Rough Cuts | Still waiting for reports

Yesterday (Thursday) we included in the subject of our column an item about Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s intent to have the City Council pass an ordinance regulating the height and size of structures to be constructed in certain areas of the city’s downtown.

Apparently, the mayor’s plan was a result of the controversy brought about by the complaints of some sectors in Davao society on the height of the Aeon Tower condominium in Bajada allegedly posing danger to incoming airplane flights.

The City Engineer’s Office was actually put on the spot because it is the agency in the local government unit that is tasked to approve building permits based on the applicant’s compliance with the requirements under the National Building Code and related local ordinances.

Then we took to task the Civil Aeronautics Authority of the Philippines’ (CAAP’s) local office for its apparent failure to air its objection to the construction of the multi-story Aeon Towers if in the very beginning it already knew that its site is on the approach path of incoming planes.

We raised the issue against the CEO because it appears that it failed to provide the correct inputs to the City Council who approved the high rise’s location clearance as well as the height of the building.

And we also called the attention of the CAAP because had the agency been religious in the performance of its duties it would not have missed the opportunity to participate in the council deliberations attendant to the application of the owners of the Aeon Tower for location permit which approval is a critical requirement for the issuance of the building permit.

But no, the CAAP’s intervention came in too late. The Aeon Tower was well on its way to the completion of the last few stories of its building. In fact our attempt for the CAAP to come out in the open and tell its story to the public with regards to its claim that the tower is posing danger for air travelers coming to Davao City got us castigated by certain CAAP genius who called us “ignorant” of the workings of the agency.

There was however, one commitment of the CAAP that we are continuously waiting for report as to its status. This is its promise to do a “test flight” to determine the validity of its assertion of Aeon tower as a flight hazard. The schedule given by the agency was soon after the contractor of the building shall have brought down its boom crane from the top floor.

That was several months ago. We haven’t heard of the CAAP or any other agency like the CEO giving out invitation to the media and to other stakeholders to witness the test flight or even join it. So the public has no idea whether such validation flight really happened.

And even assuming that the test flight was conducted, the CAAP should take it as its major responsibility to render a report to the public on the result.

By claiming that the condominium tower is on the flight path of incoming planes and that it could pose danger while the plane is on its final approach to the runway of the Davao International Airport, it is only proper that the CAAP discloses the result of its test flight.

Denying the public what transpired during the test flight is tantamount to keeping them ignorant of what they should rightfully know as residents of Davao City.

Yes, we are raising this question again to the CAAP, and maybe for the CEO to also answer: Has the test flight committed by the agency to validate once and for all its assertion that the Aeon Tower is a major risk to the flying public been conducted already?

And we are adding this request: If the test flight has been done can the CAAP please make public the result and what it has recommended to address the issue, and whether or not its recommendations are already accepted and done by the building owners and relevant stakeholders like the local government of the city.

Too much time has already been spent waiting for such action and report by the agency.

Posted in Opinion