May 10, 2011 (Manila Bulletin)

Johnson & Johnson sets up $13.5-M finance center here to serve Asia-Pacific

MANILA, Philippines — Johnson & Johnson, the world’s leading consumer, healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturer, has expanded its Philippine operation with $13.5-million investments, approximately P540 million, to put up its biggest Global Finance Services Center servicing initially its Asia Pacific operations.

Dominic Caruso, Johnson & Johnson’s vice-president for finance and chief financial officer, said at Tuesday’s inauguration of the new facility in Parañaque City that the GFS center currently employs 120 people and hope to increase it to 150 by end of the year. The facility has a capacity of 700, which the company intends to fill in the future making it the biggest GFS Center in the entire J & J operation globally.

The inauguration of the new four-storey GFS building coincided with the company’s 55th anniversary in the Philippines and 125th year globally.

“The establishment of the GFS center is a milestone in Johnson & Johnson’s international community,” Caruso said.

The center will provide high-quality and cost-effective transactional processing and financial reporting services under global governance, executed at a global, regional, and country level as required, he said

“The financial skills of Filipinos are recognized globally, and I have no doubt that these professionals will be able to contribute to the growth of the entire Johnson & Johnson operations in Asia Pacific,” Caruso said.

In choosing the Philippines as a GFS center, Caruso said they were driven by its rich heritage in the country where the J & J shares common values, transparency and integrity.

“The Philippine government and Filipinos embraced this shared values,” he said.

Caruso further cited the well-educated Filipinos who can efficiently work in this kind of shared services operation.

J & J has GFS centers in other countries such as China, Prague, Sao Paolo in Brazil, India and the U.S.

“In the future, Manila will be the biggest GFS center in the future,” he said. 

July 6, 2011 (GMA News)

Johnson & Johnson employees promote organic farming

Recognizing the importance of organic farming in preserving the environment and developing healthier Filipino communities, employees of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. recently took part in ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Kalikasan Eco-Academy at the La Mesa Ecopark, where they learned the environmental benefits of vermicomposting or farming of earthworms, and the health benefits of growing vegetables at home.

Over 60 employees participated in the activity, which was part of Johnson & Johnson Philippines’ employee volunteerism program called “G.I.V.E.", which stands for Growth and Inspiration through Volunteerism Experiences. The G.I.V.E. program seeks to empower Johnson & Johnson employees to live out the company’s Credo and embrace volunteerism as a way of life.

“Adopting a sustainable lifestyle starts at home. The good news is–we don’t need a “green thumb" to help save the environment; by developing green habits–such as waste segregation, recycling, vermicomposting, and growing our own vegetable garden–we are already doing our contribution to help preserve the environment and the planet," said Luchi Maruhom, G.I.V.E. Program coordinator.

Despite heavy rains brought by recent typhoon Falcon, Johnson & Johnson employees flocked to La Mesa Ecopark where they learned to create their own earthworm farms, and planted seedlings that they brought home to start their own organic backyard gardens.

“The Bantay-Kalikasan Eco-Academy experience helped raise environmental awareness among Johnson & Johnson employees and inspired us to give back to the community and the environment, through sustainable living," said Mary Grace N. Gervacio, Human Resources and Contributions Director, Johnson & Johnson Philippines.

Since 2006, Johnson & Johnson Philippines has been doing its bit in the environment through tree-planting activities at the La Mesa Watershed in collaboration with Bantay Kalikasan.

Gervacio added: “We at Johnson & Johnson have made it a commitment to lend our time and talents to help ensure that Filipino families are cared for and communities become a healthier and better place to live in. In order to do so, we must start by understanding the environment and knowing how each of us can contribute to the preservation of Mother Nature."

The Bantay Kalikasan Eco-Academy, guided by its learning philosophy of “Let Nature Be Your Teacher," maximizes the La Mesa Ecopark as a natural venue for conducting structured environmental learning activities, advocating environmental issues, and developing an ecological consciousness among its visitors.

Darryn Castillo, La Mesa Senior Resource Mobilization Officer encouraged other companies to follow Johnson & Johnson’s footsteps to go green, “We are very thankful to have the support of companies like Johnson & Johnson whose mission is not only to ensure that Filipinos live healthier lives, but also live in a healthier, cleaner environment. We hope that more companies will also step up in encouraging Filipinos to adopt sustainable lifestyle, and help ensure a healthy environment for the next generation," she said. (Press Release)

August 14, 2011 (Manila Bulletin)

The heroes of Philippine tourism

MANILA, Philippines — Have you seen the latest Tara Na, Biyahe Tayo! music video?

