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Building a Strategic Comeback for 2021

October 21, 2020

For the past several months, hundreds of companies continue to be on the defense because of the influx of unforgiving adversities presented by the pandemic. As most businesses know by now, the lack of preparation and foresight, in a time when massive changes are happening rapidly, can bring a swift yet painful death.   Even if the atmosphere surrounding this health crisis has simmered down, the hard realities faced by executives such as the collapse of demand, the rise in unemployment, changes in psychosocial attitudes and behavior, supply chain interruptions, and the crippling economic recession should still be addressed to ensure the revival of struggling organizations.   A clear direction towards the future which also takes careful consideration of the present situation will help you transition into the much-awaited phase of renewal. To determine the proper course of action that will be followed by your business to effectively enter a period of growth and sustainability, business owners and key leaders must understand the gravity of strategic planning.   Strategic Plan — Seeing the Resurgence of Your Business   The thought of making decisions in the presence of uncertainty can be overwhelming but a solid strategic plan becomes your greatest asset in identifying these uncertainties and in constructing a roadmap that will drive your organization from where you are now to where you want to be.   In strategic planning, long discussions that revolve around the appropriate allocation and adjustments of limited resources and the needed flexibility of structures and operational systems to function in this new normal are expected to take priority as certain calls have to be made.   Familiar questions about the mission and vision will also be revisited as conventional solutions might no longer be viable in this ever-changing environment. Key business leaders must learn to quickly adapt and react to ensure that brand new opportunities will be maximized and that operations will not be damaged by the useless pursuit of obsolete ideas and processes. This will introduce a new competitive strategy that can guide the organization to where it wants to be years from now.   Apart from all that was mentioned above, the overlooked and underappreciated practice of family business governance plays a major role in the company’s goal of staging an impressive comeback for 2021 and it should be included in the strategic plan especially since most of the businesses in the country are family-owned. The crisis has revealed weaknesses in succession plans as leaders get sick without a successor stepping into the plate. We need to be reminded that no matter how groundbreaking the strategy is, if the people responsible for its implementation fail, then all efforts will be rendered pointless.   Now, the most important question we have for you is this: “Is your company prepared enough to plan for your future?   W+B Advisory Group and Icon Executive Asia, who have mounted several conferences and webinars attended by hundreds of high net worth and high profile business individuals and their management teams, recognize the significance of supporting all businesses — whether struggling or thriving — in their path of starting their strategic plan for the next year.   As they continue to champion their “Save Our Business” advocacy which produced the successful Family Business Governance entitled “The Power of Succession” that happened last August 29, W+B and Icon invites you to their upcoming webinar entitled  “Strategic Plan 2021: Setting the Stage for a Major Comeback” on October 24, 2020, Saturday, at 10 AM.   This event about strategic planning and corporate rehabilitation will feature top-tier speakers, namely Mr. Stephen Lin and Prof. Eric Soriano, who are renowned subject matter experts all over Asia.   Should you have any inquiries, you may reach W+B Advisory Group at 0945 342 4446 / 0917 324 7216 or send an email to inquiries@wbadvisoryasia.com

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CPP-NPA documents reveal LGU officials “contribute” to rebels’ war coffers – AFP

