors. They developed Virginia-tobacco type cigarettes in 1985,and changed the company and brand name to “Mighty.”
  1. Preservation is basically harmony. Wongchuking stated that a little harmony between the families in a family business wouldn’t hurt. “If you have family harmony and you can work well together with family members and other people.”
  1. Succession should be based on meritocracySelecting the successor should be based on who is the most qualified. Same with the selection of executives and managers.
  1. Perseverance. Wongchuking stated that perseverance and a high-degree of patience is needed to attain success. “There should be a high degree of patience and perseverance. It is like courting a girl, a lot of patience is required.”
  1. Faith. As a devotee of Our Lady of Piat, the Virgin Mary shrine in Cagayan province, Wongchuking said that faith is needed in order to run a company with a proper mindset. “Faith is important to business or the profession, because faith gives you spiritual development and direction. Meaning, faith keeps you cool all the time, whatever happens to our business, profession or life.”

     

  2. People. Wongchuking praises the people behind Mighty Corp.’s success, which he describes as “very prudent and very dedicated.” He touched on the importance of taking care of your people in order to strengthen teamwork.

  3. Filial piety. The Wongchuking family believes in total obedience to parents and family elders. Alex Wongchuking said that one factor behind the company’s success is their firm belief in their 87-year-old mother, Nelia Dy Wongchuking.
  4. Hard work. Alex said that there is no substitute for hard work. According to him, he and his siblings go beyond the normal eight-hour shift per day. Even spending their weekends on work.

     

  5. Innovation. The company always seek to innovate. They modernized their manufacturing equipment for improved quality and increased yield production. Their father also bought a bigger factory in Malolos, Bulacan.

     

  6. Philanthropy. The company has always given something to the people as a way of remembering their hardworking, simple-living father, Wong Chu King. Their patriarch had no chance to finish high school or college. As a way of honoring him, the company’s foundation supports educational scholarships for three sets of beneficiaries: the kids of company employees, the kids of non-employees who are deserving students and need help, and also for children of rural tobacco farmers who want to study agriculture in college.
  1. Humility. Alex believes that humility is one factor to achieve success. “There should be an element of self-denial,” he said.
  2. Focus. He also believes on the importance of “concentrating on your core business.”

  3. Have only one family. Alex believes that being loyal and faithful to your spouse is also a factor to achieving success. “Having only one family is crucial for genuine success, because if one has too many families, that is a sure recipe for chaos and for nonstop family quarrels, “he said.

     

  4. Destiny. Alex explains his take on “destiny.” He responded, “Destiny is key to success, just like in the Bible. When God called Jeremiah to become a prophet, he said ‘No, I’m a shy person.’ But God said to him, ‘Before you were born, you were already destined to become a prophet.’ It became true, Jeremiah became a good prophet, naging madaldal (he became eloquent). Read the Bible, Jeremiah Chapter 1:4.”

Mighty Corp. Increases Tobacco Purchase from Farmers Up North

Local cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. vows to increase their tobacco purchase and help increase the production of local farmers from up north.

According to the president of Mighty Corp., the company’s domestic market share has significantly increased throughout the years.

Now, the company wants to return the favor, aiming to help increase the production and income of local farmers.

“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 and Filipino-owned cigarette company,” the president said

“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.”, he added.

“Last year, we have bought even the low-priced tobacco leaves. Had Mighty Corp. not done that, it would have created a problem for tobacco farmers,” he claimed.

“We are happy to offer better prices to tobacco farmers and are willing to tie-up with the Department of Agriculture and the National Tobacco Administration to cement our partnership with the farmers.”

He claims that aside from helping millions of farmers all over the country, the company also helps the country grow through its taxes.

“Our contribution is in the form of taxes, which helps in the development of the country. We also employed more factory workers. Now, we have more than 2,000,” he said.

“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.

