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Senate approves Davao international airport authority bill on 2nd reading

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Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA)
BW FILE PHOTO

THE SENATE approved on second reading a bill creating the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA).

Senate Bill No. 2168 or the proposed Charter of the Davao International Airport Authority transfers the existing assets of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport to the proposed DIAA.

The proposed airport authority will manage Davao City’s airport and other airports to be established in Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental and Compostela Valley.

The DIAA’s mandate is to promote and develop air traffic in the Davao Region “as a means of making the region a center of international trade and tourism.” Once enacted, the DIAA will be under the Department of Transportation (DoTr).

The bill also exempts the DIAA from realty taxes. It has the authority to raise funds, either from domestic or international sources, by way of loans, credit or securities and other financing instruments, subject to the prior approval of the President.

“Obviously, closer is better. Certainly the provinces that are going to be affected will try to make sure that Davao airport becomes a very, very busy and very, very profitable enterprise, and not only for the airport itself, but to be a factor in generating business, investment, and tourism in the areas concerned,” Senator Richard J. Gordon, chair of the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, said in his sponsorship speech.

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been awaiting the passage of the new airport authority law, with the hope that it helps improve the airport’s terminal facilities and services.

Under the bill, corporate powers of the DIAA are exercised by a Board of Directors, with the Transportation Secretary and the General Manager as ex-officio chairman and vice-chairman, respectively. Other members of the Board include the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General, Secretaries or their representatives from the Department of Finance (DoF), Department of Justice (DoJ), Department of Health (DoH), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Tourism.

Five members from the private sector, who will be nominated by the five governors of the region, also form part of DIAA’s Board of Directors, according to the bill.

Among the functions of the Authority’s Board of Directors is to approve programs and policies for the development and operation of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport,

Meanwhile, the general manager, who is appointed by the Authority’s board, is tasked to handle the day-to-day operations of the Davao Airport.

Its counterpart measure in the House of Representatives, House Bill No. 8691, was approved on third reading on Dec. 10. — Camille A. Aguinaldo

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