Tadeco clarifies contract with BuCor
We write in connection with the letter of a certain Aurelio Estrada, media officer of Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, (“Agri union addresses the sagging banana industry,” 11/7/17).
The Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc. (Tadeco) wishes to respond to certain issues cited therein.
First: Tadeco asserts that there is no truth to the claim that its joint venture agreement (JVA) with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) provides only an annual income of P26,541,809 from the contract for leasing 5,308 (not 5,343 as mentioned in the letter) hectares of land or almost P5,000 per hectare per year, insinuating P106.1 million in losses to the government annually. This statement is absolutely false.
To set the record straight, for the year 2016, Tadeco actually paid BuCor and the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) a total of P142,719,662 in compliance with the terms and conditions of the JVA. This amount is broken down as follows: a) P97,864,936 paid to Dapecol and b) P44,854,726 to BuCor. From 2004-2016, the amount remitted by Tadeco to Dapecol and BuCor totalled P1,620,549,230. All these payments are properly documented.
We need also to emphasize that the contract entered into by BuCor and Tadeco is not a lease contract but a JVA.
Second: The statement that the Floirendos were able to
secure the contract with BuCor in 1969 by willingly becoming
a Marcos dummy is without basis. The Floirendos and Tadeco have never been a dummy of the Marcoses.
Third: There was mention about the organizations of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the Tadeco-controlled area trying to reclaim their lands from the Floirendos. Suffice it to say that Tadeco’s landholdings were already covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. In fact, these were already awarded in 1998 to the legitimate ARBs, who were identified and selected in an identification and selection process pursuant to Department of Agrarian Reform guidelines, rules and regulations.
We trust we have clearly presented our side on the issues raised in the letter. We hope that our letter be likewise published in your space with equal prominence in the interest of fair play.
NICOLAS A. BAÑGA,
chief legal officer/vice president,
Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc.
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