Coca-Cola MisOr plant marks 9 years of service to Mindanaoans
August 13, 2020 - Thursday 9:08 PM by PRZarahmie Vergara Trania, Misamis Oriental Plant manager, takes a hands-on approach in making sure that the facility stays up and running during the pandemic to produce essential hydration needs. Foremost among her responsibilities is to ensure the health, safety, and total wellbeing of the plant’s associates.
Among the milestones in the over 100-year history of Coca-Cola in the Philippines is the inauguration of its Misamis Oriental plant, located in the municipality of Villanueva, back in 2011. Warmly welcomed by the community, the plant—one of the Company’s newer facilities—has since stood as a significant presence in the region, serving an increasing number of customers and creating positive inroads in the local economy, local job creation, environmental sustainability, and community development.
The plant has been resolute in fostering the growth of the communities that surround it. The state-of-the-art plant employs more than 500 regular associates—440 of which hail from Misamis Oriental. It sits on an 11-hectare area, and is the biggest facility of Coca-Cola outside of Luzon.
With the celebration of the Misamis Oriental plant’s 9th anniversary, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) reiterated its commitment to the residents of Villanueva and the surrounding communities.
“In the face of the numerous challenges brought on by the pandemic, not to mention its inevitable aftermath, we remain committed to empowering local communities such as the municipality of Villanueva, and the whole of Misamis Oriental. As such, we will strive to remain a source of livelihood and local job creation, as well as help small businesses restart and rebuild,” said Zarahmie Vergara Trania, Plant Manager.
Leading a continuous transformation
The Misamis Oriental plant is a greenfield operation of Coca-Cola and is considered as one of the most operationally advanced plants, with features including state-of-the-art technology for wastewater treatment, and high-efficiency equipment to reduce air pollution.
Moreover, as part of the Company’s national roadmap toward the use of greener energy, the Misamis Oriental plant has installed 7,000 solar panels to support its electricity needs, thereby helping reduce costs and advancing more sustainable plant operations.
Apart from contributing to the regional economy by being one of the top taxpayers and job generators, the plant has been supporting grassroots programs and projects that benefit the environment and the locals.
Since 2012, the plant has been participating in International Coastal Clean-Up Day, where plant personnel undertake clean-up activities in a number of barangays, in addition to conducting river and estero clean-ups. In 2019, the plant partnered with the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) for an adopt-an-estero program for the Tag-anga creek.
It has also been a partner of the Department of Education for the annual Brigada Eskwela since 2012, with employees cleaning and preparing classrooms before the opening of classes. Similarly, as part of its own Lovedrive feeding program, plant employees have also participated and donated beverages to various school feeding programs since 2016.
Additionally, since the Misamis Oriental plant started operations, the number of micro and small retailers in the area—sari-sari stores and carinderias, and the like—began to flourish. In these businesses, Coca-Cola products have become more accessible, while new wholesalers and delivery partners have also opened for business.
Strengthening people-first commitment amid the pandemic
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the plant has sustained operations—having been identified by the government as an essential goods manufacturer—and has promised to protect jobs. The company has allocated almost Php2 billion for its employee assistance fund, ensuring that associates were paid during quarantine. Moreover, those part of the skeleton workforce deployed on-site and on the field were provided with additional allowances. Other monetary and non-monetary employee support have also been provided, such as the deferment of loan payments to cooperatives and the advanced partial pay-out of 13th month pay, along with full HMO coverage in the event that any associates or dependents contracted COVID-19.
With a high priority placed on employee well-being, plant operations adopted even stricter safety protocols, which include the accomplishment of a health declaration form, daily temperature checks, the installation of handwashing stations and foot baths plus, the disinfection of surfaces and trucks.
The Company’s people-first approach has characteristically gone beyond plant walls, having allotted Php150 million toward COVID-19 relief efforts. Thus far, over 25,000 cases of Coca-Cola beverages have been provided to various institutions who serve at the frontline of Misamis Oriental’s COVID-19 efforts, such as the municipality of Villanueva, the city health office in El Salvador, the Brgy. Barra police station, and Polymedic Medical Center in Tagoloban.
CCBPI has also recently announced that it will invest an additional $22M (approximately PHP1.1B) this 2020 to further expand operations via the installation of new production lines across the country, and as well as people development through job protection and job generation.
“We at Coca-Cola remain inspired to do even more for our associates, the community, and the region at large,” said Trania. “As we look forward to many more years here in Misamis Oriental, we know that we must carry on with our efforts to help sustain the local economy and help vulnerable communities. We are committed to continuously work together with our partners, consumers, and the local government so that we can create a lasting, positive impact here in Villanueva, and in the whole of Misamis Oriental.”
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