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Davao City to impose mandatory registration of drones – Councilor Acosta

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The Davao City government will soon require all drone owners to register their unmanned aircraft with the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) for regulation.

This as the Davao City 19th Council has approved on second reading the proposed ordinance regulating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Remotely Piloted Aerial Units (RPAU), or any Remotely Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) or the Drone Regulations Ordinance of Davao City.

Councilor Ma. Belen Acosta, the Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Peace and Order, said that once passed on its third reading and approved by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio all drones will be required to register.

“Lahat po ng drones kailangan irehistro, regardless of weight, purpose, and specifications. This is to make sure that the air space of Davao is being used for good purpose and not for criminal or terrorist intent,” she said.

Originally, drones weighing seven kilograms (15 pounds) or more must secure a certification from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) before they can operate.

Ret. P/Col. Angel Sumagaysay, the chief of the PSSCC, said that the ordinance is a preventive measure against possible terrorist attacks using drones.

“Drones can be used as weapons by terrorist groups and criminals. To prevent that, we should regulate all the drones operating or flying in the city for the safety of all Dabawenyos,” he said.

Acosta, however, said that drones can also be used for rescue missions.

Before registering drones, owners undergo an orientation to educate them on the restricted zones or “no-fly zones”, the aerodrome that is more or less eight to ten kilometers away from the airport, and other regulations to be implemented.

Corresponding penalties apply for non-registration, operation in no-fly zones, and other offenses like spying, terrorism, or criminal activities.

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