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The Seal of Davao City
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Davao City Hall
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Entrance to Davao City
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Nat'l Hwy Through Davao City
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Davao City Victoria Mall
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Old Davao City Airport
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Current Davao City Airport
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Mangrove forests are critical for the stability of coastal areas and the sustainability of fish and marine resources which provide food and livelihood to people in more than 800 coastal towns in the Philippines. USAID, through the Philippine Environmental Governance Project, assisted the local government (Davao City) in establishing, through a local ordinance, the mangrove area as a marine protected area.
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USAID, through the Philippine Environmental Governance Project, assisted the local government (Davao City) in establishing, through a local ordinance, the mangrove area as a marine protected area. A crucial part in effective coastal resources management is law enforcement with Bantay Dagat teams playing a crucial role by safeguarding local waters. In Davao City Philippines, Bantay Dagat members protect mangrove areas from illegal cutting, thus conserving areas for fisheries and marine biodiversity habitats.

Contents

Mayor Duterte in South Korea for Davao city rail transit system

By Antonio L. Colina IV and Reuel John F. Lumawag (Sun.Star Davao)

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is visiting South Korea to meet Korean investors for the light rail transit (LRT) system for Davao City. The mayor is spending his own money for his travel in South Korea.

Duterte already tapped a Korean firm Korea Engineering and Construction (KEC) to conduct a feasibility study for the said mass transport system in Davao City. The study that started September this year will run until March 2015.

“Right now, we have narrow roads that we can’t expand because we can’t buy the expensive lands [for road widening]; our only option is to have railways,” Duterte said in previous speech.

“Can you imagine if you have many buses spewing more carbon emission that contributes to pollution,” he added.

The Korean firm has four possible types of railed transit and four routes for Davao City. One is a monorail transit and a 13 kilometer route going through Ateneo de Davao University in Roxas Street, Abreeza Mall in Davao, SM Mall Lanang, DIHO and the Davao International Airport in Buhangin.

The Best of Davao

By Antonio L. Colina IV and Reuel John F. Lumawag (Sun.Star Davao)

DAVAO City is indeed becoming a top destination for both local and foreign tourists, thanks to the strong tourism push by both the private and the public sector.

Being so rich in agricultural resources, the city has earned the moniker as the "fruit basket of the Philippines".

Recently, the city has again made waves in tourism because aside from its already established destinations, from the most frequented spots in downtown up to its hidden secrets in the highlands, it's also the gateway to other emerging tourism destinations around Davao Region.

That being the case, the city enjoys a number of visitors who will get to know first what Davao can brag about before even knowing what other places have to offer.

To know a place better, they say, you need to explore beyond what's already known about Davao. For instance, take the off-the-beaten-track and you will find out that the city, which is home to the "king of fruits" durian, is more than what you already know of it.

Also, the best way to explore the city and its diverse cultures is to make friends with the locals who, above anyone else, know better than the reviews you read on the internet. Ask where to feast upon the fresh seafood, most likely they will guide you to the best popular places. Ask where to buy sweet and tangy pummelo for pasalubong, and they will lead you to one place. Ask where to get a fill of lechon buwaya, and they know where to bring you.

One and the same, you call it. Dabawenyos know what's the best and what's not.

This is exactly why Sun.Star Davao is coming up with the “Best of Davao” every last Friday of the month - to take pride what we, Dabawenyos, have come to love and can boast about.

To the best we can, we will provide you with the best of the best among the places, goods and services in Davao. It is essentially the summary of the common things that Dabawenyos like about, providing you with the bird's-eye-view before even you go traipsing around the city.

However, what's best for us may not be for others. So, feel free to explore and you be the judge.

Best of Davao is a spinoff of Sun.Star Cebu's Best of Cebu. For now, we are coming out with the maiden issue as part of our lifestyle page, Pulse, but soon enough, we will come out with a full-magazine issue.

