The Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO), takes exception to the statement of Speaker Alvarez in his House Resolution No. 867, which looks into its Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR), that the same is grossly disadvantageous to the government, which is entirely false.
The arrangement between TADECO and BUCOR is not a lease arrangement but a Joint Venture that is primarily aimed at the rehabilitation of the inmates in Davao Penal Colony (DAPECOL).
This rehabilitation program has been found to be very successful by BUCOR up to the extent that the latter has even requested TADECO to replicate the JVA program to its penal colony in Iwahig, Palawan.
Furthermore, the JVA has been reviewed and found to be advantageous to the government numerous times by the executive and the legislative departments in past administrations. In fact, the most recent review in the 15th Congress in 2012 once again arrived at the same positive conclusion regarding the JVA and its benefits to government. The Department of Justice, through its representative Atty. Teresita Domingo, during said congressional review stated that the JVA is actually above board.
TADECO also said that there is no truth to the allegation of ill-treatment of its workers in the plantation. Such allegation is completely baseless. TADECO takes good care of its workers. This is evident in the high production yield of TADECO, indicating that the workers are well motivated and very productive. In fact, among all the banana companies in the Philippines, TADECO has been branded as a champion on labor and community relations. It is a regular recipient of awards in the field of labor-management relations.
In two successive occasions (in 2013 and 2015), TADECO won the OUTSTANDING LABOR-MANAGEMENT COOPERATION FOR INDUSTRIAL PEACE AWARD given by the Philippine League of Labor Management Cooperation Practitioners (PHILAMCOP) in coordination with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB). TADECO is now vying to be a grand slam winner in this category. These are just a few of the many awards and citations of TADECO.
When the JVA was renewed in 2004, the rates jointly agreed therein were the most competitive rates prevailing at that time. As can be understood, the changes in economic conditions over the past 13 years have affected the competitiveness of such rates. TADECO understands this and stated back in 2011 its willingness to discuss and adjust the rates as it had done in the past. This effort to adjust the rates did not gain any momentum because of the continuous change of leadership in the BUCOR.
TADECO continues to perform its obligations and responsibilities under the JVA confident in its contributions to the government and socio-economic development. Thus, TADECO is befuddled as to the real reasons why Speaker Alvarez has initiated this inquiry.