Davao del Norte board backs Tadeco-BuCor deal
The provincial board of Davao del Norte has passed a resolution expressing support for the land deal between a banana exporting firm owned by the family of Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, also a Davao del Norte representative, earlier asked the government to rescind the 1969 lease agreement between the BuCor and Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (Tadeco) after he had a falling out with Floirendo, President Duterte’s biggest campaign contributor.
In a three-page resolution, a copy of which was sent to the Department of Justice, the 14-member provincial council said Tadeco’s business had been employing at least 30,000 people, which benefited more than 180,000 residents of Davao del Norte.
It said Tadeco also paid more than P580 million in taxes to the national government and annual share to the BuCor in 2016 as the joint venture agreement (JVA) allowed it to turn 5,300 hectares of the Davao Penal and Prison Farm into a lucrative banana plantation.
“The JVA has been beneficial to Davao del Norte in terms of employment and government taxes and fees,” read a portion of the resolution, which Davao del Norte Gov. Antonio Rafael del Rosario approved on June 23.
“Tadeco’s relevance to the lives of the 181,000 residents of the province and its large contribution to the economy of Davao del Norte is very significant,” it added.
The board said 14 former secretaries of justice had found the lease contract to be legal.
It added that the agreement not only helped the BuCor rehabilitate inmates but also gave them a source of income while serving their prison terms.
The JVA, the board said, “brought pride to the province because its success is well-known in the entire Philippine penal system.”
“As a matter of fact, the BuCor wanted it replicated in its Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan,” the board said.
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