Best choco bars with pili nuts

COCO DOLCE. This new kid in the block made waves when it was exhibited at the 1st Davao Chocolate Festival at SM City Davao. Freefood Co. perfectly blends locally sourced roasted cacao beans, organic coconut sugar, virgin coconut oil, and pili nuts to make the Coco Dolce Milk Chocolate with Pili Nuts more mouthwatering. The newbie chocolate-maker is currently based at the Sitio Lomboy, Binugao, Toril just behind Binugao Elementary School. Contact persons are: Francisco Gonzales at 0917-808-8450 and Allan Santellices at 0926-693-5576.

Best Banofi

WINGS AND DIPS. Banana, caramel, and cream are a classic combination. For only P100, enjoy this sinfully sweet dessert of banana on a beautiful crust topped with a swirl of caramel syrup plus a dollop of cream. This is only available at Wings and Dips, located at The Peak, Gaisano Mall of Davao, their contact number is 282-3855.

Best Taxi app

GRABTAXI. Calling a cab has never been this easy before, with the launch of GrabTaxi recently. To use it, open the mobile app and ensure the GPS is on, if you are using it for the first time, you will be asked to perform a one-time activation process. The app will detect your current location and will provide you information how many GrabTaxi-enabled taxi units nearby. After providing necessary details, a taxi will be assigned to you in no time. The app will also display your driver's name, picture, and plate number together with an estimated time of arrival to your location.

Best dimsum

CAITLYN'S DIMSUM. Some people have inhibition when it comes to eating Chinese food because they are packed with monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial extenders, and some other things we never know what. But, Filipino-Chinese Alexander Buyco has changed the game and makes his own much safer version of well-loved dimsum recipes sans the fillers. What makes the dimsum house worth a visit is its vegetable dumpling, you pair it with the classic spicy dip with a lemon and soy sauce mixed in and that will make for an afternoon guilt-free grub. Caitlyn's Dimsum is located at Circumferential Road, contact no. 09331146655.

DCPO to deploy 2,000 cops for Undas

By Ben O. Tesiorna and Ivy C. Tejano

THOUGH no threat was monitored, the Davao City Police Office, along with Task Force Davao, will deploy about 2,000 police, military and barangay tanods to different areas in the city during the All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day celebration.

DCPO chief Vicente Danao said that 1,200 Davao cops will be deployed to the different cemeteries in the city on November 1 and 2. Additional 200 cops will be coming from the Regional Police Office 11 as augmentation force.

Task Force Davao commander Macairog Alberto, meanwhile, said that they will deploy teams to the cemeteries to assist the DCPO in the security and safety of the public.

Authorities have identified about 20 cemeteries all over the city that will be secured by the police and the military. Seven of which are big cemeteries located in the downtown area, mainly at Davao Memorial, Manila Memorial, Buhangin Memorial, Orchard Road Memorial and Forest Lake Memorial, and other cemeteries.

Danao said aside from providing security in various cemeteries, some of their personnel will be deployed in seaports, airports and terminals, and other crowded places to conduct inspection. He added that their 24/7 random checkpoints and foot and mobile patrols will be constant.

Danao said police assistance centers will also be set up in the cemeteries to assist the public. He also reminded the public of the prohibited items during the two-day celebration. These are the bringing in of deadly weapons, liquor, gambling, smoking, and loud music.

Danao said they will implement a maximum security in all areas of convergence despite the absence of a terror threat. He also warned the public that drunkards will be prevented from entering cemeteries and will instead be sent to the jail for safekeeping.

Aside from the cemeteries, roving cops will also be deployed in subdivisions and residential areas to deter robbers from taking advantage of the absence of residents in the houses during Undas.

"Wala naming gaanong pagbabago sa security measures natin as compared to last year. Though walang natatanggap na threat ang Davao City, so far, we will not take the situation lightly. We would implement a maximum security in all areas of convergence," he said.

Danao reminded the public to make sure windows and doors of their houses are securely locked so as not to become victims of akyat-bahay criminals.

He also advised visitors of cemeteries not to wear jewelries and other valuable items so they would not fall prey to criminals.

