PCMRI hailed Mighty Corporation during the awarding ceremony

MIGHTY Corporation. was awarded the Outstanding Corporation of the Year Award (2015-2016) by the Philippine Council of Management Research Institute Inc. This award was given in recognition of its business achievements as well as its social, cultural and religious impact through Wong Chu King Foundation.

The company was founded by Wong Chu King, a poor immigrant from Amoy, China right after World War II. Together with the support of his family and also with the help of his friends Ong Lowa, Baa Dy and Ong Pay he started La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc. This was later renamed to Tobacco Industries of the Philippines and to what is now known as MIGHTY Corp.

Since its inception more than 70 years ago, it has continually battled and succeeded against economic turmoil and discerning public taste. It now has three factories and is one of the biggest tax payers of the country.

The Wong Chu King Foundation is the social responsibility arm of the company. Its goal is to “transformation through charity” by engaging in educational and apostolic related endeavours especially in tobacco farming communities. This is done by giving out educational assistance to the children of the local tobacco farmers who wanted to help their family get out of the poverty cycle.

 

 

NBi agents arrested suspects for selling fake Mighty Corp cigarettes

Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have arrested two suspects for supplying fake Mighty 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 Corp cigarettes of the same variants in Cebu City.

 

Fake Mighty Corp cigarettes smuggled in Cebu

Eleven boxes of fake cigarettes sold in barangays Taboan and Ermita in Cebu City were confiscated by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-7).

Three suspects identified as Carissaa Mae Juanico, Glenn Squib and Kevin Takiao were arrested in a buy bust operation last Feb. 24.

The three were charged with violation of Republic Act 8293 or the Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition law for selling fake Mighty cigarettes.

The case was filed before Branch 11 of the Cebu City Regional Trial court. RTC Judge Ramon Daomilaas recommended P40,000 bail for each suspect.

NBI-7 acted based on a complaint filed by Mighty Corp. manufacturer of Mighty cigarette brands.

Mighty Pays P8 B in Taxes despite Tax Evasion Allegations

The fully integrated Filipino-owned Mighty Corporation has paid P8 billion in excise tax for the calendar year 2013, from its previous P300 million payment for the year before. Mighty Corp. Executive Vice President Oscar Barrientos said that his company’s compliance with tax payment regulations should be enough to put to rest the accusations that they have not been paying its dues to the government.

Retired Regional Trial Court Judge Barrientos explained that the 2013 taxes that the company paid is a reflection of the increase in their market share as well as their fair share on taxes for the sin products during the previous year. He said that despite all the allegations that the company has been bombarded with by members of the social media and even by some members of Congress no cases has actually been formally filed in court—in fact, the Bureau of Customs itself has had the company cleared of any deficiencies in tax payments up until February 2014.

With the implementation of the new sin tax law or technically referred to as the Republic Act 10352, Mighty’s market share skyrocketed, which explains the equally high increase in the taxes that they also had to pay for the current year as opposed to the P300 million they had to pay out in 2012. The same law has effected a synchronization of adjustment on cigarette taxes to make it P30 for every pack for all brands within a five-year period.

Reports from the Bureau of Internal Revenue illustrated that excise taxes both from alcohol and cigarette products reached 81 percent even with the decline in the number of cigarettes marketed. Cigarette taxes comprise 61 percent of sin tax collections for the last 11 months.

While being a minor industry player in the tobacco industry until 2012, Mighty Corporation paid in over P8 billion of taxes, excluding the same tax fees it would have to settle for the same year before the deadline stipulated.

House Group Urged to Take It Slow on Mighty Corp. Case

Government agencies and Congress were asked Monday to take the investigations slowly particularly on the case covering the allegations thrown at an established cigarette manufacturer in the country particularly on the allegedly underdeclaration of its raw materials used for production.

Ako Bicol Party List Representative Rodel Batocabe explained that investigations conducted by the House of Representatives on the “unscrupulous entities” in the country’s tobacco industry should delve into the entire industry and not focus on one company alone.

As a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Batocabe said that if they were to investigate, no one company should be singled out so as to eliminate any unnecessary speculations or hidden undertones.

The House Committee member was talking in reference to Mighty Corporation that has been bombarded with allegations of underdeclaration of products. The locally owned cigarette manufacturer sells cigarette brands that sell at P1 per stick, having them included in the low-end tier products incurring the cheapest of sin tax rates.

Batocabe further suggested that the investigation, which is being conducted by the Committee on Ways and Means and spearheaded by Romero Federico Quimbo, Marikina City representative, should look into the issue matter-of-factly to eliminate prejudice and bias. He explained that the probe should be fair and objective and focus on the basic objective of protecting the government.

Kabataan Party List Representative Terry Ridon, on the other hand, warned the Congress to not belittle and underestimate Mighty, a legitimate fully Filipino-owned name in the industry with its solid 68 years of operation.

Established in the 1940s, Mighty is proudly Filipino and has been one of the top distributors of low-priced brands that include Campana Ringing Bell, La Campanilla, Magkaibigan, among others.

Ridon emphasized that they would always be ready to defend national firms especially against foreign companies, in reference to local companies like Mighty who have been strong advocacies of helping the millions of poor Filipinos by providing livelihood programs (aside from paying their dues to the government in terms of paying taxes).

Miguelito Ocampo, Mighty’s legal counsel, earlier denied all the allegations against its client company. He explained that his client company is able to sell one-peso-per stick cigarettes because they do not have any obligations of paying royalty fees as opposed to other companies that need to do so.

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