Press "Enter" to skip to content

CAAP XI admits still no approved budgets for Davao airport’s rehab

AFTER the recent complaints about the need to improve facilities and services at Francisco Bangoy International Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) XI revealed that no budget was allocated yet for its rehabilitation.

In his presentation during the SP session on May 7, CAAP XI area manager Rex Obcena said the budget they requested under the CAAP Corporate Operating Budget (COB) for maintenance and improvement is still under evaluation. 

“The undersigned, yours truly, is only authorized with the CAAP delegation of authority to implement infrastructure projects, maintenance, and other operating expenses up to P5 million pesos only. Nonetheless, this office works in close coordination with relevant services to the CAAP Central Office and the Department of Transportation to bring about much-needed improvements in DIA,” Obcena said. 

Obcena noted that the funds are under the hands of the central office and they do not have an “elbow room” for its use. They only receive enough funds for personal services and capital outlay from CAAP. 

Meanwhile, Lt.Col. Valentino Dionela, CAAP assistant director general in management service, said the Davao airport will have “a separate budget for its rehabilitation.” 

Among the concerns raised was the limited number of available check-in counters or priority lanes for senior citizens and persons with special needs. Currently, CAAP XI reminded each airline to provide priority lanes for senior citizens under R.A. 7432, Section 4, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act. This provision is further reiterated by a Memorandum issued by DOTR, Aviation, and Airports Sector dated July 12 last year. 

With reports of discrimination among transgender women as they were forced to utilize men’s comfort rooms, Obcena admitted that the airport cannot provide a separate restroom intended for the use of the LGBTQ community due to its “configuration and spatial limitations.”

He said they are still requesting funds under the CAAP COB to provide a gender-sensitive restroom, which is included in the proposed Rehabilitation of Comfort Rooms in the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB). 

In terms of the airport’s lack of pushcarts, Obcena said since 2020 and up to the present, the procurement for the funding of pushcarts was still not included in the present CAAP COB. 

“Unfortunately, since 2020 and up to the present, because of tight financial resources, the procurement for the same was sidelined and the same is not included in the present CAAP COB for CY 2024. We do regular preventive maintenance of old push carts and accepted the following donations from well-meaning airport benefactors,” he said. 

Presently, the airport has 739 units of push carts deployed in the international, and domestic arrivals and departure areas. 

For the lack of seats for waiting passengers, CAAP explained that “the provision for additional seats is considerably limited due to spatial considerations of the PTB, and the ongoing project within the airport, especially at the check-in lobby and domestic pre-departure areas.” 

However, an ongoing procurement of 21 units of five-seater gang chairs will be placed as soon as the ongoing construction of the soon-to-be turned-over mezzanine area for the relocation of concessionaires in the second-floor lobby is completed. 

“We will be effecting the relocation of the gang chairs presently deployed in the departure area and then utilizing the soon-to-be-procured 21 units of five-seater gang chairs in that same area,” he added.

Obcena also revealed that though the three units of air-cooled chillers in the airport were relatively new, the Air Handling Units (AHU) totaling 25 are already dilapidated, as AHUs were installed since 2000. 

“In our annual procurement plan for 2020, we have a budgetary allocation for the replacement of two units AHUs were included in the APP FY2020. However, in consideration of the Bayanihan Act of 2020, the budgetary allocation for the same was re-programmed. Proposals for similar activity have since been submitted for consideration,” he said. 

In the same way, the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA), which was first convened on June 24, 2021, has yet to appoint private sector representatives, and is still undergoing  “transition efforts.” 

Some of the projects pipelined for Davao Airport also include Public Private Partnerships or unsolicited proposals currently undergoing evaluation; expansion of the passenger terminal building with a budget of P700 million pesos currently undergoing procurement; and the DOTr plans to have DIA as the pilot airport and establishment of a passenger biometric system and other technological systems aimed at enhancing the passengers’ experience.

On the same day, the 20th Sangguniang Panlungsod approved a resolution proposed by Councilor Bernard Al-ag, urging Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to expedite the turnover of the Davao International Airport (DIA) from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA).

Al-ag stressed that convening with DIAA is significant to fast-track the said funds, as he believes that “passengers should not suffer” and the revenue earned through terminal fees, with Php687 million, was transferred to the national office in 2019 alone. 


Powered By ICTC/DRS