October 21, 2020

CAMP EVANGELISTA  - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) revealed  the detailed methods and tactics of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in their extortion activities, and asked the LGUs, politicians and would-be candidates  to stop “contributing”  to the war chest of the communist rebels. In a press conference with officers of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club e3arly this week, Major General Andres C. Centino, Commander of 4th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force-Diamond,  bared that based on seized documents and also revelations of arrested rebels, the NPA  has been undertaking  two kinds of extortion: its regular extortion or Rebolusyonaryong Buwis sa Kaaway na Uri (RBKU) and its Permit-to-Campaign (PTC) and Permit-to-Win (PTW) fees for the election  of national, and LGU officials. The AFP-CRS  in its report, explained that the RBKU is the NPA’s principal means of financial and logistical procurement. Guidelines for the NPA’s fund-raising pursuits are issued by the CPP's Executive Committee.  In  their "modus operandi"  in exacting RBKU,  the NPA first identifies, through its local unit, its potential target, and then investigates them on their income for accurate computation of taxes. The NPA extortionists predetermine the minimum and maximum amount to be paid by the target. During negotiations, armed NPAs are usually in attendance to pressure the target to yield, added the report of AFP-CRS. Gen. Centino also said their (NPA)  targets also include agro-industrial firms, mining companies, bus operators, construction companies undertaking government projects, and even small businesses such as sari-sari store owners. According to  Centino, the standard rates are six to seven percent of the gross income for logging operators; one to two million pesos for bus companies; for big ranch proprietors, the NPA’s annual collection is based on every cow head; for agricultural landowners, the NPA’s collection depends on the hectares owned, such as 20-25 percent of net income for 151 hectares or more. Payments have to be in 100- or 1,000-peso bills, while small bills, checks and real properties are not accepted. “The target may substitute monetary payment with a computer unit or high-powered firearms, cellphones, medicines and equipment, among others. For long-term targets, re-negotiations are conducted after a year; and an annual increase is imposed,” the AFP-CRS said, adding that the collected fees are immediately remitted to the NPA’s higher organ where 80 percent of it is forwarded to the NPA’s National Finance Committee (NFC) while the remaining 20 percent is retained by the lower organs. Highest collecting rate for 2009 came from the business establishments with P42.2 million, followed by logging concessionaires with P28.7 million. AFP-CRS said that in its policy, the NPA metes out punishment to those who refuse to pay and to those who renege on their payments. In 2009, the NPA attacked at least 61 business establishments with an estimated P103 million in damages for non-payment of extortion fees. “The NPA is not selective of its victims for as long as it can exploit their vulnerabilities. By extorting from the simple farmers and workers, obstructing aid and progress, the NPA is further impoverishing poor households and villages,"  It was during the 10th Plenum of the CPP Central Committee in 1991 that the CPP saw the potential to exploit election season through the imposition of “Permit-to-Campaign” fees or otherwise referred to as access permits or Campaign Access Fee (CAF). The NPA began collecting PTCs during the 1992 national elections. In the last three national elections, the NPA was estimated to have amassed a conservative estimate of P93.8 million. The going rate is from P5,000 to P20 million from municipal councilor to president. The rates may vary in different regions and depending on the candidate’s affinity to the CPP-NPA movement. CPP-NPA allies are exempted from payment. In 2004, the NPA upgraded to Permit-to-Win (PTW) fees wherein they guaranteed votes of CPP-NPA sympathizers. As the NPA punishes those who refuse their extortion demands, the same punishments are meted out to politicians who ignore their PTCs and PTWs. Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights issued an advisory on February 25, 2010 condemning the NPA’s PTCs and PTWs as “repugnant in all possible ways to valued human rights principles and standards, not only of candidates and political parties, but of the individual voters as well.” Extortion is a criminal offense under the Revised Penal Code Articles 294, 295, 296, 299, 300, 301, and 302.  The documents show the NPA price for local candidates ranged between P150,000 and P1 million.  “Our deterrence efforts against NPA extortion, however, proved more effective when residents tip us of NPAs presence and when companies or local politicians inform us of their extortion letters and harassments. We urge the people to help us mitigate NPA extortion and harassments by reporting to law enforcers these incidents because if they choose to pay, the more that this will embolden the NPAs to extort and the more that harassments will continue,” the AFP said.