"Regular functions will be conducted - expect roving policemen or barangay auxiliary in subdivisions and residential areas. Pero kahit na meron mga nag-iikot na police, still we would like to remind the public to make sure that windows and doors of your house are locked," Danao said.

Davao confab attracts P6B in potential investments

By Alexander D. Lopez

Davao City – A total of 11 proposed investment projects on agri-business were realized after the business matching sessions during the 2nd Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand – Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) 2nd Business Leaders’ Conference here last week, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) reported.

Speaking before the members of the media during the regular Kapehan sa Dabaw at the SM City here on Monday, October 27, Romeo Montenegro, director for Investment Promotions and Public Affairs of MinDA said a total of P6 billion or $132 million dollars worth of proposed investments deals were facilitated during the business-to-business matching of the conference that is expected to create around 160,000 jobs in Mindanao.

“The business-to-business matching was an important indicator to gauge the success of the conference”, Montenegro said.

But Montenego emphasized that these are just proposed business projects and are not yet formal agreements.

“These are investment leads, meaning, private sectors and companies that want to pursue projects in Mindanao have signified their interests and they will now be given the opportunity to hold talks with their business partners in Mindanao”, Montenegro clarified.

MinDA will also follow and monitor the 11 proposed projects, he added.

These proposed projects include a coffee plantation in Sultan Kudarat province; the establishment of an IT park in General Santos City, a corn processing plant in Banga, South Cotabato, a coconut processing in Davao del Sur, coconut procurement in Lanao del Sur and the construction of an oil depot and warehouses in Polloc Port in Parang, Maguindanao province.

The rest involve the production of palm oil, including projects for General Santos Economic Zone through oil palm plantation, oil palm plantation in North Cotabato and Davao City as proposed by Bali Oil Corporation, oil palm production and processing in Davao del Norte and the development of an oil palm nursery in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

“These project proposals went into extensive discussions during the business matching sessions”, Montenegro said.

Montenegro also bared the booked sales that were generated on the trade fair during the business conference.

Exhibitors were able to generate a total of P2.9-billion or $64-million booked sales during the trade fair.

“Booked sales are agreements that were arranged and reservations were made to place orders for certain products and commodities”, Montenegro explained.

He said buying activity was not actually expected during the trade fair. Instead, exhibitors made sure to book long term business partnerships.

“We were expecting exhibitors to find potential buyers and make arrangements to buy certain volume and amount of products over the next five months up to a year”, he said.

Montenegro said the Second BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT conference was a success based on the results and gains during the business matching activities and the total agreements facilitated by exhibitors during the trade fair.

A total of 25,000 visitors came to Davao City during the conference, Montenegro added.

“We were just expecting around 700 participants for booking but 1,500 participants came in to register”, he said.

Faster internet speeds by 2018 under BIMP project seen

By Christopher Ed Caboverde (davaotoday.com)

Davao City – There’s hope for netizens in the Philippines which is taunted as having the slowest internet speeds in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Internet speeds in the Philippines would speed up once the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Submarine Terrestrial Cable Project (BEST Cable Project) is completed in 2018.

This was what Romeo Montenegro, the investment promotion and public affairs director of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), said Monday during the Kapihan sa Davao at SM City Davao.

Montenegro mentioned that the Philippines has one of the slowest internet speeds in Asia, adding that while neighboring countries have internet speeds of around 20 to 30 megabits per seconds (Mbps), the Philippines enjoys only around 3.5 Mbps.

In order to help remedy this, the project will involve laying down underground fiber-optic cables and connecting it with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Guam, covering a distance of 5,092 kilometers.

Aside from making the country’s internet service faster, this project will also serve as the country’s alternative connection to the underground submarine cable that links the Philippines and Taiwan, especially in cases of calamities.

“It will provide us with redundant connectivity aside from the only connection that we have right now, which is from Taiwan. If you recall in 2008, nag-earthquake sa Taiwan. Naputol atong connection from Taiwan. (An earthquake struck Taiwan. Our connection was cut.) It caused massive internet disruptions,” Montenegro remarked.

