Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport)
Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport)Macky Lim/SunStar File Photo

Council eyes to invite Caap-Davao acting area manager

A DAVAO City Councilor calls the attention of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-Davao (CAAP-Davao) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-Davao (LTFRB-Davao) over multiple issues concerning the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, also known as Davao International Airport (DIA).

Councilor Al-Ryan Alejandre, chairperson of the committee on tourism and beautification, said during his privilege speech, on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, that they want to invite the acting area manager of CAAP-Davao, Rex Obcena, to the next regular session so that some of the issues concerning the DIA would be “threshed out.” 

Alejandre added that he had collated some of the passengers' complaints. These are some of the senior citizens who were not prioritized by airline companies, discrimination towards transgender women, wherein they are forced to use the men’s comfort room, lack of water in comfort rooms and foul smell, lack of pushcarts and waiting seats for the passengers, lack of air conditioning units, and the management of the airport’s facilities. 

“In fact, I have been a witness of this. During the last time I welcomed a visitor in our city, I went to the men’s CR in the parking area… It is untidy and kung sa Bisaya pa pakauwaw sa mga bisita [an embarrassment to our guests],” he said. 

Alejandre said that as chairman of tourism, he cannot think of why this is happening and that it is very ironic that the city is promoting “Life if Here” but the first thing that welcomes tourists is the poor facilities of DIA. 

The councilor also raised concerns about the taxi drivers who overcharge tourists at the airport; have no “meters” and would ask for a fixed rate; and load two passengers at a time. Also, he pointed out the absence of security guards in the area to monitor the taxi drivers. 

“As a Dabawenyo and the chair of the committee on tourism, these words ‘what is happening to Davao?’ really pains me. As I have mentioned before, we have been very active in promoting Davao City as an investment and tourism hub, yet, there are those who would discredit our efforts in the local government,” he said.

Not yet turned over?

Republic Act Number 11457, also known as the “Charter of the Davao International Airport Authority” which was signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte on August 30, 2019, states that all existing assets of the airport would be transferred to the designated authorities; however, as of this time, this has not yet been done.

Alejandre expressed that it's been five years since the law was passed, but the airport's control has still not been transferred. He stressed, “this makes me question why? Is it because of politics or lack of political will from the national government? I do not know.”

“It is also worthy to note that on the part of the local government, we had been very supportive of the CAAP and augmented whatever needs that they have – from security personnel up to the provisions of pushcarts. But, we believe that without the CAAP’s action, nothing would change,” he said. 

To recall, Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte said in a statement that the concerns of Dabawenyos had been raised with CAAP so they could immediately act on it. The local government unit and the private sector even assisted, but there was no significant improvement to the facilities and services of the airport. RGP

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