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Cited For Outstanding Programs On Health & Medical Care

Del Monte's extensive social programs for its over 9,000 employees, members of their families and neighboring communities won for the company the Most Outstanding Family Welfare Program Award from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Director Isabelo V. Dejos (Cannery Operation ), Ronald E. Lorton (Plantation Operation ) and Adrian C. Pabayo Employee and Community Relation ) received the award from Executive Secretary Teofisto Guingona, who represented the President, DOLE Secretary Ma. Nieves R. Confesor, Health Undersecretary Jaime Galves-Tan, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) representative Kevin McGrath, International Labor Organization (Manila) Director Paul Bailey and Deputy Executive Secretary Leonardo Quisumbing.

Del Monte was among 13 private corporations all over the country that were honored during the rites. The company was unanimously chosen as Northern Mindanao's winner for this nation-wide search.

The company was cited for its outstanding programs on health, medical care, nutrition and sanitation, livelihood enhancement, educational assistance program for dependents, housing facilities, transportation, and value formation and responsible parenthood programs.

During the last fiscal year, the company spent over P218 million to extend these benefits to members of the Del Monte family. These programs have helped the total development of employees and their families.

Altogether, Del Monte's pro-employee programs have helped the company win other major national awards. These include the coveted Employer of the Year Award from Personnel Management Association of the Phils. (PMAP), the Outstanding Women Employer Award from DOLE, Awards of Excellence in Safety, from the Safety Organization of the Phils. Inc. (SOPI), Anvil Awards for outstanding social responsibility communications projects from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines and Outstanding Countryside Investor Award in the Large-Scale Agro-Industrial category from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Are Philippine Exports Losing To Competition?

There is a sense of urgency among foreign buyers in the country today.

The export industry hasn't really been moving. Foreign buyers, who are exposed to the international market, claim that Philippine exports have only inched up while other Asian countries' export earnings have grown at a more vigorous rate.

The Philippines was on equal footing with Taiwan and Korea. But Filipinos have since fallen behind. It is now Indonesia and Malaysia which are considered as the country's counterparts. Taiwan and Korea went on to become formidable dragon economies.

Faced with such a scenario, Filipinos must realize the cutthroat competition in the export market today. There are roughly 60 markets competing for a stagnant pie. Aside from other Asian countries, the Philippines must also contend with the emerging economic of South America and the Eastern Bloc.

Much of the export industry's problems could be traced to lack of professionalism and global orientation among local exporters.

While fast delivery is very important in exports, Philippine manufacturers are known to have long lead times. In this area, the power shortage aggravates the situation.

There seems to be no respect for time and effort.

Some exporters are also more interested in quick profits. Instead of cultivating lasting business relationships, a number of exporters are short-sighted, opting for high profits per order.

Yet, the country still has its merits. Filipinos could still come up with some of the most beautiful designs in the market today. Skilled labor is aplenty. The fact that Filipinos speak English is also an advantage.

The Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) believes the real initiative should come from the private sector.

FOBAP is a non-profit organization of buying agents and representatives aiming to increase the country's competitiveness in global markets.

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