Moreover, he mentioned that this will further boost the growing ICT sector in the Philippines, especially here in Mindanao in order to remain more competitive relative to other ASEAN states.

“If we’re looking into the future like 10 or 15 years from now, the internet will be a platform for our businesses and yet we’re having this kind of electronic situation. Malupigan gyud ta sa atong mga silingan sa ASEAN (our ASEAN neighbors get ahead of us),” he said.

Lastly, not only would this cable project be beneficial for the Philippines but it would also help improve the internet connection and economic integration among the member states of ASEAN.

“With this project, this will provide Mindanao and BIMP-EAGA with a stronger internet and ICT connection once this is completed,” Montenegro said.

The project will be led by a consortium of private business coming from across the BIMP-EAGA region.

The project is expected to be completed in 2018.

The internet broadband testing company Ookla said that as of July 2014, the Philippines ranked last among ASEAN countries in terms of broadband internet speed, clocking at 3.4 Megabits per second (Mbps).

Seeing it as a problem for the country, last April, Senator Bam Aquino called for a Senate hearing about the slow internet speeds in the country and how to speed them up.

AirAsia Zest evaluating more BIMP-EAGA flights

By Carmencita A. Carillo and Carmelito Q. Francisco

DAVAO CITY -- Low-cost carrier AirAsia Zest is keen on serving routes within the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) by 2016, starting with Davao-Kota Kinabalu.

“We are excited about opening up the Davao-Kota Kinabalu route and are planning more routes in the future because of the incentives offered by the government,” Joy Cañeba, AirAsia Zest chief executive officer, said on Oct. 24 during the launch of the airline’s newest routes from Cebu to the cities of Davao in southern Mindanao and Cagayan de Oro in the north of the island.

Arturo P. Boncato, assistant secretary of the Department of Tourism, said the government is encouraging private sector investments that will improve the connectivity of the EAGA member countries through discounts on landing fees.

Ms. Cañeba also said the airline is considering making the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao the airline’s hub with the planned EAGA expansion.

“We are looking at an 80% load factor,” she said, referring to possible flights between Davao and the rest of the subregion, particularly Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.

The company is also evaluating Davao-Kalibo, the Aklan gateway to the island destination of Boracay.

Mr. Boncato assured the airline executives of government assistance in ensuring that the planned services will be sustained.

“We can discuss the steps that we need to take so that the traffic becomes sustainable,” he said.

On the two new twice-daily domestic routes, Ms. Cañeba said: “When you talk of traffic, it’s crazy not to be in Cebu. It’s also the same case with Davao.”

Flights to the new destinations will commence on Dec. 12 but the airline started promotional ticket sales last week.

The Cebu-Davao flights give Davao passengers the potential to connect to Singapore when the airline’s Cebu-Singapore service launches in February.

“AirAsia is committed in connecting communities in the Philippines, in the region and beyond… This is just the start since we are cautious about opening new routes but we certainly do have plans,” Ms. Cañeba said.

AirAsia used to operate Manila-Davao flights but discontinued the service “as it was not feasible during that time,” according to the AirAsia official.

“We were not able to provide the service we would have wanted to provide to our customers in the said route so we closed it down, but we are now ready to do that and see this as a sustainable route now,” said Ms. Cañeba, adding that the merger process between AirAsia and Zest Air at that time affected operations.

The two companies announced their merger in March 2013, with AirAsia headed by Malaysia’s Tony Fernandes acquiring 49% of Zest.

AirAsia also used to operate Kalibo-Shanghai flights but pulled out due to low passenger traffic following a travel warning by the Chinese Embassy on the Philippines.

Aside from domestic routes, AirAsia currently has international flights to Incheon and Seoul in South Korea, and Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.

Gains of the East Asean Growth Area cited

By Joey Sem G. Dalumpines (PIA 11)

DAVAO CITY, Oct 25 (PIA) Former President Fidel V. Ramos lauded East Asean Growth Area members namely Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines for the gains achieved in the areas of the economy, culture and arts, twenty years since the polygon was established.

