Local officials and Indonesian envoys have declared interest to revive once more the direct flights from Davao International Airport to the Indonesian destinations of Manado and Bitung.
In a statement Wednesday, the Bureau of Customs Port of Davao (BOC-Davao) said the Indonesian consulate office and city representatives have already started discussing the air and sea connectivity of BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area).
In particular, BOC-Davao said the parties talked about the Manado-Davao and Bitung-Davao routes.
BOC-Davao District Collector Erastus Austria said the initiative involves the collaboration of various private and public institutions, including BOC as the primary border protection agency for the project.
In an interview Wednesday, Department of Tourism in Davao Region (DOT-11) officer Kat Anuta-Rubio said the interests of both parties to revive the air link remain on their list of priorities to encourage and strengthen BIMP-EAGA connectivity.
Currently, the Davao International Airport (DIA) only serves direct flights bound for Singapore through carriers Scoot Tiger Air and Singapore Airlines.
The DIA also caters to 31 domestic flights daily.
Meanwhile, the BOC-Davao said it supports the plans and programs of the BIMP-EAGA to further accelerate the socio-economic development of its member-countries through easier trade facilitation of goods and services.
“Several customs policies specifically on the importation process, types of importation and exportation and a brief discussion of R.A. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) were also discussed,” Austria said.
In September 2019, the Davao City-Manado air travel was first revived to increase trade, tourism, and investment between the two countries.
The “Air Transport Agreement” was signed between the Philippines and Indonesia on March 24, 1972 to enhance the mutually beneficial economic relations and people-to-people contact stemming from centuries-old ties of both nations.
A subsequent memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the expansion of air linkages between the BIMP neighbors was also signed in 2007 where Davao and Manado had been identified as designated points. (PNA)