A Whistleblower Policy has been in place since 2004 to promote the highest standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of the Company’s affairs.
The policy aims to deter and uncover corrupt, illegal, unethical, fraudulent or other conduct detrimental to the Group’s interests committed by officers and employees as well as third parties/any other persons such as suppliers and contractors. The Group encourages its officers and employees, suppliers and contractors to provide information that evidences unsafe, unlawful, unethical, fraudulent or wasteful practices. It does not disregard anonymous complaints.
This policy enables the Group to effectively deal with reports from whistleblowers in a manner that will protect the identity of the whistleblower and provide for the appropriate use of the information provided. It also establishes the policies for protecting whistleblowers against reprisal by any person internal or external to the Company and provide for the appropriate infrastructure including the appointment of a “Whistleblower Protection Officer”, a “Whistleblower Investigations Officer” and alternative means of reporting.
The Board, together with the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee, had appointed a Protection Officer as well as an Investigations Officer to administer the Company’s Whistleblower programme.
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Pursuant to the Code of Business Ethics (the “Code” for purposes of this section), all employees are prohibited from engaging in any activity or harbouring any personal interests that conflict or appear to conflict with the Company’s interests.
All employees are required to disclose any conflict of interest on an annual basis.
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The Company implements a Securities Dealings Policy which adopts and operationalises the statutory prohibition on certain designated persons within the Company to deal in the Company’ securities while in possession of unpublished material price-sensitive information and/or to provide such information to others.
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The Company’s Interested Person and Related Party Transactions Manual sets out the definitions, general guidelines, and review and monitoring procedures to be adopted across the Group. The manual presents a comprehensive view of Interested Person Transactions (IPTs) and material Related Party Transactions (RPTs) and the procedures that all affected Group personnel, including members of senior management, directors and employees in Purchasing, Treasury, Finance, Sales, Legal and Internal Audit, must follow.
The Company established review procedures to ensure that the IPTs: (1) will be carried out on an arm’s length basis and on normal commercial terms; and (2) will not be prejudicial to the interests of the Company and its minority shareholders.
In general, the transactions with related parties are carried out based on terms agreed between the parties. Pricing for the sales of products are market driven, less certain allowances. For purchases, the Group’s policy is to solicit competitive quotations. Bids from any related party are evaluated on arm’s length commercial terms and subject to bidding against third party suppliers. Purchases are normally awarded based on the lowest price.
The Audit and Risk Committee (“ARC”) reviews Management's reports on IPTs and material RPTs on a quarterly basis to ascertain that the established review procedures are complied with.
If, however, during such periodic reviews, the ARC determines that the review procedures have become inappropriate or insufficient in view of changes to the nature of, or the manner in which, the business activities of the Group are conducted, then the Company will revert to its shareholders for a fresh mandate based on a new set of guidelines and review procedures that would ensure compliance with the established standards above.
Approval or Ratification
The following are the categories of IPTs in the Company’s manual:
Monitoring, Recording and Regular Disclosures
To facilitate recording of IPTs and material RPTs, each Group subsidiary’s Controller shall establish three holding accounts that will be used in recording IPTs and material RPTs – one to record Mandated IPTs, another to record Non-Mandated IPTs, and a third to record material RPTs. Transactions recorded under these holding accounts will then be cleared monthly to the proper accounts. The transactions that are recorded under the holding accounts will then be reported on a quarterly basis to the CFO for consolidation which will then be submitted to the ARC for evaluation and review.
Summaries of the Group's IPTs and material RPTs are disclosed in quarterly and annual reports of the Company as required by regulations.
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The Group’s agro-industrial workers enjoy one of the most attractive compensation and benefit packages. Complementing government-mandated privileges for all employees and qualified dependents is a broad range of free medical and dental services, a comprehensive retirement package, and voluntary plans for providential and insurance benefits.
