DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 September) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed Republic Act 11457, a law establishing the Davao International Airport Authority (DIIA), a body tasked to “upgrade the services and facilities of the F. Bangoy International Airport (FBIA) and formulate internationally acceptable standards of airport accommodation and services.”
As an attached agency of the Department of Transportation, the DIIA, which will take over the management of the F. Bangoy International Airport from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, will undertake “economical, efficient and effective control, management and supervision” of the airport and other existing airports in Davao Region.
Under Section 3 of RA 11457, the Authority is tasked to encourage, promote and develop the international and domestic air traffic here as a means of making Davao as the center of international trade and tourism, and accelerating the development of the means of transportation and communications in the country.
The duties of the Authority include the formulation of a comprehensive and integrated development policy and program for the efficient functioning of FBIA.
Mindanao Business Council president Vicente T. Lao hailed the creation of DIIA.
“Very good. It’s long overdue,” he said.
Last June 18, Qatar Airways launched a once-weekly Davao-Doha-Davao flight last June 18, the fourth international route of Davao after Davao-Singapore-Davao of SilkAir and Cebu Pacific, Davao-Hong Kong-Davao of Cathay Dragon, and Davao-Quanzhou-Davao of XiamenAir.
In his 4th State of the Nation Address last July 22, Duterte said the P40.57-billion Davao airport modernization project would be the last of the airport projects of his administration and may not even be done before his term ends by 2022.
“Kung hindi na maabutan, sabi ko mga taga-Davao, pasensya na kayo. Para walang masabi ang Congress sa atin, baka nga 3% sila doon sa kabila (If we can’t make it in time, I will have to apologize to the people of Davao. So that nobody in Congress can say anything, maybe 3% of them belongs to the opposition),” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)