• May 20, 2024

Mighty pleads for license

Philippines photo
Photo by Beegee49

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines could be negatively affected if the government makes good its threat to close home-grown tobacco company Mighty Corp, according to a story in The Manila Times.

Retired regional trial court judge, Oscar Barrientos, who is executive vice president of Mighty and the company’s spokesperson, said on the weekend that about 7,000 employees and 55,000 tobacco farmers, along with their estimated 350,000 family members and dependents, relied on the company for their livelihoods.

He called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue [BIR] to act more responsibly in making statements about Mighty and to take into consideration the repercussions that would be felt following cancellation of the license to operate of the company.

“The BIR should consider that this case impacts Mighty’s employees, tobacco farmers and their families, as well as suppliers and distributors who depend on the company,” he said.

Barrientos called on the government to ensure due process for the tobacco firm as it faces charges of tax evasion.

“We reiterate our pledge to fully co-operate with the government,” Barrientos said. “But while we welcome the filing of these charges as an opportunity to clear the name of the company and its officers, we hope that the BIR will also show prudence in the conduct of its probe of the firm,” he said.

Earlier, Mario Cabasal, president of the National Federation of Tobacco Farmers Associations and Co-operatives, had said that tobacco farmers would probably bear the brunt if Mighty’s operation were shut down.

“Most of us depend on Mighty for the purchase of our tobacco,” said Cabasal. “They are our biggest buyer of local tobacco. If the government makes good its threat to close down Mighty Corp, tobacco farmers will bear the brunt of the closure.”