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Monday, November 20, 2017

Tadeco ready to give up BuCor joint venture, eyes other areas

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By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Panabo, Davao del Norte – Davao-based giant investment firm Anflo Management and Investment Corporation (ANFLOCOR), the owner of the company that operates the world’s largest contiguous banana plantation, won’t insist on extending its joint venture agreement (JVA) with Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) if this would mean more interrogations from the government moving forward.

ANFLOCOR Chairman Anthony Sasin said this as the company starts looking at other areas in Mindanao for potential expansion.

ANFLOCOR is the parent company of Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO), one of the highest yielding banana plantations in the world.

There is now an ongoing hearing in Congress questioning the legality of the 25-year JVA between TADECO and BuCor.

Under the deal, the agriculture company hires inmates from Davao Penal Colony as workers in the banana plantation they had set up within the colony’s premises covering 5,308 hectares.

In an interview here, Sasin admitted that losing the deal with BuCor will compromise TADECO’s status as one of the largest banana exporters in the world.

“Of course. The President (Rodrigo Duterte) is going around bragging we will sell bananas and here you are trying to cut the banana production. That does not jive,” Sasin said.

According to him, TADECO’s output inside the Davao Penal Colony accounts for “little over half” of the entire company’s production.

“(In terms of revenues and output) Davao Penal farm represents more than half. It is big. Out of our 26 million boxes a year, 15 million comes from Davao Penal,” Sasin said.

As of now, the company’s biggest export markets are Japan, South Korea, Singapore, China and some countries in the Middle East like Iran.

Nevertheless, Sasin said the company is also mulling over expansion to other areas in Mindanao like in Cateel in case its JVA with BuCor finally lapses.

“We have 12 more years under the deal. In 2029, it will be over,” Sasin said. “If we finish this contract, we will just leave this place. But we are legally well placed (in this situation). We didn’t violate anything. Actually, the DOJ (Department of Justice)  should defend us.”

“(But) we are also expanding in other areas… we want to go to Cateel because there’s a potential area there of about 2,000 hectares. We have 1,000 people (that we can deploy there),” Sasin said.

But should the government cancel its contract before it expires, Sasin said TADECO may be forced to bring the case to the court.

“If they are cancelling us, they are forcing us to go to court. Where are we going to bring our workers?” Sasin said.

Records show that the JVA between TADECO and BUCOR already generated approximately 30,000 jobs. BuCor also deploy average of 886 inmates every day to the site for the past four years.

Sasin said the JVA has already withstood multiple reviews and several congressional investigations over the years but all of them have found their JVA to be valid and beneficial to the BuCor and the Republic of the Philippines.

In a separate interview with reporters here, Davao Prison and Penal Farm inmate Daisy Calamba, a former food caterer, asked the government, including the members of Congress, to visit them to see their condition as workers in TADECO.

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  • Arren Carson

    Aww!

  • Kevin Devilla

    Napagod na ang Tadeco sa issue. Execute an onsite investigation and interview all the workers sa tadeco so they can witness onhand how tadeco help the people and the workers. Tignan lang natin na di mapahiya tong si Alvarez.

    • Vernice

      Nakakainis! Ang tanga ng house speaker natin. Speak lang ng speak walang isip isip

      • Kevin Devilla

        Hes plain dumb in all issues he involved into. House speaker ka and u should know all the house rules. Pero kay Alvarez di gumagana ang brain, iba ang gumagana dyan.

        • Vernice

          Sa babang brain ang madalas gumana dyan. Tignan mo sa sobrang talino, iilan ang kabit

  • Monique Cruz

    Oo nga! Dapat yung mga taga DOJ pumunta dun para makita nila ang nagagawa ng TADECO sa mga manggagawa nila, nang makita nila ang katotohanan. Hindi yung nagpapaniwala sila agad kay Alvarez.

    • Vernice

      Dapat si Aguirre ang pumunta mismo dun hindi kung saang san pyesta ang inaattenan.

  • LORAINE

    Sobrang bait tlaga ng mga namumuno sa TADECO iniintindi tlga nila ang mga manggagawa nila. Saludo rin po ako sainyo Mr. Sasin, alam nyo po kung paano nyo tulungan ang mga tao nyo.

    • Vernice

      Hands down kay Mr. Sasin. Yun talaga ang highlight niya, ang mga workers ng tadeco. Dapat dyan matuto si Alvarez kung paano mamuno.

      • Daniel Fortunato

        Alvarez doesnt need any teaching from Mr. Sasin. He dont deserve it. He is not fit for his position and he will not become ideal leader. Never will.

        • Goblins Bride

          Kahit na turuan pa siya ni Mr. Sasin. Hindi niya parin maintindihan. Napasok na ng Panama Disease utak nun!

