DAVAO CITY — Local officials here have agreed to develop and promote the old Davao City airport terminal in Sasa district, 10 kilometers from downtown, into a business process outsourcing (BPO) facility.
Councilor Peter T. Lavina, chairman of the committee on commerce and trade, said the original proposal to develop the old airport terminal into a cargo hub was dropped since it would require additional investment from the Civil Aviation Authority, which owns the property, and since existing cargo facilities at the new Davao International Airport remain underutilized.
“What remained of the old airport was just a shell and that’s all the BPO locators need; they will just refurbish the structure,” he said. “The old airport has been idle for the past four years now and is deteriorating.”
There were originally six to seven proposals for the old Davao airport, including a BPO center, an aviation school, a cargo logistics and trade center.
During the 8th Davao City Business Conference last July, the Davao business chamber presented Vice-Mayor Sara Z. Duterte a resolution to convince national officials to develop the old airport into a cargo and trade center. In the presentation of its resolution, Davao chamber president Simeon P. Marfori II had said the facility will remain an unused asset unless the government will set aside funding to develop it.
Bert P. Barriga, Jr., vice-president of the Davao ICT Council, projected a potential income of P70 million in five years once a call center locates at the old airport terminal with rent of just P250 per square meter, or about 40% of a regular rent in Manila. He said the whole property could reach about 60,000 square meters.
“The area is near residential subdivi-sionsour initial assessment is the area could provide an opportunity for local businesses to thrive because BPO requires support services like food stalls and entertainment,” he said. — Joel B. Escovilla