In Mindanao, the Plantation employees live with their families in Group-owned houses and dormitories (for unmarried employees) within housing camps complete with social hall, chapel, playground and plaza, day care centre, primary and secondary schools, camp clinics and a 100-bed hospital managed by a medical service provider. Employee-organized cooperatives provide our workers with services that enhance economic benefits for their families. Cooperative members enjoy annual dividends and patronage refunds.
Children of the Cannery employees enjoy free year-round weekend tutorials on basketball and, as scheduled, other sports (tennis, swimming, martial arts) and creative skills (photography, theatre arts). Core Values are introduced through learning exposure that help them grow a strong sense of community and family life.
The Group cultivates a culture of excellence in encouraging its people to innovate and strive for continuous improvement. To address this, the following programs and projects are being implemented by the Group:
At “PineU” (Pineapple University), plantation personnel hone their farming expertise through formal sessions and benchmarking trips. “ManU” (Manufacturing University) opened a breakthrough for cannery staff to reorient on processes and adapt to new technologies. ManU also administers two-year supervisory and trade-traineeship programmes for high-potential applicants and long-serving employees. On the faculty are our senior managers, who count among leading experts in their respective fields. Similar development programs are implemented in Finance through its Finance University and Marketing’s Brand Leadership University (BLU).
In FY2016, the Company’s average training hours in the Philippines increased by 20% versus FY2015 which included leadership and business training programmes, culture building, technical and regulatory training. The Company strengthened the competencies of Rank and File employees in FY2016.
As part of the ongoing employee engagement programmes, our employees in the Philippines are involved in various activities that promote a healthy work-life balance.
It has been the Group’s tradition to give back to the community by visiting various communities. The employees volunteer their time to help make lives better for the less fortunate, our way of being a blessing to others. The U.S. facilities and corporate employees are also actively involved in contributing time and money to organizations that serve medical research, education, natural disaster, special needs, youth activities, veteran support.
Competition on various sporting events in Manila, the Cannery and Plantation are held each year. These sporting events extend to the employees’ dependents in summer during school break. Programmes include sports, music, arts outreach and eco-projects.
To improve employee communication, our Human Resources Department in the Philippines has enhanced the online HRIS system called MyHR, an online system that maximizes technology for fast and accurate employment transactions. Employees can access and update their personal data, apply for leave, request for certificate of employment, view corporate announcements, download HR forms, policies and videos, and update and monitor employee performance.
Other employee engagement initiatives by the company include the Montee stores, where employees can purchase DMPL products at a discount, and the Montee Pass, a tie-up with various restaurants and stores for employee discounts and privileges.
In the Philippines, Labour-Management Cooperation (LMC) councils meet regularly to discuss and decide issues affecting employees, their families, the Group and the community. Memorandums of agreement (MOA) with three key labour unions stipulate wage increases and enhancements in benefits for farm and factory workers from year to year.
LMCs prepare the ground for efficient and short negotiations between Union and Management, as manifested in the signing of two MOA’s covering enhanced economic and social benefits for approximately 3,000 employees at the plantation and cannery in the Philippines.
The Group is committed to providing a motivating environment that recognizes and rewards our employees based on performance, teamwork, and continuous improvement in both the short term and long term, and should be designed to:
- Motivate our employees to deliver the company’s profitable growth goals;
- Reward performance;
- Retain top performers and high potentials; and
- Promote teamwork.
- The Company’s performance incentive plan aims to motivate and reward employees who contribute towards attaining and exceeding the Company’s annual business objectives. The award is based on the degree to which divisional and corporate financial objectives are met. This incentive plan covers employees at the levels of supervisors and above.
- The Company is one of the first in the Philippines who offered the “flexible benefits program” where regular monthly paid employees of its subsidiary are able to choose their own set of benefits that will support their personal health and wellness objectives. The range of options includes spa and massage services, membership in fitness gyms, sign-up for sports tournaments, educational subsidy for dependents, optical allowance, etc.
- The Company rewards all regular employees for their dedicated and continuous service upon completing a minimum of 5 years and every 5 years thereafter, up to 40 years of service through the Service Awards Program. The awardee receives a special token and an increasing cash amount for each milestone year.