      • Johnmarie

        I salute u Mr. Sasin for protecting ur people.. totoo ka leader inuuna mu ang kapakanan ng mga mangagawa

    • Daniel Fortunato

      Witnesed the good leadership of Mr. Sasin. A remarkble leader, indeed. He’ll always look for the good of his people. I anticipated that he’ll compromise the name/title but not his people.

  • Blaine Garcia

    Ei di magiging dagdag pa sa problema ng Pilipinas yan, para sa mga taong mawawalan ng trabaho.

  • Dian Mercado

    Sa panahon ngayon kahit gano mo pa ipaglaban ang tama, Hindi na talaga makukuha ang hustisya.

    • Kevin Devilla

      Hustisya? Wala nga pong justice sa Department of justice natin ngayon. Nababayaran na kasi si aguirre. Nakakalungkot isipin.

  • Goblins Bride

    Ano na mangyayari if ever sa mga buhay na nasira ni Alvarez??

    • Vernice

      Dapat ang buhay ni Alvarez ang masira, he deserves to be in hell.

      • Johnmarie

        He’s already burning in hell..

    • Louis Acosta

      Hindi papayag ang mga inmates lalong lalo na ng mga farmers who have spent most of their lives under the care of TADECO. Karma will strike back 10x stronger on Alvarez.

  • Kathleen

    The issue was rooted with the personal conflict that compromise the welfare of thousands of workers of TADECO and inmates inside the DPPF. If worst scenario happens, can the House Speaker provide jobs to those workers and inmates who will be affected?

    Hopefully, the lawmakers will come up with decision that will look into the welfare of the many.

    • Goblins Bride

      Sana nga… Banana production will suffer Dapecol land is parceled out to claimants. Think about lost revenues for the Philippines as banana is one of the country’s major dollar earners……

    • Jun Garcia

      I agree with you Kathleen, personal conflict talaga dahilan nyan.. Ang masama nga nyan, napakaselfish ng taong pinagmulan ng issue na ‘to dahil di niya naisip na ang mga tao ang ma a-at stake dito..

  • Janeth Perez

    Kahit anong gawin namin, wala naman mangyayari, nasa kataastaasan pa din ang decision, ipasa Dyos nalang natin ang mga taong walang kahabaghabag na sinisira ang TADECO. Nawa malinawagan ang kaisipan nila. Salamt Mr.Sasin sa pagsuporta sa amin.

  • Mitch Ilano

    I guess the company, with all the harassment of Alvarez, Aguirre and Calida combined can indeed just pack up and leave and bring their business somewhere else. But then what happens to the people. Especially the inmates? May brilliant idea ba si Alvarez, Aguirre and Calida to really truly help these people?

    • Louis Acosta

      How sad that they don’t care about the people knowing that Alvarez is from Davao Del Norte as well. Hindi ko alam kung may mukha pa siya ihaharap kapag umuuwi siya doon.

  • Vernice

    Tadeco does not deserve to be questioned in court and the workers do not deserve to lose their job because of shameless act of Alvarez.

    • Louis Acosta

      Alvarez and the gang are doing their best but they only have a slim chance of winning since all their accusations are senseless and idiotic.

  • Mary Kuyno

    I hope they’ll change their mind and renew the contract in 2029, kahit pa 12 years pa yun, nakakalungkot pa din dahil sa sobrang tulong na ginawa ng TADECO sa mga workers and inmates..

    • Jun Garcia

      Naisip ni Mr. Sasin na di na i-extend yung contract dahil kinkwestyon sila lagi sa joint venture nila with BuCor.. Naiinggit ba? Magaling kasi talaga yung namuno sa TADECO kaya ganyan..

    • Beatrine Valles

      The only prison na talagang na rehabilitate ang mga inmates ng tama.. Natulungan silang mag bago ng buhay. Magaling talaga ang Floirendo even Mr. Sasin.

  • Beatrine Valles

    Politcs. Mr. Alvarez, ano bang napapala sa pagsira sa TADECO o sa mga Floirendo? Madami ka bang natutulungan sa ganitong way?

    • Louis Acosta

      Wala naman natutulong ni Alvarez sa bansa natin ever since he stepped foot into the government. Pinapairal na lang ng inggit kay Floirendo ang mga balak niyang sablay palagi.

  • Daniel Fortunato

    “If they are cancelling us, they are forcing us to go to court. Where are we going to bring our workers?” this line hits me the most. Thats a million dollar question. Where?

    • Louis Acosta

      Exactly. Something the idiots in the Congress don’t realize/consider before making a move. The JVA has been around for so long and it will not be cancelled just because of a bunch of greedy bullies.

  • Oliver Vicente

    people will beg them not to give up on the agreement and I’m sure they will fight this till the end, Mahal ng Tadeco mga tao nila and they will not abandon them.

    • Louis Acosta

      TADECO will not give up on this. Its something they’ve been building for more than half a century. A big salute to our farmers and the inmates of DAPECOL! Laban lang!