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October 15 is GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY | Our cases are rising, our water supply failing

October 13, 2020

Cagayan de Oro’s COVID-19 cases have breached the 1,000-mark after the City Health Office released data Saturday showing Cagayan de Oro is undergoing a surge of COVID-19 infections fueled mostly local infections — beginning August with 154 cases. The infections quadrupled to 606 cases in September, with 26 new cases reported since October 1. Already, 81% of the city’s Temporary Treatment Monitoring Facilities (TTMF) and city isolation units are occupied (970 patients vs. 1,200 beds capacity). The city is closely monitoring the infection cluster at the Del Monte cannery in Barangay Bugo after 20 of its 4,000 workers were found infected. Factory workers are reportedly among the city’s COVID-19 “super spreaders”, making up 60 percent of confirmed infections, because many of them go home without taking a bath and washing their hands, city health officials said. A MindaNews report said the Center for Health Development in Northern Mindanao reported a total of 3,396 cases in Northern Mindanao as of 3 p.m. on October 9, of which 1,005 are in Cagayan de Oro City, 671 of which are local cases, and 334 locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipinos.   The worldwide commemoration of Global Handwashing Day this October 15th to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing, leads us to ponder if there is a tangible relation between the city’s continued inability to meet its residents’ need for a clean, safe and steady water supply and the rising cases of COVID-19, especially local infections among factory workers. Should the super spreaders among workers failure to take a bath and wash their hands be directly related to the lack of clean and steady water supply in their homes and work places, it would be in the best interest of all to know the truth behind such a correlation and act accordingly. Handwashing protects our own health, but also allows us to build our own futures, as well as those of our communities, and the world. Why Does it Matter Now? The COVID-19 pandemic provides a reminder that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of a virus is also one of the simplest: hand hygiene, especially through handwashing with soap. To beat the virus today and ensure better health outcomes beyond the pandemic, handwashing with soap must be a priority now and in the future. How Can I get Involved? It’s easy! Join the handwashing movement and help celebrate Global Handwashing Day and make handwashing a habit 365 days a year. Make handwashing a priority in your school and at work. Help build awareness about handwashing with your family, friends and community. If you have a problem with the water supply in your home or work place, report this immediately to the Cagayan de Oro City Water District website or Facebook page. You may also report related issues to our City Council Committee on Public Utilities chaired by Kag. Bong Lao, Committee on Health, Sanitation and Health Insurance chaired by Dra. Malou S. Gaane or Committee on Environment and Natural Resources headed by Kag. Eric D. Salcedo. Happy Global Handwashing Day everyone!    

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National Food Policy to Address Hunger in the Philippines: Karlo Nograles, IATF Chief

October 8, 2020

7.6 Million Families experienced hunger in the past three months according to the latest SWS Survey. Amidst the pandemic, hunger is becoming one of the most pressing problems in the Philippines when businesses and companies are shutting down, unemployment rates soar high.  It is an altogether spiraling tragedy crippling the lives of the Filipinos, but let me say that there is hope.  In a press statement, the government has recognized the urgency to conduct Food and Agricultural programs to augment the need for more feeding program activities for imp areas. When poorer families cannot afford to eat three times a day, the government under the leadership of Karlo Nograles, IATF member for Hunger, launches the “National Food Policy” which seeks to end hunger through massive food production, food security, food availability and accessibility, nutrition, and food resiliency. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles- Chair of the government's Zero Hunger Task Force declared the launching of the NFP that requires and incentivizes micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), LGUs, private companies, civil society organizations, and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to become partners and participate in fighting hunger congruent with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Goal No. 2. Along with this, the government has also set aside budget to fund house-to-house feeding programs in impoverished areas targeting kids who are enrolled in public schools. The budget will be allocated through the schools to which they are enrolled as well as social welfare nets under the DSWD.  Food distributed will include nutribuns, iron fortified rice, instant laing, pochero and growth mixes to also solve malnutrition and stunted children.  As per IATF Chairperson on Hunger, Karlo Nograles, cites his commitment to meet zero hunger by 2030 and passed the Executive Order No. 101. “It may be more difficult (to achieve this) but we cannot stop trying,” he added.  "We should never be deprived of food or any basic needs! With every meal that we miss everyday the light of hope also dims. We should step-up our game to alleviate hunger!"

