DAVAO ORIENTAL Gov. Nelson L. Dayanghirang is preparing to issue an executive order that will establish a body that will facilitate the rehabilitation and reopening of the Mati Airport as part of plans to boost tourism. Mr. Dayanghirang added that the Department of Tourism has already set aside P200 million to rehabilitate the airport, which has long been in disuse after it was built under the administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos and named after his wife, Imelda. “Both the provincial and the (Mati) city government believe that the reopening of the airport will bring more opportunities for the growth of Mati and the province,” said Mr. Dayanghirang in an e-mail sent to BusinessWorld by the provincial government. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has started discussions with the property owners of the airport site as the donation of the land has not been consummated. Mati Mayor Michelle Denise N. Rabat — whose family and their relatives, the Rocamoras, own the airport lot — said in a press statement over the weekend that the reopening of the airport is among her priority programs, citing that “it is necessary that the city has an airport facility if it wants to attract more tourists and investor.” Davao Oriental’s popular tourist destinations are the Dahican Beach, UNESCO World Heritage Site Mt. Hamiguitan, and Aliwagwag Falls, among others. Mr. Dayanghirang said the provincial government is also working on the construction of an inland resort as well as an 800-person capacity convention center. — Carmelito Q. Francisco