President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law declaring July 25 of every year as National Campus Press Freedom Day and creating the Davao International Airport Authority to help spur air travel to his home province.
Under Republic Act 11440, educational institutions were mandated to provide “full support and assistance” to programs and activities for the observance of annual National Campus Press Freedom Day.
The measure recognizes the right to freedom of expression, speech, and the press.
“As part of media, the campus press is an important institution in promoting and protecting the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression,” the law stated.
Duterte has also signed a law creating the DIAA under RA 11457 to promote air traffic in Davao "as a means of making the region a center of international trade and tourism, and accelerating the development of the means of transportation and communication in the country."
The new government body was also given powers to "exercise all powers of a corporation," lease, sell or buy land for the airport, collect fees for the use of its premises, and invest idle funds.
Under the law, the DIAA will be an attached agency of the Department of Transportation and will be located at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.
"The Authority shall principally undertake the economical, efficient and effective control, management and supervision of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City, the existing airports in the Davao Region and such other airports as may thereafter be established in any of the provinces of the same region," the law read.
The DIAA should also have the following objectives: Encourage, promote, and develop international and domestic air traffic in Davao Region; and upgrade the services and facilities of Francisco Bangoy International Airport at the same time, formulate internationally acceptable standards of airport accommodation and service.
Among its duties and functions include formulating a comprehensive and integrated development policy and program for the Francisco Bangoy International Airport; controlling, supervising, constructing, maintaining, operating, and providing such facilities or services necessary for the airport to function; promulgating rules and regulations governing the planning, development, maintenance, operation and improvement of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport.
The DIAA will also have the power to exercise policy authority in connection with the maintenance of security to passengers, cargoes, aircraft, airport equipment, structures, facilities, personnel, funds and documents; regulation of the entry to, exits from and movement within the airports; maintenance of peace and order within the premises of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, among others.
The law also requires "all existing public airport facilities, runways, lands, buildings, and other properties, movable or immovable, belonging to or presently administered by the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, and all assets, powers, rights, interests, and privileges relating to airport works or air operations, including all equipment which are necessary for the operation of air navigation aerodrome control towers, crash, fire, and rescue facilities are hereby transferred to the authority."
The new airport authority will also administer ongoing projects relating to the construction of Francisco Bangoy International Airport facilities and supply of equipment.
Meanwhile, a Board of Directors will exercise corporate powers over the authority composed of a chairman, vice chairman, and 13 members.
It designates the Transport Secretary and DIAA general manager as ex-officio chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
The general manager of the Franciso Bangoy International Airport will continue in office until such time a DIAA general manager is appointed.
President Duterte also signed RA 11454 authorizing the sale of some parcels of land of the University of the Philippines in Barangay Krus na Ligas in Quezon City to the local government.
The law also stated that no part of the land covered shall be sold, alienated or conveyed by the legitimate residents of Barangay Krus na Ligas except to their legal heirs.
“Should the legitimate residents unlawfully sell, transfer or otherwise dispose his or her lot to any right therein, the transaction shall be null and void,” the law stated.
He also signed RA 11453 strengthening the powers and functions of the Freeport Area of Bataan by including the town of Mariveles, which was formerly part of the Bataan Economic Zone.
The laws were signed last August but the copies were only released Tuesday. With PNA