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Mati City passes law to regulate drone use

DAVAO CITY: Local legislators of Mati City in Davao Oriental have unanimously approved an ordinance regulating the use and operation of drones.

The City Ordinance No. 489 Series of 2021, otherwise known as the “Drone Regulation of the City of Mati”, was passed recently by the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and is set to be enforced pending the crafting of its implementing rules and regulations.

The said ordinance will regulate the use or operation of drones whether for commercial or recreational purposes within the territorial jurisdiction of Mati City.

“There is a need to ensure that these are operated safely, without harming public and national security, and in a way would protect areas of national, historical or of natural importance thereby obliterating possible threats to the safety and security of the city,” the ordinance reads.

The ordinance also stated that drones and all other “unmanned aerial vehicles” must now be registered regardless of weight, purpose and specifications with the Mati City Public Safety Office in coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in accordance with Republic Act 9497 or the “Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008”.

City Information Office head Ben Jason Tesiorna said that prior to the passage of said law, drones weighing seven kilograms or more are required to secure a certification from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines before they are allowed to take flight.

“This is to make sure that the air space of Mati is being used for good purpose and not for criminal or terrorist intent,” according to Tesiorna.

The ordinance also specifies that owners must undergo orientation to educate them on the restricted zones or “no-fly zones” before they can operate.

Under the ordinance, drone operators will be penalized for nonregistration, or transfer, falsification, alteration of issued registration, and operating within restricted spaces of a maximum fine of P5,000 and confiscation of the drone as well. RUTH PALO


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