Dole-Stanfilco has sent notice to the Caraga region Department of Labor and Employment, giving notice that they will shut down indefinitely starting this Tuesday.
The banana firm, located in the town of Tagbina near Barabo in the northwest regions of Mindanao, said it has had enough. The firm employs over 1,500 workers on a 400-hectare plantation.
The company gave notice of its impending shutdown due to ongoing New People’s Army attacks – the company has refused to pay the so-called ‘revolutionary tax’ extortion by the communist rebels.
Dole-Stanfilco said the attacks are escalating, recently the attacks took out 20 million pesos in losses when NPA rebels burned the container trucks that transport bananas to Davao City where they are exported to foreign countries.
The latest attack took place just this past week when Communist rebels blasted a truck with explosives.
The company said they have lost seven truck so far this year, and from 2010 the notorious rebel group has burned a total of 19 trucks in all.
Workers for Dole-Stanfilco held a march-protest rally over the weekend, denouncing the NPA’s attacks which caused the closure of the company.
The workers asked now that the NPA didn’t get their way, how are they to live after losing their jobs. “Where now are their claims that they are soldiers of the masses that will look after our welfare.”
“We are here not to fight with arms but to condemn the extortion activities of the NPA which cost our livelihood,” said a worker at the protest rally.
Sources say that the NPA has now changed extortion levels by implementing bombs and other IED type explosives when torching equipment, something the company said they are not willing to put up with.