The only wholly-Filipino owned cigarette manufacturer in the country rebuffs yet another allegation thrown at them by competitors. Mighty Corporation stands firmed that they have not undervalued imported raw materials that they use in their production.
Mighty Corp. Executive Vice President and Spokesman Oscar P. Barrientos believes that this allegation is just part of a demolition job against his company staged by a giant multinational company and rival in the Philippine tobacco industry.
The retired judge explained, “That’s baseless and malicious. Our imported inputs passed through the Customs house, got cleared without any protest from the appraisers and examiners, and were released through final liquidation in accordance with the transaction value law. Who is to say that we undervalued?”
He added that they have proof that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) cleared it and that they have paid the duties and taxes. Under the law, if there are questions on valuation, the goods should not be released from Customs pending resolution of valuation issued by the port authorities through what is called the Valuation Classification Review Committee (VCRC).
“Transaction value is the regime being applied today by the BOC, the Philippines being a member of the World Customs Organization which spearheads compliance to all conventions and protocols, including revised Kyoto Convention (for trade facilitation). It is not for competition to dictate how much the value of my inputs should be; it is between MC and its foreign suppliers. Neither should MC complain if and when its rivals will have lesser cost in inputs from their foreign suppliers. That’s how transaction value regime operates.”
Barrientos is saddened that beneath the surface of law enforcement are ingredients of unmistakable harassment. But he is hopeful that his company will overcome this demolition campaign against the Bulacan-based company owned by the Wong Chu King family that produces low-priced cigarettes like La Campanilla, Magkaibigan, La Campana Ringing Bell, and the like for almost seven decades.