The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has admitted that it lacks the capability to manage the 5,308.36-hectare banana plantation inside the Davao Penal Colony reservation which is presently run by the Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (Tadeco).
Tadeco was recently brought to court by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who accused the company of using the facility to the disadvantage of the government.
Bucor Director Benjamin de los Santos said the bureau is waiting for the recommendation of the Department of Justice and the House of Representatives, which conducted an inquiry into the 25-year joint venture agreement between BuCor and Tadeco.
“We do not have the capability and expertise to manage the plantation,” de los Santos said. “All of our contingency planning will be subject to the final outcome of the congressional investigation and recommendations of the DoJ,” he said when asked if BuCor has a plan if the lease contract with Tadeco is cancelled.
The Office of the Solicitor General had earlier found the agreement null and void.
Tadeco is a banana corporation owned by the family of Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo, Jr.
Alvarez had said that the lease agreement was approved by BuCor in 1979 and was extended for another 25 years in 2003 “contrary to law and public policy.”