Most corporations in the Philippines these days are multinational companies. Those companies, though operating here in the Philippines, are owned by foreigners and not by Filipinos. This fact make us Filipinos purchase products that rather than helping our fellow Filipinos will more likely help those foreigners that are just using the some Philippines. Thanks to Filipino corporations that boom because of perseverance and patriotism, they serve as hope for us, Filipinos because of what they do, not just for their own businesses, but also, for the Filipino people. One of those corporations is the Lamoiyan Corporation.
The Lamoiyan Corporation
The Lamoiyan Corporation did not start as a toothpaste manufacturer, rather as a supplier of aluminum collapsible toothpaste tubes to toothpaste manufacturers. In 1970s, Dr. Pedro‟s Aluminum Containers, Inc. enjoyed profit growth due to the increasing demand from the country‟s leading toothpaste manufacturers, ColgatePalmolive, Procter and Gamble and Philippine Refining Company (PRC) now Unilever.
However, in 1985, these companies began using laminated tubes and left Dr. Pedro‟s Aluminum Containers, Inc. but instead of closing his factory, throwing into waste the entire leftover toothpaste container and having 200 people employed in his company go unemployed, he decided to make his own toothpaste and place it in his aluminum containers. Two years later, he reopened his factory as Lamoiyan Corporation, now known as the manufacturer of toothpaste brands‟ Hapee and Kutitap.
The big toothpaste makers controlled 99% market before Dr. Pedro entered it in 1987. Today, the figure dropped down to 65%. The first of Dr. Pedro‟s strategies was to to target the multi-nationals’ Achilles‟ heel: price. While Dr. Pedro knew that he could not compete in areas such as promotion and distribution, his decision to cut price by 50% won an immediate response from consumers. However, when Colgate followed suit with a 20% price cut, Dr. Pedro turned to market diversification. Among
other things, he developed multi-flavored toothpaste for children. It took Colgate three years to respond, but by that time, Lamoiyan had already successfully captured the new market. Moreover, Dr. Pedro targeted specialized markets, by diversifying his product line to include Hapee Kiddie Toothgels, Dazz Dishwashing Paste and Dazz AllPurpose Kitchen Cleaner, Fresher feminine wash and Gumtect, a special gum-formula toothpaste, which larger companies did not find profitable.
Lamoiyan Corporation has been recognized as the Most Outstanding Toothpaste Manufacturer by the Consumer’s Union of the Philippines for seven years. The company was also recognized by the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) as having the Most Outstanding Program for Equal Employment.
Natural capital refers to the resources and services provided by nature. They are of large economic value – more so than the gross world product. Natural capitalism is a system of four interlinking principles, where business and environmental interests overlap, and in which businesses can better satisfy their customers’ needs, increase profits and help solve environmental problems all at the same time.
Taking care of the environment is a priority of Lamoiyan Corporation. With the future generation of kids in mind, Lamoiyan Corporation makes sure that they are doing their share in protecting the environment by putting in place some measures that will help.
Lamoiyan Corporation, in compliance to Republic Act 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990, properly disposes their chemical by-products during the manufacture of their famous Hapee toothpaste and all other products. In this way, it does not damage the environment and human beings.
Since water is getting scarce these days, the corporation continues in manufacturing affordable toothpaste but not overusing water resource through its wastewater treatment facility. With its wastewater treatment facility, it recycles water, thus, conserving a voluminous amount of water which is a precious resource.
In addition, in terms of energy consumption, the company implements a strict energy-saving policy that involves the proper use of electricity. Their energy consumption includes turning off of unused lights and unplugging and not just turning off of personal computers and other electrical devices. With these, we can say that Lamoiyan Corporation‟s business and environmental interests overlap since they don‟t want to close their business and they also care for the environment that‟s why they comply with every policy mandated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The corporation also can better satisfy their customer‟s needs since they save on electricity and water, therefore, the price of their products will be cheaper and more affordable. They also can increase their profit while saving mother earth.
Corporate Social Responsibility
In its almost 24 years of success as the first Filipino to ever penetrate the toothpaste market, Lamoiyan Corporation never failed to adhere to its social responsibility. About 30 percent of the employees of Lamoiyan Corporation are hearing-impaired. Sign language is the only means of communication between the hearing-impaired and hearing personnel, so he has also required his managers to learn it. Dr. Pedro does not only employ them but also, helps provide them with free housing, thus, improving their way of life.
