Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS - —FRINSTONLIM

TAGUM CITY— Three vil­lage of­fi­cials whose com­mu­ni­ties were af­fected by the clo­sure of a road pass­ing through Tagum Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Co. (Tadeco) Inc. ba­nana plan­ta­tion in Sto. To­mas town, Davao del Norte, had sought the as­sis­tance of the na­tional gov­ern­ment to in­ter­vene and re­open the farm road.

In a state­ment on Mon­day, Tadeco said re­ports cred­it­ing the re­open­ing of the El Canto farm road to Speaker Pan­ta­leon Al­varez and other of­fi­cials “were un­true and un­founded.”

Tadeco said the de­ci­sion to al­low the pub­lic to use the road, that passes through the vil­lages of Bala­gu­nan, Bobon­gon and Tu­lalian, was prompted by ef­forts of of­fi­cials in these ar­eas to ask for gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion as early as 2004.

Fun­gus fusar­ium

The Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s Bu­reau of Plant In­dus­try (BPI) and the lo­cal gov­ern­ment in 2012 ap­proved the road’s clo­sure to pre­vent the spread of fun­gus fusar­ium, a plant dis­ease, in the plan­ta­tion.

Open­ing the roads was then thought to put Tadeco and other ba­nana farms at risk of the dis­ease, which could wipe out the en­tire ba­nana in­dus­try.

Tadeco, in its state­ment, said claims that the open­ing of the road was the re­sult of the fil­ing of a res­o­lu­tion by Al­varez was “laced with am­bi­tion and un­founded.”

The firm said that vil­lage chiefs Al­lan Ma­gal­lanes, Henry Danila and Geron­imo Gu­manid had sought the help of the BPI to re­open the road af­ter Tadeco “he­si­tantly closed it” in 2012.

All plan­ta­tions

The quar­an­tine or­der to pre­vent the spread of fusar­ium was is­sued by then BPI chief Clar­ito Bar­ron and ap­proved by then Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Pro­ceso Al­cala.

It was en­forced in all ba­nana plan­ta­tions, in­clud­ing Tadeco.

Lo­cal of­fi­cials and leg­is­la­tors sup­ported the biose­cu­rity mea­sures.

Tadeco said the road would have been opened sooner had lead pe­ti­tioner, ba­nana grower Jesus Bo­ton of Bala­gu­nan, in­stalled bio-se­cu­rity fa­cil­i­ties like tire and foot­baths.

Fol­low­ing a se­ries of meet­ings be­tween Tadeco and the Bu­reau of Cor­rec­tions, the road was opened to the pub­lic last March 26 af­ter quar­an­tine mea­sures had been put in place.


One of the roads with biose­cu­rity fa­cil­i­ties in Tadeco plan­ta­tion which was opened to the pub­lic on March 26.

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