Due to its success as a rehabilitation program for prisoners, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is planning to adopt for implementation in Iwahig Penal Colony in Palawan, its Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Tagum Development Corporation (Tadeco).
The JVA involves about 5,300 hectares of the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) in Sto. Tomas town in Davao del Norte that Tadeco developed into a banana plantation.
The 25-year deal is primarily aimed at the rehabilitation of the inmates with Tadeco hiring out Dapecol prisoners as farm hands paid with minimum wage.
“This rehabilitation program has been found to be very successful by BuCor, to the extent that the latter has even requested Tadeco to replicate the JVA program to its penal colony in Iwahig, Palawan,” said Tadeco in a statement.
In response to the BuCor request, in a report in BusinessMirror, Alexander N. Valoria, president and CEO of the Antonio O. Floirendo Management and Investment Corp. (Anflocor), said Tadeco has sent two missions to look into the situation in Iwahig. Tadeco is yet to propose its recommendations to start the project, said Valoria as a resolution was filed in the House of Representatives questioning the Tadeco-BuCor JVA.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has filed House Resolution 867 to investigate the allegedly “grossly disadvantageous” 25-year “lease contract” signed by BuCor and Tadeco.
Reports say that Alvarez’s motive in filing the resolution was his ongoing spat with Rep. Antonio Floirendo, Jr., top honcho of the Tadeco banana empire.