Since there are still many deaf-mute people outside the company that also need help, Lamoiyan took it upon itself to support three schools and 14 centers that provide basic sign language courses to the hearing-impaired. Upon graduation, some students are sent to college as scholars, while others are hired by the company.
For Dr. Pedro, being socially responsible is not only taking care of the hearing impaired, but also taking care of his employees, providing a decent place where they can work safely and taking care of his employees‟ physical, intellectual, and spiritual well-being. His company holds regular Bible studies and prayer meetings to help make food for the soul. Their singular corporate motto is “Making the difference for the Glory of God.” Moreover, Lamoiyan‟s products are very affordable for Filipino families belonging to the C, D, and E market, giving them the chance to access dental care and therefore, making their life better. William Ford Jr., chairman of Ford Motor Co. said, “Social responsibility is much bigger than supporting worthy causes. It includes anything that impacts people and the quality of their lives.” The social responsibility of Lamoiyan Corporation does impact people and their quality of lives, it‟s more than giving people fishes, but teaching them how to fish.
Social justice is the fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice.
Lamoiyan Corporation did not fail to exercise social justice as it follow laws on labor, etc. One example is its compliance to Section 3 of Article XIII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which states: “The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.” Lamoiyan Corporation promotes equality of employment opportunities for all given that they hire deaf-mute people even if they do not possess the ability to hear and to speak.
Another thing, Lamoiyan Corporation complies with every policy mandated by the Department of Environment and natural Resources for the environment protection, therefore, following the law and being fair with other Filipinos since the corporation will not be a cause of calamities that destroy the Filipinos. Lamoiyan Corporation is also fair in giving salaries and benefits to its employees. They also follow the laws stated in the Labor Code of the Philippines.
Regarding its treatment to its customers, I could say that Lamoiyan Corporation is fair in pricing their products compared to multi-national companies which have high-priced toothpaste with the almost the same quality as Lamoiyan‟s. Filipinos get good quality toothpaste at the right price.
Can Business Build Or Destroy The Filipino?
Lamoiyan Corporation did very well in practicing Natural Capitalism. It follows every law and regulation mandated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and does projects other done what the DENR told them to save the planet. People might say that they are just doing these for themselves, for their business not to close, for them to save money on conserving electricity and water, etc. Well, yes, they may be doing it for themselves but let us put in mind the Invisible Hand Theory of Adam Smith.
The Invisible Hand Theory of Adam Smith states that an individual will accidentally/unconsciously benefit other individuals by promoting his self interest. Lamoiyan Corporation, by promoting its business and environmental interests, benefit the Filipinos and possible, the whole world. Since they are conserving water which is getting scarce, they are helping the future Filipino people to still have water as a resource. Their energy conservation, moreover, can help lessen global warming, thus providing a better world to the next generations.
The toothpaste manufacturer has a very good corporate social responsibility. Since they are employing deaf-mute Filipinos, who are supposedly unemployed because of their disability, the number of unemployed Filipinos is lessened and therefore, reducing poverty, somehow. The company, through its corporate social
responsibility, does not merely give their beneficiaries fishes but they teach them how to fish through giving their beneficiaries free education. And after their education, those beneficiaries can stand on their own even without the help of the company.
One question that one may ask is what would happen to their deaf-mute employees if the corporation will all of a sudden close and only the Lamoiyan Corporation employs deaf-mute Filipinos. Well, I foresee that the company will stay for the next one hundred years, if not for a lifetime, since their products are affordable and efficient. Especially these days, Filipinos are becoming wiser in choosing the products that they will use since saving money is a must.
Regarding social justice, Lamoiyan Corporation recognizes basic human rights like Article VII of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. Since Lamoiyan Corporation is fair and equal to everyone, even to the deaf-mute people, the deaf-mute people have the opportunity to live as normal people and gain confidence in order to improve themselves and eventually, the Philippines.
To sum up, businesses like Lamoiyan Corporation help build the Filipino people through its efforts of promoting its business and environmental interests. First, they provide a better world for the future generations by doing their part in minimizing the effects of global warming. Yes, they cannot totally stop global warming, but doing something is much better than doing nothing. Second, it provides employment to Filipinos, especially to those who are not likely to be employed, and it gives chance to others to be employed in the future by giving them education. Employment generation is a key strategy in reducing poverty. Third, justice prevails in and out of the corporation. They respect the rights of others anywhere. Aristotle said “It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered.” Lastly, Lamoiyan Corporation is a Filipino Corporation. Filipinos have the reason to buy Filipino products whose quality can be compared with multinational corporations‟ products and to help their fellow Filipinos and purely, the Filipinos.
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