Like many Filipinos, whether here or abroad, I get goose bumps whenever I hear the song or watch the video of the original Tara Na, Biyahe Tayo! music video featuring 21 top Filipino artists.

It tugs at the heart and brings out the proud Filipino in anyone who listens to it. So far, the video has reached more than 500,000 hits on YouTube.

Its success can be attributed to its enticing lyrics and melody that bring the inherent pride in being a Filipino and one’s love of country to the fore.

The Tara Na, Biyahe Tayo! was a domestic tourism advocacy campaign of the Department of Tourism (DoT), Bonamine, and our very own OPM artists during the time of Sen. Dick Gordon.

Last week, the Department of Tourism (DoT) held a media preview of the revived version of the music video with 57 OPM artists. Can you imagine so many celebrity heroes doing their part in helping promote our country?

A few days ago, they launched it by uploading it via the Pilipinas, Tara Na! page on Facebook. It was produced in cooperation with Perceptions, Inc. and Smart Communications. Smart has always been a generous benefactor of Philippine tourism from the time of Sec. Ace Durano to the present.

In support of the Pilipinas, Tara Na! domestic advocacy program, SMART offered P50 million in values this year which includes 60-and 30-seconder television commercials production and airtime promoting 10 local destinations and Filipino cuisine, and outdoor advertising appealing to the Filipino audience. The DoT lauds the support of SMART with a total media value of P41 million, for the television commercials alone.

Private sector support for tourism promotions is crucial for creating awareness about the Philippines and our prime tourist attractions.

Recently-resigned Tourism Secretary Alberto Aldaba Lim expressed his gratitude to companies that have given their support to the domestic tourism advocacy program of the DoT by adopting travel and tourism themes in their advertising campaigns.

The DoT chief especially thanked SMART Communications, Inc., Globe, and Johnson & Johnson for their support in promoting domestic tourism.

Globe Telecoms partnered with DoT and Duty Free Philippines for the Pinoy Homecoming balikbayan program which encourages overseas Filipinos, particularly Filipino organizations and business groups to come home for vacation, family reunions, missions, or conferences. TV placements sponsored by Globe were aired over The Filipino Channel.

Johnson & Johnson launched its Bonamine travel advocacy campaign this year with the Basta Pinas Biyahe Tayo program in support of the DoT’s domestic tourism efforts. The campaign includes print advertorials featuring celebrities endorsing a particular destination with accompanying article on what the place is all about. Members of the media and press were invited to participate in their Romance of Travel Media Tours which visited destinations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Online promotions are also used through their Basta Pinas Facebook fanpage and website. The DoT acknowledges the support of J&J with a total media value of Emil Yap lll, Felix Ang, Jan Agoncillo, Ed Higgs, and Emy Arcilla11.4 million and total advertising value of P3.8 million.

We need more corporate heroes to follow in the footsteps of Smart, Globe, and J&J.

Other companies should take the initiative and do the same as their way of contributing to getting the marginalized out of their poverty situation especially in the countryside and far-flung areas.

Tourism creates jobs and livelihood opportunities that improve the lives of local communities hosting our country’s natural assets.

I remember how the country benefited from Lakbay TV, a travel channel of ABS-CBN dedicated to promoting domestic tourism more than a decade ago. For the first time, viewers saw what only moneyed travelers enjoyed. It was like being there in the destination themselves.

As a result, domestic tourism grew as patronage for places that were featured by Lakbay TV increased tremendously. Some say that Lakbay TV was able to achieve what a whole government agency was not able to accomplish.

For that we have the group of the late Caloy Abrera, Mike Reyes, Sonny Hernandez, Hernando T. Neri, Manuel Hizon, and John Carl Magno to thank. This same Lakbay TV heroes are now continuing their advocacy thru CCI Asia Group’s Living Asia Channel.

Another group of heroes led by Chari Villa have Choose Philippines on Facebook. It is very informative, inspiring, and makes you feel proud you are Filipino. Of course, there are countless other online heroes, like Brian Ong and Jewels Travels, who help promote the country in their own little way -- but very big on mileage.

The good news is anyone can be a hero of Philippine Tourism. Decide to be one now!

June 30, 2010 (Manila Bulletin)

RP chosen central hub for Asia Pacific finance services of Johnson & Johnson

The Philippine office of Johnson & Johnson has been selected as the site of Johnson & Johnson’s Global Finance Services (GFS) center to provide financial services across Johnson & Johnson sectors (Consumer, Medical, Pharmaceuticals, Vision Care, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics and Information Technology Services) in the Asia Pacific region.

