The Davao del Norte Provincial Government, Tagum Agriculture Development Company, Inc. (TADECO) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) have agreed to settle amicably the brewing controversy over the demolition of biosecurity stations along provincial roads passing through banana plantations inside the Davao Prison and Penal Farm in Sto. Tomas town, Davao del Norte.
This after the parties signed last Tuesday night a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Biosecurity Facility and Road Access in the town, facilitated by Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol. The signing was done inside the conference hall of MinDA’s headquarters at the old terminal of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Barangay Sasa, Davao City.
The document was signed by Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahub, First Vice President Alex Cantil of TADECO and Albert Blanca, representing BuCor director general Undersecretary Gerald Bantag. Signing as witnesses were former Second District congressman now Industrial ANFLO Group President Antonio Ernesto “Anton” F. Lagdameo, engineer Josie Jean Rabanoz, Davao Norte provincial administrator, and Jacob Castro of Davao Penal and Prison Farm.
Piñol said the parties came up with the solution after a series of dialogues with the provincial government headed by Governor Jubahib, BuCor officials and TADECO management after the second demolition attempt last October 9.
“I am happy… expected sa uban, madugo daw, pero di man. Dali lang man na-areglo (It was expected to be bloody but it was easily settled). Of course there were contentious issues which were discussed but at the end of the day, all parties realized that what we are doing is for the good of our people,” he said.
The MinDA secretary said he intervened after getting an order coming from President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bong Go to look for a win-win solution of the conflict.
Reading the details of the document, Pinol said the province agreed not to demolish the biosecurity facilities such as tire dip and foot bath in the junctions of Balagunan, Bugton Lubi and Tanglaw.
It stated that the people will not be required to present a gate pass or identification card passing by the roads but still subject for biosecurity protocols to avoid the possible spread of diseases to the banana plantations.
“To ensure unimpeded access of persons and vehicles, enlist its own security personnel who will work closely with the needed security of personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police at the entrance and exit points of the three subject roads at all time 27/7,” the MOA said.In return, TADECO and BuCor will drop the two civil cases filed against Governor Jubahib in court, Pinol said.The parties also agreed to form a joint monitoring committee to see to it ttat the agreement is enforced and to act on complaints related to it.
Jubahib in an interview said he is elated that they came up with a resolution on the goal of the province to reopen the roads for easy access of the residents in the three areas.
He said the residents will not need to pay P100 fare per trip just to reach their area since they can now use the said roads going to their homes.
“Nasabtan gyud sa matag-usa sa amoa nga unsay atong concern. Ako concern ko sa mga tao nga mo agi og mo gamit ana nga kalsada. Concern sad ko sa biosecurity sa mga saging (I understand that each of us have different concerns. I am just concerned for the people to use that access road but also I am concerned with the biosecurity to protect the bananas there),” he said.
The governor said he supported the moves of TADECO because their banana exportation gives much revenue not just to the province but to the whole country.
Jubahib said he will send heavy equipment in the said areas to start the construction of concrete roads there. He said there will be ceremonial opening on October 24 at 7:00 a.m.
For Vadil, he is happy that Jubahib agreed not to destroy the biosecurity facilities since it is important for the protection of bananas in the area.
“Karon mas nigwapo pa gyud ang agreement because katong naga-secure, katong gates and fences dili na gubaon ni governor (With the agreement, it is now better because the governor also agreed not to demolish the gates),” he said.
On the other hand, Lagdameo said this will be good for the business since all parties have resolved the conflict.
He said the conflict and tension arose because the issue was sensationalized with politics.