Cigarette maker axes 300 workers

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    On the decline. Research showed a steady decline in cigarette consumption in the Philippines to 81 billion sticks in 2017 from 109 billion in 2012.

    PMFTC Inc.  is retrenching 300 workers  due to reduced operations over the years and aggravated by the pandemic.

    PMFTC in a statement said it is streamlining its manufacturing operations due to steep decline in production volumes resulting in significant idle capacity at the Marikina plant.

    The statement did not say how many workers will be affected but Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was quoted in a television interview on Tuesday PMFTC will lay off 300 workers.

    In the statement, PMFTC said it is investing  in the business process outsourcing industry which will more than offset the streamlining at the Marikina plant.

    The company will set up shared services and call centers within the next two years,  openingnew job opportunities.

    PMFTC said it will grant generous separation packages in excess of legal requirements and a viable care program to help affected employees transition to other sources of livelihood.

    PMFTC is part of the Philip Morris International (PMI) in joint venture with Lucio Tan-led Fortune Tobacco Corp. Its cigarette brands include Marlboro, Fortune, Champion, Hope, More, Jackpot

    In its website, PMI said it has 4,700 workers in the Philippines. The Marikina site is one of its two manufacturing facilities. The other is in Tanauan City, Batangas.