Davao agri firm pays residents for damaged property, crops

Jul. 13, 2007

DAVAO CITY — What appeared as the unyielding refusal of the Floirendo-owned Davao Agricultural Ventures Corp. (Davco) to face the long-overdue demands of the residents of Tawan-Tawan in Baguio District has finally ended when the company agreed to pay for the damaged crops and properties of the residents.

Even then, the payment, which is construed as an apparent admission of the companys negligence and guilt, is being questioned by the claimants who only received half of what they have been demanding for three years already.

Maximina Acquiatan, one of the claimants whose actual damages claim is placed at P20,410 only received P11,000. Rogelio Cirunay, whose claim reached P45,809 only received P22,000. Another claimant, Dolores Aprong, was only given 3,000 for her P5,840 claim while Josephine Suguilon only received P12,000 for her P24,980 claim.

Acquiatan said she was particularly forced to accept half of her actual claim afraid that she might not at all receive any amount from the pineapple company who shut its door on her constant appeals for three years since her crops and some properties were washed-out by a flood which was blamed on the operations of company in the village.

Ang ako untang desisyon nga dili ko mudawat ug katunga lang man sa akong ginapangayo nila ang ilang ihatag. Giusa-usa mi nila ug estorya. Gisultian ko nga kung dili ko mudawat, didto na lang daw mi magkita ug mag-estorya sa City Engineers Office, Acquiatan said.

Aprong admitted that she was saddened by the amount she got as payment from Davco.

And despite the payment, she said, the problem of flood in their village remains because the company has not yet implemented its comprehensive drainage plan which was indicated in their environment compliance certificate (ECC).

Naguol ko kay gamay ra gyud ang ginabayad nila nako. Gani, nagpadayon ang akong kabalaka nga mosamot ang pagbaha sa among areaAng ilang bayad dili seguridad nga ang pagbaha ug pagkadaut sa among mga pananom ug uban pang kabtangn maundang na, Aprong said.

They claimed to have been told that half of their claim will be shouldered by banana-giant Dole that also operates in the village.

The six residents who received the payment also questioned why they were not given copies of the document they signed as proof of the payment which was facilitated by Nelson Umblero, Davco administrative manager.

Ang sulti sa amo ni Umblero nga kinahanglan pa daw nga mapapirmahan sa abogado kadtong among gipirmahan, Acquiatan said.

Before the payment was done, the claimants had to stage a number pressure tactics, one of those was to storm Davcos main office in Damosa. All these came as previous negotiations failed because of Davcos resistance to listen to the plea of the residents of Tawan-Tawan.

Still being demanded by the residents of Tawan-Tawan, aided by the barangay council, is for the company to implement their comprehensive drainage plan to arrest the problem of flooding in the village.

The residents are also clamoring for the setting up of bufferzones in the companys pineapple planations.

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