Duterte willing to let Mighty Corp. off the hook for P3B

President Rodrigo Duterte is ready to settle the tax case of Mighty Corporation if the cigarette manufacturer would pay double the excise tax the company failed to remit.

Duterte told reporteres in Davao del Sur on Thursday that Mighty Corporation should pay P3 billion for the rehabilitation of hospitals in the country.

“Ako, kalimtan ko na pero ang iyang gi-imprinta, 1.5 billion of the fake stamps. Ako, musugot ko ani. Doblehun niya, kalimtan ko na. Anyway, akong saad sa iya na if someone in power pursue, I can always pardon him,” he said, referring to Mighty Corporation president Alex Wongchuking.

[I will forget about the printing of 1.5 billion worth of fake stamps. I will agree to this: Pay double, I’ll forget about it. Anyway, I assure him that if someone in power pursues the case, I can always pardon him.]

“Pero mao ni ang sabot. Ang iyang offer na 1.5, dili gyud na acceptable sa ako. Naay binuang eh. So, muhatog siya ug doblado. Himuon niya ug three billion. Ihatag niya ang one billion sa Basilan. Didto idiretso niya, ayaw sa ako, idiretso niya sa Secretary of Health, kay ipaayo nako ang ospital didto. One billion sa Jolo kay ipaayo pud nako ang hospital didto. Unya sa Manila, Mary Johnstone sa Tondo, one billion. Three billion, areglo mi. Igna siya,” he added.

[Here’s the deal. He offered 1.5, which is definitely unacceptable to me. There was deceit. So, he needs to give double. He should offer three billion. He should give one billion for Basilan. He should give it directly to the Secretary of Health, not to me, because I want to fix the hospital there. One billion for Jolo because I also want to fix the hospital there. Then in Manila, one billion for Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo. Three billion and we’re settled. Tell him.]

Duterte explained that the law said that tax cases can be settled.

“Ani akong proposal sa iyaha. Ingon sa iyang abogado, tax evasion. Ingon ko nga falsification. But if it was part of the tax evasion case, musugot nalang ko. Tax cases can be compromised. Pwede aregluhin, basta tax liability lang. Kanang buwis buwis, dayon wala ka kabayad, tinuyo man o dili, pwede na nimo maareglo. Ang balaod nga nitugot ana nga naay areglo, compromise. That’s the word of the law.

[This is my proposal to him. His lawyers said tax evasion. I said falsification. But if it was part of the tax evasion case, I will agree. Tax cases can be compromised. It can be settled if it’s only tax liability. When you failed to pay your taxes, intentionally or unintentionally, you can settle it. The law allows settlements, compromise. That’s the word of the law.]

In his speech before local officials in Davao City, Duterte said that the deal with Mighty Corporation would be on if Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, and Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay would agree with it.

But Duterte said that there are some businessmen who told him that P3 billion is not enough.

Duterte on Wednesday revealed that he ordered the arrest of Wongchuking for economic sabotage. But Wongchuking met with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on the same day. —NB/KG, GMA News

– See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/602568/money/economy/duterte-willing-to-let-mighty-corp-off-the-hook-for-p3b#sthash.jXETTt2d.dpuf

Mighty gets TRO, blames faulty scanners Headlines, News, The Philippine Star

By Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 9, 2017 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) has granted the petition of Bulacan-based cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on raids and inspection of its warehouses by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

In a phone interview with The STAR, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Neil Anthony Estrella confirmed the issuance of the TRO by Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag of Manila RTC on March 6.

A copy of the TRO obtained by The STAR showed it was issued in response to Mighty Corp.’s questioning the validity of the raids conducted by the BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in their warehouses in Pampanga and General Santos City last week.

Mighty’s complaint filed on March 3 said BOC and BIR operatives discovered “there were no counterfeit, fake or smuggled goods” in the warehouses but still proceeded with the raid, the conduct of which was not in the scope of their mission order.

The TRO is effective from the filing of the case on March 3 to March 23, while a hearing on the preliminary injunction has been set for March 14.

