CANNED sardines manufacturer Mega Global Corp.’s manufacturing plant in Santo Tomas, Batangas slated to be launched in July has faced delays, according to a company official said on Tuesday.

Marvin Tiu Lim, Mega Global’s chief growth and development officer said on the sidelines of the company’s launch of its Mega Bigay Sustansya Year 4 feeding initiative in Quezon City that the construction of the plant is delayed by a few months.

“The plant is almost 80% done. We were slated to open [in] July. It was a bit delayed. However, hopefully sometime October or November, we’ll be opening that facility already and we will be ready for production locally here in Luzon,” Mr. Lim said.

“It was delayed because of the weather and the fluctuation in prices of raw materials. But it’s not a significant delay, almost two to three months delay, which is okay for us. Some construction projects are delayed [for] years, for us, it’s two to three months,” he added.

The company announced in 2020 the construction of the Batangas plant, which is meant to augment production and boost its presence in Luzon.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lim said that Mega Global is planning to ask the government for another price increase for its canned products due to rising production costs.

He disclosed that the company previously secured the government’s approval for a P1 to P2 price increase.

“We’re slating for another [price increase]. However, we’re trying to hold it off as much as possible. Hopefully, this next [request] is around P1. We’ll try to keep it at that level only,” Mr. Lim said.

“We have not yet filed [the second price increase]. We’re still assessing the situation based on the fuel cost, on the volume of the fish being caught, and based on the raw materials,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lim said that Mega Global is launching a company next month that is related to the commercial business.

“We are planning to launch a very exciting company. This would be the commercial business of Mega. [The launch is] next month. We’ve been working on it for the past three years already,” Mr. Lim said.

“It will allow us to get a better network and also expand globally to make our products available to everyone in the world,” he added.

Moving forward, Mr. Lim said he is hoping that the company sustains its double-digit sales growth from the previous year despite challenges such as rising costs.

He added that Mega Global is “actively looking” for possible partnerships or acquisitions.

“We’re really banking on increased growth because of the situation, but we’re hopeful that we will come out of it stronger, the whole country and the whole world,” Mr. Lim said.

“We’re actively looking for partnerships, acquisition, anything that can help us grow the business and who is aligned to our company purpose and vision. So, if anyone out there wants to approach us, we’re more than welcome to discuss,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave