The only wholly Filipino tobacco company in the country, Mighty Corporation, believes that there is a systematic demolition job in the media against them by a rival multinational cigarette giant.
Retired judge Oscar P. Barrientos, executive vice president and spokesman of Mighty Corp. said that despite the series of malicious and damaging news items pertaining to their company that has been circulating lately, he is confident that the business will overcome all of this in due time.
Barrientos said, “We’re aware of our strength. We are no.1 one in the low-priced alternatives. We just have to protect our base, and the best to way to protect our base is to keep on improving our quality—and that, we did. If you try our new low-priced ones, you’ll like them even more, especially when you’re nationalist who patronizes Filipino-manufactured products.” He also noted that “the competition has very high cost, they need very high profit; we incurred low costs. We’re satisfied with low profits after what’s due our government.”
When asked what could be the reason behind what he considers as a demolition job put up against Mighty Corp., Barrientos responded, “Actually, it’s the least of our concern. But knowing how the tobacco industry in the country has been regarded as a strong lobby group before our legislators, I will not be surprised if it turns out later that the giants simply wanted a weeping boy with which they can be noticed or win the attention of Congress to have the sin tax law amended. And they’re doing it to us, knowing that we’re small, a purely Filipino company with a global presence, not influential in governance, and they can do anything at will. This is typically an attitude of a bully.”
Mighty Corp. is the producer of La Campanilla, Magkaibigan, La Campana Ringing Bell, and other local brands; thus, it does not to pay any royalty to remit to foreign headquarters or foreign consultants. The company has kept their costs low and has diligently paid their taxes.
Barrientos said that consistent with Mighty Corp.’s nationalist bent, even when the sin tax law was just looming in the horizon, its competitive intelligence and business savvy already dictated that the company should brace itself for the next battle in the tobacco market.
Not a stranger in the low-priced cigarette business, Mighty Corp. was able to solidify its base, enhance its core competencies and work out on its forecast, which was the migration of a big chunk of smokers from the premium to three other choices: to quit smoking, to smoke less, or to look for low-priced alternatives.