Soda bottling plant reopens after 3-day work stoppage due to lack of sugar supply
DAVAO CITY—Operations at the bottling plant of soda maker Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) in Barangay Ulas here, is back on Tuesday, a day after the company announced its temporary closure due to a shortage of sugar supply.
Plant worker Gilbert Policarpio told local radio station DxDC on Tuesday that he is reporting for duty after the company resumed bottling operation.
On Monday, a tarpaulin announcing the temporary closure was hung at the plant’s gate. A similar one was also hanged outside the company’s plant in Naga City.
But Policarpio said they have not reported for work since Saturday, Aug. 20, as the bottling operation was stopped. “If there is no sugar, there is no bottling (operation), and we do not have work,” he said in the vernacular.
Amid the sugar supply shortage, Policarpio said they have been on-call, reporting to the Ulas plant if there is enough to be used for a bottling run.
In a statement, lawyer Juan Lorenzo Tañada, director for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs of CCBPI, said that the shortage of supply of “Bottler’s Grade sugar has affected the capability of some of our bottling plants to continue producing some products.”
“We are doing everything we can to minimize supply disruption and the impact of supply shortage on our bottling operations,” said Tañada, although he did not confirm or deny whether there was truth to reports that the bottling plant in the city suspended its operations for a day.
He said the company is “continuing to work with the government and the broader sugar industry sector to arrive at a sustainable solution for the benefit of the small retailers who also rely on product’s availability for their livelihoods.”
“Meantime, we thank those who remain loyal to Coca-Cola products for being patient, as we prepare to once again serve our full line-up of beverages,” he added.
In a previous statement, the company said that the soda bottling industry needs about 450,000 metric tons of premium refined sugar to sustain the operations of the plants until the end of the year.
It added that the company is “in the midst of implementing various efforts aimed at cushioning the business impact of the lack of premium refined sugar supply.”
“As always, we are keeping our consumers, customers, and our people front and center,” it said.
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