Set to open in 2011, the four-story GFS central hub aims to provide high quality and cost-effective transactional processing and financial reporting services under global governance and executed at a global, regional, and country level as required.

“The Philippine community of Johnson & Johnson is pleased to share the pride of being chosen as the site of Johnson & Johnson Asia Pacific’s Global Finance Service (GFS) center with our countrymen. This only shows that Filipino talent and service are trusted across the region as well as globally,” said Homer Nuqui, Finance Director, J&J Consumer Philippines and the appointed Director of the Global Finance Services

“The GFS center will create employment opportunities for Filipinos and provide an avenue for our finance professionals to showcase their globally-competitive skills and contribute to the growth of the entire Johnson & Johnson operations in Asia Pacific,” Nuqui added.

Mike Del Prado, Company Group Chairman, MD&D Asia Pacific, echoed the sentiments raised by Nuqui. “The men and women who will be working in this facility will make Filipinos proud as they showcase our ability to support growth and provide globally-competitive services. We challenge present and future GFS employees to work hard and maintain the world-class status of the GFS Center,” he said.

The center is now being constructed inside the compound of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines) in Parañaque City and is expected to open next year. It will house three departments: Global Finance Services, Center of Excellence, and APSC Finance Costing.

It is the first greenfield Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) building of Johnson & Johnson in Asia that will be equipped with a new cafeteria doubling as an assembly area and featuring a high-ceiling lobby, balconies and even a roof garden.

According to Bhavesh Shah, Johnson & Johnson’s Vice President for Finance and Business Services Asia Pacific, “Aside from having a strong sense of professionalism, Filipinos have a heart and passion for excellent work and this makes the Philippines the perfect site and environment for the GFS center.”

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (Philippines) President & Managing Director Zinnia Rivera likewise underscored key points that made the Philippines the choice for the GFS center site. “The collaboration of the best financial people will take place in the GFS center and we are excited to offer the Region a taste of world-class Filipino service. Amidst the challenges that our country is experiencing, Johnson & Johnson is pleased to share this good news to the rest of the Filipino people,” said Rivera.

April 8, 2009 (Manila Bulletin)

Power of Touch

power of touch

More than words, communication through TOUCH is one of man’s most powerful gifts and transformed into centuries-old art forms for nurture and therapy in different parts of the globe such as China, India, Egypt, Greece.

In the Philippines, the advocacy of Touch Therapy started over 10 years ago when the late Dr Herminia Cifra from PGH introduced touch therapy in the Philippines.

The First Touch Room/ Haplos Center was set up in PGH under the stewardship of Dra. Cifra and thereafter, another Touch Room was established in National Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital recently followed suit with the inauguration of its two newly-built Touch Therapy Institute rooms in partnership with Johnson and Johnson.

With this program, Fabella and J&J can reach out to more mothers and educate them on the numerous benefits that mothers and babies can get from touch therapy and how to properly apply these steps and techniques to their babies on a continuing basis.

Touch Therapy plays a significant role in promoting the proper growth and healthy development of infants. Physically, massage stimulates the nerves, increases blood flow and strengthens the immune system. It can relieve conditions such as colic and constipation.

The values of touch therapy do not only address and develop the physical development of the babies because the parent-child bonding also springs from the nurturing touch between a mother and a baby.

Benefits of Touch Therapy

  • Stimulates baby’s circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems
  • Improves mobility, makes muscles more supple
  • Relaxes baby
  • Helps baby grow
  • A bonding tool between baby and mother as well as with other family members.
  • Aids in the secretion of prolactin –also known as the “mothering hormone”, which assists in milk production
  • Helps build a stronger immune system

May 5, 2010 (ABS-CBN News)

No product recall, says Johnson & Johnson Philippines

MANILA, Philippines - Johnson & Johnson Philippines Inc. said all of its products sold in the country are safe, and are not subject to the recall action of its US-based affiliate, Johnson & Johnson's Mcneil Consumer Healthcare.

The Philippine unit said on Wednesday the only products it distributes nationwide are Tylenol caplets for adults and Benadryl syrup. Johnson & Johnson said both products are not the subject of any recall action.

J & J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a unit of McNeil-PPC Inc., has voluntarily recalled over-the-counter children's and infant's liquid products produced in the United States.

These products are marketed in the US, Canada, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Fiji, Guam, Guatemala, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, and Kuwait.

The recall is a precautionary measure because some of these products may not meet required quality standards, J & J said.

"Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified, others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements, and many others may contain tiny particles," J & J said in a statement.

The US-based unit of J & J said while "the potential for serious medical events is remote," it advised consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue their use.