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Bukidnon dairy workers undergo training on good manufacturing practices

September 29, 2020

MALAYBALAY City--Twenty-eight staff of Universal Harvester Dairy Farms Incorporated (UHDFI) coming from its various processing areas attended an online seminar on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Bukidnon recntly. One of UHDFI’s fast-moving brands is the Bukidnon Milk Company. It is well-known as a homegrown brand of Premium Fresh Milk from the highlands of Bukidnon. Though their product gained positive feedback, they still seek to gain more knowledge and ensure product consistency and quality. Making headway on the Webinar’s talking points, DOST-Bukidnon Provincial Director Virgilio M. Fuertes emphasized the importance of food safety to foster consumers’ safety above other priorities in the food industry. “The goal should not stop at getting FDA-LTO and CPR. It’s only a consequence of conscientious adherence to food safety protocol in the dairy processing industry,” Fuertes said. Lesli N. Uy, Science Research Specialist and member of the DOST-X Food Safety Team discussed every aspect of the GMP manufacturing process to safeguard the products that can be catastrophic to both handlers and consumers.  She also lectured and taught the participants the additional protocols as abidance to the shift for new normal caused by the current pandemic situation. “The GMP Webinar gives us clear guidance for the implementation of GMP based on statutory and regulatory requirements,” said Emily S. Fernando, Company ISO, and Quality Management System Manager. For his part, Jonathan Masloc, ISO Officer and head of the processing Department of UHDFI, said that this webinar is an initial step for their plan to acquire GMP accreditation and Halal certification. Masloc said this Webinar is UHDFI’s first shot to avail of DOST’s technical services, among its requests for DOST’s technical assistance. Among the services that the firm requested from DOST-X are Training and Consultancy for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certification; Test Method Validation and Microbial Test Training for Lab Analysts; Shelf Life Evaluation of Dairy Products; and Chemical Analysis for Food and Water. Bukidnon Milk Company is grateful to its consumers for the trust and for patronizing its products. The firm guarantees to ensure that their company meets the requirements to satisfy its customers with its products and services. (DOST-Bukidnon/PIA Bukidnon)

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Customs seizes imported cigar worth 40m in Misor

September 25, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Bureau of Customs (BOC) in Northern Mindanao seized illegally imported cigarettes from China valued at P40 million on September 17, the agency said Tuesday. The contraband arrived at the Mindanao Container Terminal, a sub-port under the jurisdiction of BOC-10, in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, said Cris Angelo Andrade, the bureau’s regional information officer. Andrade said the cargo has no import papers and other documents, prompting the Customs to declare it as a “pre-lodged shipment.” Prior to the contraband’s arrival, the BOC-10 district office has already been alerted of the shipment by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Andrade said. Upon arrival at the MCT, the shipment was immediately issued with pre-lodgement control order, he added. The BOC-10 then put out an alert order against the shipment for violation of National Tobacco Administration (NTA) memorandum circular no. 3 series of 2004 and NTA board resolution no. 079-2005 in relation to section 1113 (f) and section 1400 (misdeclaration) of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. Oliver Valiente, the Customs’ CIIS field station chief, said the illegal shipment was alerted to them through “Project Crocodile.” Project Crocodile is an information-sharing scheme between customs administration of member-countries notifying each other if there are movements of suspicious cigarette shipments. The information provided to the CIIS was relayed through a global database operated jointly by countries involved in international anti-smuggling campaign. In his statement, John Simon, BOC-10 district collector, has reiterated his support in the Bureau’s drive to combat smuggling in the country as he commended the vigilance and dedication to duty of the personnel instrumental in the said apprehension.   “The Port of Cagayan de Oro will remain steadfast in its mandate to protect the country’s borders by preventing the entry of smuggled goods,” Simon said. Early this month, BOC-10 led the destruction through shredding of 2,150 reams of cigarettes from China and other countries. In a previous interview, Simon said the condemned items were apprehended when the consignees failed to pay duties and taxes in violation of RA 10836.

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