“The BOC will continue to perform its regular enforcement mandate. Public interest and compliance of the law will always prevail,” Estrella said. It was not clear if he was referring to raiding of Mighty warehouses.

Estrella also clarified the body investigating the case against the owners of the seized cigarette products is the BIR.

The STAR tried but failed to contact the BIR for comment on how the TRO would affect its investigation.

But in a separate interview, BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay expressed disappointment over the lack of cooperation from Mighty Corp., contrary to what it had pledged to the National Bureau of Investigation.

“Unfortunately, when we had our first validation in Pampanga (on Tuesday), we got a different manifestation of cooperation from Mighty. We were supposed to inspect six warehouses … unfortunately, they (the teams) were met by a battery of lawyers from Mighty,” Dulay said.

“Expecting the cooperation pledged by Mighty, the team instead was questioned, their authority was questioned, their use of the taggant reader was questioned, they were questioned at every corner by the lawyers,” he said.

“They were supposed to start at 8 o’clock, it was about 11 o’clock that they were able to start their validation,” he pointed out.

In the end, Dulay said the BIR was only able to finish the validation of half of the contents of one warehouse. He said 50 cases of cigarettes were all verified to be bearing fake tax stamps.

“The validation process as of today continues. We seek to finalize it in a few days time and prepare whatever report we have for discussion with the DOJ (Department of Justice) and the NBI. I’m talking only of the process made in Pampanga because as you have seen, there were raids also made by the BOC in Zamboanga, General Santos, Tacloban and in Cebu,” Dulay said.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/03/09/1679363/mighty-gets-tro-blames-faulty-scanners

 

Aguirre: No arrest of Mighty Corp. owner unless charges filed

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II defended on Wednesday his decision not to apprehend a businessman whom President Rodrigo Duterte ordered arrested for alleged tax evasion and economic sabotage.

Aguirre said that at the time of his meeting with Mighty Corp. owner Alex Wong Chu King on Tuesday afternoon, there was no case filed against him yet.

Aguirre’s decision came just hours after presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo told reporters through a text message that Duterte had ordered the arrest of Chu King following the seizure of P2 billion worth of cigarettes by the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

“At the time of our meeting yesterday, there were no cases filed against Mr. Alex Wong Chu King yet, that is why I did not order his arrest,” the Justice secretary said.

 Aguirre said that even if the DOJ wanted laws to be faithfully obeyed they still had to observe due process in the case of the businessman.

“There is no reason to have Alex Wong Chu King arrested as of the moment. While the Department of Justice is [at] the forefront of ensuring that our laws are faithfully obeyed, there is a process that has to be observed under the law,” said Aguirre, who has dismissed without investigation police involvement in extralegal killings.

The president has in the past ordered people arrested — gaming tycoon Jack Lam, for example — even if only courts can issue arrest warrants. He has also issued “shoot to kill” orders — against Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, who surrendered to authorities but was killed by police officers serving a search warrant on his jail cell last November — against suspects.

Aguirre advised the Department of Finance, the BOC and the BIR to sit down with Mighty Corp. to determine the company’s exact liabilities. He said that if such liabilities existed, they should be collected by the government authorities.

“If the DOF or the BIR or the BOC will determine that a criminal case should be filed against Mighty Corp., its officers or against Alex Wo Chu King with us at the DOJ, then we will faithfully discharge our duty and determine if probable cause exists,” he also said.

Chu King’s company is accused of producing fake cigarettes and using fake tax stamps.

Chu King’s lawyer, Sigfrid Fortun, also denied that his client was the one involved in a supposed bribery attempt on the president.

“Mighty was never involved or identified as the giver of the bribe but another cigarette manufacturer unrelated to the company,” he said.

He said that Panelo might have been fed wrong information that led to him to label Mighty Corp. as the company involved in the alleged bribery incident.

Source: http://m.philstar.com/315469/show/3256675e9ac7aa9b15949083b0eb94fc/