Building an Airport and a Supportive Community: The Languindingnan International Airport Development Programme

Cagayan de Oro (CdO) City in Northern Mindanao, Philippines, is considered as one of the important cities in Mindanao and in the country. Being a port city and capital of Northern Mindanao, it is economically linked with the other port cities in the other islands of the country and extends its socio-economic and political influence to Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. With its increasing population, the Metro CDO Special Development Project (MCSDP) in 1990 together with the joint leadership of the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and with the support of the Regional Development Council (RDC) X and XII, the MCSDP, the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor Special Development Project (CIC-SDP) was launched to commence in 1993. The revised proposal for CIC International Airport will start this year, 2007, and projected to be completed in 2020.
After 16 years, the Laguidingan International Airport Project is on its way to become a reality. Today, the Laguindingan International Airport Development Project is a flagship project undertaken by the National Government with counterpart project funds sourced from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea through its fund manager Korea Export-Import Bank, and from the Nordic Investment Bank of Norway.
The identified areas for airport development include portions of four barangays of the Municipality of Laguindingan, namely Moog, Liberty, Mauswagon, and San Isidro (formerly Kibaghot). These identified areas for the airport development are mostly owned by private landowners ranging from agricultural, residential, to industrial lots. Land acquisition for the airport project has been going on since 1999, requiring the acquisition of at most (?? a maximum of) 400 hectares of land properties. Accordingly, the airport development will considerably displace a number of families dwelling in those identified areas.
This study shows how, with the strict adherence to the provisions of the law, e.g., Urban Development Housing Act (R.A.7279) and with the government’s (GO) close coordination and consultation with people’s organization (PO) and non-government organizations (NGO), resistance to the urban development program by affected families can be lessened and productive. Moreover, this study further shows how would-be displaced urban and urbanizable area dwellers’ labor force can be utilized in the development of the project and in effect creates a sense of ownership among the displaced communities of the development area. The case presented is an affirmation of the multi-layered driving forces (DF) paradigm drawn by Johannes and Lee (2007). Although the study looks into how structured-induced driving forces (SIDF) work, e.g., the role of law in development paradigm, it also focuses on the structuring acting driving forces (SADF) or how groups that are implementing the program and those that are affected by the program may influence the development agenda.