TADECO, BuCor questioned over unauthorized road closures
Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO) may have exceeded its territorial bounds as provided by its joint venture agreement with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
This was tackled during the deliberations of the House committees on good government and justice, chaired respectively by Representative Johnny Pimentel and Reynaldo Umali.
During the meeting, TADECO was further alleged to have exercised dominion over areas under the control and supervision of the government.
In particular, it was raised that TADECO and BuCor restricted public access to provincial and municipal roads in Sto. Tomas, Davao Del Norte.
“Crimes are being committed actually when any person for that matter will take over a national road or municipal road. If it is a corporation, my understanding is under Section 31 of the Corporation Code, the president of the corporation will be responsible for the crime being committed,” said justice committee vice-chairperson Rep. Vicente Veloso.
Resource speakers clashed as officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as well as local stakeholders reported irregularities and anomalies concerning the roads.
Noel Basanes, an engineer for the DPWH, reported the agency’s findings based upon its inspection of the area. He noted that security personnel at the gates would disallow entry and use of the roads to those who do not have a gate pass. In addition, there were areas made inaccessible by banana stalks.
Meanwhile, TADECO President and CEO Alexander Valoria insisted that the gates are a necessary biosecurity measure to protect the banana plantation.
Tire baths and foot baths at the gates prevent banana Fusarium wilt or Panama disease, which spreads rapidly and is difficult to extinguish, from infecting the plantation, he said.