Speaking at the press briefing on the opening day of the 2nd BIMP-EAGA & IMT-GT Trade Fair and Business Leaders’ Conference, he said the cooperation forged among these countries and their combined population of more than 600 million ascertain the posture that as one, they can be a strong trading partner by any country in the world.

He said that the East Asean Growth polygon expands with the inclusion of the Northern and Western territories of Australia.

“Given its expanding membership, it is now a great challenge for all member countries to improve the business opportunities and industries they can offer to their trading partners,” Ramos said.

Secretary Lualhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority bared that the distance of the Philippines to other EAGA-member countries remains a challenge given its distance.

She said the Philippines can be reached fast only by plane.

Antonino said the country works with Indonesia and Malaysia towards the restoration of the Manado, Indonesia-Philippine flight and the Sandakan, Malaysia to Zamboanga City sea travel.

Antonino also cited the gains of the partnership among its trading partners in the EAGA, particularly in agriculture, technical vocational education and halal food production.

Datu Razali Ibrahim, Malaysian Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister Department urged member countries to avoid business competition and instead help one another in enhancing their respective industries.

EAGA was founded in 1994 in Davao City, the socio-economic and cultural hub in Mindanao.

Bloggers unite to promote Davao

By Ben O. Tesiorna

SEVERAL bloggers based in Davao met Friday afternoon in a "Twitter party" that aims to promote Davao City through social media, touted as one of the most influential media platform today.

In collaboration with Rappler.com, the event #ShareDavao was held at The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge. Six out of the 70 registered members of the group Davao Bloggers Society trooped to The White House armed with their gadgets for a blitzkrieg promotional campaign.

Other groups joining the Twitter conversation were Ateneo de Davao University, Davao Catholic Herald and other social media enthusiasts from Davao.

The #ShareDavao event is part of the Share Philippines campaign that aims to encourage social media savvy Filipinos to work together to promote the beauty of the Philippines to each other and the rest of the world.

Among the topics tackled during the Twitter conversation were places to go in Davao City, food, shopping, night life, culture, nature and adventure, among others.

The #ShareDavao is the first "tweet up" initiated by Rappler after it launched #SharePH last October 12.

NEDA approves Davao’s P58B airport, seaport improvement projects

By Carina L Cayon (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)

DAVAO CITY, Oct. 23 (PIA) – The National Economic and Development Authority Board has approved Davao City local government’s project proposals worth P58 billion, specifically for the improvement of the Davao International Airport or the Bangoy Francisco Operations, Maintenance and Development project and the modernization of the Sasa Port.

NEDA-11 regional director Ma. Lourdes D. Lim said that the projects are pending preparations of the tender documents at NEDA’s Public-Private-Partnership Center to solicit proponents from the private sector, since the projects are under the PPP scheme.

“Once the tender documents are prepared, then it can be published for submission of bids,” Lim said in an interview during the roadshow activity of the Davao Regional Development Council concerning the Updated Regional Development Plan (URDP) for 2014-2016.

She said the DIA improvement and Sasa port modernization projects, worth P18 billion and P40 billion, respectively, are the two major infrastructure projects allocated for Davao City as incorporated in the URDP.

The other proposed projects under NEDA’s Programs, Activities and Projects (PAPs) for 2016 are the rehabilitation and improvement of the Malagamot road worth P50 million; the Mindanao International Airport Feasibility study worth P5 million; and improvement of ferry facilities from Sasa to the Island Garden City of Samal worth P100 million.

The priority projects listed under the Davao City LGU Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan (LPRAP) that are intended to reduce poverty incidence, especially in the countryside, have reached to a proposed funding of P50 million.

The projects include the hiring of doctors, nurses and midwives under the Department of Health’s Human Resource Deployment Program for Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs); community health teams mobilization in poor barangays in GIDAs; and capability building for doctors, nurses and midwives, and many others.

“The project proposals will be put forward to concerned national government agencies so these will be aligned to their respective 2016 budget proposals,” Lim stated, adding that the 2015 national expenditure program has already been submitted to the Congress for approval.

