AIRPORT AUTHORITY House okays Davao Int’l Airport Authority bill

The House of Representatives has finally approved House Bill 8691 creating the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA) on third reading.

The approval was belatedly announced by Compostela Valley first district Rep. Maricar Zamora, one of the main authors of the proposal which has been the advocacy of political and business leaders of the Davao region during the last four decades.

The approval was disclosed on social media last Monday, January 7, by  Zamora who said that the bill was unanimously approved by the House last December 10 and was forwarded to the Senate the following day, December 11.

The Senate is expected to approve its own version of the bill anytime. If the Senate version has certain conflicting provisions, the bill will then be tackled by the Bicameral Committee, composed of senators and congressmen whose task is to harmonize the conflicting versions. The Bicam-approved  harmonized version of the bill will then be forwarded to Malacanang Palace for the approval of the President.

According to a dispatch of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Region 11 written by Mchael Uy, Congressman Zamora bared  that HB 8691 is a major step in encouraging, promoting, and developing domestic air traffic in our region, and in making it a center of international trade and tourism.

The bill identifies the Authority as a corporate body under the Department of Transportation that will undertake the control, management and operation of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City, and other future airports that will be established in the Davao region area..

It spells out the duties and functions of the proposed Authority, as well as its organizational structure, corporate powers, privileges and responsibilities.

“More than accelerating the development of the means of transportation and communications in the country, the measure will further upgrade the facilities of the existing Francisco Bangoy International Airport and extend assistance in formulating international acceptable standards of airport and accommodation service,” the solon said.

The approval of the bill marked major victory of many Davao political and business leaders who have advocated for the establishment of the DIAA similar to the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority believed responsible for the rapid progress of travel, tourism and commerce in Central Visayas.

Among the early advocates of the DIAA were the late congressman Manuel “Nonoy” M. Garcia, the late Davao City mayor and later congressman Elias B. Lopez, the Garcia offsprings –congresswoman Mylene G. Albano and former congressman Vincent J. Garcia – and most if not all presidents of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PIA11, Michael Uy)