Coca-Cola Philippines to restructure

Around 8% of the soft drinks maker's workforce there will reportedly be slashed as part of the plan.

Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, a joint venture between The Coca-Cola Company and Mexican beverage company FEMSA, is set to slash its workforce in the coming months.

A local spokesperson from the soft drinks manufacturer said the decision to lay off workers comes “in light of recent developments within the beverage industry and in the business landscape as a whole”.

As a result, the company is “undergoing an organisational structure assessment”, which will involve a thorough review of existing roles and responsibilities.

Some 600 workers, or around 8% of the 8,000-strong workforce will likely be let go, local media Center for People’s Media reported.

 “This restructuring has been a very difficult decision. It was carried out only after an exhaustive and conscientious assessment of the evolving regulatory environment, our operational efficiency, and consequent performance in the market,” the Coca-Cola FEMSA representative added.

“Rest assured that we will treat the people who will be affected with dignity, fairness, and respect throughout this process. Everyone will be given career transition support, as well as separation packages that go beyond what is mandated by law.”

The “evolving regulatory environment” in question is that of a new beverage tax introduced by the Philippine government in December last year.

Called the “Train law”, the new ruling imposes a P6/litre (S$0.15) tax on beverages using caloric and non-caloric sweeteners, and P12/litre (S$0.30) on beverages using high fructose corn syrup.

Industry observers said then that they believe the tax will lower demand.

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