The priority projects of Davao City which are integrated in Davao Region’s URDP 2014-2016 , have been presented during the first leg of the second round of RDC-11’s roadshows that aim to widen the understanding and appreciation on the plan by the region’s stakeholders and development partners.

In a message read by Director Lim, RDC-11 chair and Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario emphasized the importance of holding the roadshow in Davao City being considered “the premier city and regional center not only of Region XI, but also of the whole of Mindanao.”

“Likewise, Davao City is the center of education, science, health, tourism and livelihood activities in this part of the country and the seat of government regional offices and of major private and commercial institutions,” del Rosario stated.

“Thus, given Davao City’s crucial role in socioeconomic development, strategic infrastructure and development projects have been earmarked to enhance the City’s capacity as Mindanao’s metropolitan growth center,” the governor added.

Lim said the second leg of the URDP roadshow this year is planned to be conducted in Davao Oriental on November 28.

She added that Del Rosario already confirmed that the roadshow for Davao del Norte will be held on December 5, this year.

Bidding for Davao air, sea port projects set next year

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

THE National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Davao Region said they are targeting to start the bidding for the development of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (FBIA) and the Davao Sasa Port by next year.

Neda 11 regional director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, during the Updated Davao Regional Development Plan 2014-2016 Roadshow at Grand Men Seng Hotel yesterday, said the bidding will be start once the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, the PPP arm of Neda, completes the document for the bidding of the projects.

"Hopefully, the documents will be finished within the year and the bidding will commence by the first quarter of next year," she said.

The two projects have a combined estimated cost of P59.56 billion wherein the FBIA operations, maintenance, and development project has an estimated cost P40.57 billion while the Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project's estimated cost is P18.99 billion. Both projects will be implemented through a PPP scheme.

The two projects were among the 12 new infrastructure projects that were approved by the Neda board last week.

The proponent of the project for FBIA is the Department of Transportation and Communications.

Neda said that the project involves the operations and maintenance of the Davao International Airport. It also provides additional facilities and other necessary improvements to enhance safety, security, access, passenger and cargo movement efficiency, and operational efficiency at the airport excluding air navigation control, air navigation services, and their associated services.

The Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project, whose proponent is the Philippine Ports Authority, is aimed at redeveloping and modernizing the port's facilities, operations and maintenance.

"This includes the construction of new quay wall and terminal, procurement, installation and operation of five Ship-to-Shore gantry (gooseneck-type) cranes, 14 Rubber Tyred Gantries, two reach stackers, 30 terminal tractors, 35 container trailers, 10 empty container handlers, and other auxiliary equipment," Neda said.

Old Davao airport terminal to be converted into cultural-trade center

By Carmelito Q. Francisco

DAVAO CITY -- The old Davao airport terminal, which has been unutilized since the opening of the new international building in December 2003, is now being planned for conversion into a cultural and trade center.

The proposal was raised early this month when officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) met with representatives of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to discuss various pending recommendations for the old complex.

There were about 10 different schemes proposed.

Janet M. Lopoz, MinDA executive director, said they decided on a cultural and trade center, which is intended as a leisure complex showcasing Mindanao to passengers.

“There is also a tourism component of the center,” added Ms. Lopoz.

Funding for the building conversion will come from the DoTC and the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority, the project implementation arm of the Department of Tourism (DoT).

Officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, DoT, and the Department of Trade and Industry are now discussing the redesign of the building, which will only need minor renovations.

The center will also be connected to the new terminal building through either an underground or aboveground passage for easier access to passengers.

The privatization of the operations and maintenance of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City is one of the 12 major infrastructure projects approved last week by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.

The project is estimated to cost P40.57 billion in three phases; the NEDA Board approved Phase 1 last Friday.

The proposed concession period under a public-private partnership scheme is 30 to 35 years. It will cover the provision of additional facilities and other necessary improvements to enhance safety, security, access, passenger and cargo movement efficiency, and operational efficiency at the airport.

Davao City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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