J & J said that Mcneil Consumer Healthcare is currently conducting a comprehensive quality assessment across its manufacturing operations.

It has also identified corrective actions that will be put in place before production is resumed at the plant where the recalled products were made.

July 30, 2010 (Inquirer)

Johnson & Johnson renews partnership with NGOs

JOHNSON & Johnson (Philippines) Inc. recently renewed its partnership with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) when it signed memorandums of agreement with Family Link Philippines Foundation, Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines, Save the Children in the Philippines, United Nations Children?s Fund (Unicef) and the University of the Philippines Foundation.

Through the years, Johnson & Johnson has been undertaking several projects in collaboration with its NGO partners as part of its corporate social responsibility.

The MOA signing marked the beginning of another year of joint commitment and pledge to make a positive difference in the lives of many Filipinos.

Every day, we see countless reasons for us to reach out, to go out of our comfort zones and to selflessly surrender ourselves for a cause. Whenever we see the enthusiasm of our partners in serving the Filipino community, we are always inspired to live out our Credo,? said Zinnia Rivera, president and managing director of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines).

The company?s Credo-based mission is to promote child and maternal health care. Johnson & Johnson has been implementing with Unicef the Early Childhood Care and Development program for children aged three to five in selected conflict affected communities in North Cotabato.

Johnson & Johnson has also continued its Pampalusog Bata project in partnership with Save the Children in the Philippines. The program aims to mobilize schools and communities on health issues, such as good hygiene practices, healthy nutrition choices and reduction of intestinal parasitism using the appreciative community mobilization strategy.

Johnson & Johnson will also continue its partnership with UP Foundation on ?War on Worms? project involving the implementation of a school-based control of intestinal helminthiasis using mass treatment, the conduct of information drive in the different provinces in the country towards decreasing incidences of intestinal parasitism and malnutrition rate among the public elementary schools.

Another program with the UP Foundation is the ?Regional Executive Course in Hospital Administration.? This is a five-day training course that is specifically designed to meet the current management needs of the hospitals by focusing on the solutions to cope up with the changing policies of government bodies.

October 6, 2011 (Philippine Star)

Bridge to Employment program supports poor's college education

MANILA, Philippines - It’s been more than a year since Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc., through its corporate social responsibility arm, launched “Bridge to Employment” (BTE), a program which aims to provide support to less privileged high school students in pursuing college education, and encourage them to pursue health care courses and careers. Piloted in one of the most populated high school in Metro Manila, Parañaque National High School (PNHS), BTE served as a glimmer of hope to many underprivileged students who are at-risk of not being able continue their studies after high school.

Twenty fortunate students of PNHS were chosen to comprise the first batch of BTE students. These students underwent a series of comprehensive and educational activities which cultivated their interest to pursue tertiary education in the field of health. Health care professionals from Johnson & Johnson Philippines and the City Health Office of Parañaque served as mentors to these students through activities like health career orientations, one-on-one sessions, job shadowing, and immersions. Not only did the students learn what it’s like to be a healthcare professional, but they were also inspired and motivated by their mentors to follow their dreams. Out of the 20 students, three were granted full scholarship at the University of the Philippines Manila–School of Health in Palo, Leyte for a two-year midwifery course.

Consistent with its thrust and inspired by the success of the pilot year, a second run of BTE is now under way. BTE Year 2 recently kicked off with a welcome ceremony for the new batch of hopeful students.

“We are very proud of what the Bridge to Employment program has achieved so far. Aside from being the first site in Asia, the Philippines is being commended as one of the most successful sites globally,” said Mary Grace Gervacio, human resource and contributions director of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc.

“Personally, I am delighted that BTE is making a life changing and long term difference in the lives of underprivileged students in our community. With the passion and devotion of each stakeholder, BTE continues to bridge the dreams of many hopeful students” she added.

Hundreds of students applied for the program but after a thorough selection process, 44 third year and fourth year high school students of PNHS were chosen to be enrolled in the program. The students were excited to begin their journey in BTE.

“Isa po sa dahilan kung bakit ako sumali sa BTE dahil nakita ko po ang napakalaking oportunidad na kumakatok sa puso ng bawat mag-aaral na naghahangad ng makatulong sa magulang at makatapos ng pag-aaral. Ang BTE ay magsisilbing hagdan upang maabot ko ang aking inaasam na tagumpay,” (“I applied for BTE because I saw the big opportunity knocking in the hearts of every student who dream to help their parents and finish their studies. BTE will serve a stepping stone toward achieving my success in life.)” said Elmer Soriano, one of the new BTE students, during the welcome ceremony.