THE COST OF MAINTAINING PEACE IN THE PENAL FARM
“Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan” says an oft repeated adage. The success of Bucor-Tadeco Joint Venture Agreement served as a magnet not only for good reviews but also as target for scam artists. It is not only a worthy corporate template; it is also a great subject for criminal claims. It is not surprising if the area, once a waist deep marshland of a prison reservation, has been developed scientifically for years to be transformed into a fruit farm, would be envied by speculators. These people are beneficiaries of land proclamation who sold their awarded lots and would still cast an envious eye and would still petition to claim that which they previously bypassed.
The flourishing JVA farm has been attacked by threats on all sides and in every direction not only by pathogens on the soil, waterborne and conducted by air, it is also harassed by disgruntled competitors, roving rebels, land speculators and fly by night petitioners. JVA management (the Bucor-Tadeco tandem) must have to address all these concerns to preserve the integrity of their specific programs. Bucor through the Davao Prison and Penal Farm by securing the area which serve as agro laboratory for prisoners immersed in farm training as a rehab component and Tadeco, by pursuing a scientific tradition in the maintenance and sustenance of farm training and management of cultivars for international trade.
Threats from soil pathogens are remedied by foot and tire dips in every entrance gate, criss-crossing of canals divert waterborne pathogens while aerial, manual and boom spray engage spread of fungal diseases on plants. Without these costly technical interventions, the entire fruit production program which includes the backbone of agro rehab immersion of the prison community will collapse on its face.
As if these are not enough, instant challenges are manifested by those coming from the woodwork simultaneously accosted by social albeit criminal entry of syndicates out to partake a generous take from the productive output of the program. These are fly -by -night operators submitting petitions to claim for a big chunk of developed land for their purpose. The leaders of these groups were formerly awardees of land reform that sold their rights and now, would still claim some for speculation purposes. And they have recruited and victimized a fairly large number of landless farmers from remote towns. And there are political connections in their attempts since the scam elicits a multi-million peso consideration. These threats reduce the vigilance of farm management and it goes without saying, trim down concentration in its mandated and favourable productivity.
Threats coming from these predatory groups are temporarily held through operative efforts only through manned gates, law enforcement representations, legal procedures and administrative formulations.
The bottom line for negotiation can only be ascertained by coming across demands much like ransom in hostage situations. And that is precisely what these criminal syndicates would simulate to force the issue from those inconvenienced by their loud presence or threatening postures.
It is believed that revenues or informal taxation derived through these nefarious missions grease people in high places in return for protection and tolerance if not as inspiration to pursue a more aggressive stance. An emboldened mission means a hefty take and therefore a considerable commission of proceeds. The seeds and trees of corruption are therefore institutionalized to the detriment of peace and order.
The cost of maintaining success is like buying peace of mind. This maybe is true in a lawless area. But where there is effective government, where there is efficiency of laws and rules, where there are organized social and judicial services, threats of whatever natures are merely token and manageable risks.
The benefit of stability is favourable. Proper taxes are declared. Thousands are gainfully employed. Government programs assured of continuity.
In attaining stability however, some sectors must weigh in their contribution and sacrifices considering the fact that there is incompetence and inconsistencies somewhere.
On the whole, somebody, or any one, from the affected party must have to exercise an iron hand to protect the gains, integrity and the future of a program that would promote collective prosperity for the greater good. After all, such a good program was started just by one man.