Crisis Management

The West Tower incident is a lesson on crisis management. Had the First Philippine Industrial Corporation (FPIC) readily admitted that its 117-kilometer pipe along Makati City’s Barangay Bangkal was leaking that had threatened the lives and limbs of the residents of West Tower Condominium along Osmena Highway, the problem would not have blown into a full blown crisis that would only tarnish the reputation of the industrial firm. It’s basic in crisis management that the first few hours after a situation has developed are the “golden hours,” which every entity- public or private – should address with vigor, honesty and integrity. The ability or failure to address these first hours appropriately defines the handling of a crisis situation.

When the Tylenol crisis broke out in the 1970s, Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturer of this world famous analgesic brand, went out of its way to confront the situation. It did not – and never knew until now, the people who laced Tylenol tickets with cyanide causing several deaths among clueless buyers in several drugstores, but Johnson & Johnson did everything humanly possible to confront the crisis and prevent any further deaths.

Johnson & Johnson spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars, which was then a tidy sum during those days, but it was more inclined to protect its consumers and, of course, its global reputation. This firm lost a fortune, but it has recovered tremendously, cementing its reputation as one of the more responsible and trusted global firm.

The FPIC did not have this kind of thinking. It took them months to assume responsibility of the West Tower crisis. It was more inclined to protect its ledgers than the West Tower residents. It did everything humanly possible to dodge any semblance of responsibility. It has the monster attitude that it could get away from practically anything. Let the West Tower residents put up or shut up has been its attitude.

Had the Makati City government been irresponsible, the people of Makati City would suffer tremendously.

But this is not the case. Divine interference in the form of governmental and non-governmental intervention has happened, forcing FPIC to assume responsibility – and of course, accountability.


For comments, reactions and suggestions… kindly keep it to yourselves. Dick Sinchongo


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