History, Background and Mandates

Written by bh0ng. Posted in About


     The importance of civil air transportation and the need to regulate it was long felt in our history. Hence, with the passage of Act. No. 3909 by the 9th Philippine Legislature, which was approved on November 20, 1931, the development and encouragement of civil aeronautics commenced. Under the said Act, the Secretary of Commerce and Industry was given the authority of administering and enforcing the provisions of the said law.

     On December 5, 1932, Act No. 3909 was amended by Act No. 3996, which created the Division of Aeronautics, is responsible for the administration of civil aviation under the general supervision of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications.

     On October 1, 1934, by virtue of Administrative Order No. 309 and Aeronautics Bulletin No.3 “Regulation Governing Entry and Clearance of Aircraft”, this was jointly issued by the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Works and Communications. For Almost four (4) years, the Division of Aeronautics was the sole government agency charged with the administration of civil aviation until its dissolution in 1936. Commonwealth Act No. 168, approved on November 12, 1936, created the Bureau of Aeronautics under the Department of Public Works and Communications. The Director of the Bureau of Aeronautics was charged with the responsibility and the authority to carry out the purpose and intent of the provisions of said Act.

     On May 11, 1940, the general control and supervision of the Bureau of Aeronautics was transferred to the Department of National Defense by virtue of the approval of Commonwealth Act No. 529. This transfer included the power to issue permits and licenses to operators to engage in air commerce.

     On July 30, 1946, President Manuel S. Roxas promulgated Administrative Order No. 7, creating the Civil Aeronautics Commission. The Commission was composed of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications as Chairman, the Commissioner of Public Service and the Director of Bureau of Aeronautics, as members. This body was charged with the responsibility of studying applications for permits and recommending issuance of permits and licenses on establishment of civil airways or routes. The Commission’s reports and recommendations are submitted to the President through the Secretary of National Defense for appropriate action.

     On August 24, 1946, Administrative Order No. 7 was amended by Administrative Order No. 10, which granted the agency the additional duty of processing application of foreign companies to engage in air commerce in the country. Reports on domestic and international applications are submitted to the Presidents through the Secretary of National Defense and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, respectively.

     On October 4, 1947, the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Civil Aeronautics Administration were created by virtue of Executive Order No. 94 thereby abolishing the Civil Aeronautics Commission and the Bureau of Aeronautics. The functions and responsibilities of the Civil Aeronautics Commission were transferred to the Board, while that of the Bureau of Aeronautics was given to the Civil Aeronautics Administration. Both offices were placed under the general control and supervision of the Secretary of Commerce and Industry. Under this set-up, the CAB was vested with the functions relating to the economic aspects, while the CAA was charged the operational and technical phases of air transportation.

     The Board then was composed of the Secretary of Commerce and Industry, as Chairman, and the Administrator of Civil Aeronautics Administration, as Vice-Chairman, the Commander of the Philippine Air Force, and two (2) other persons appointed by the President as Members. The composition and membership in the Board has been retained with the passage of Republic Act No. 776 on June 20, 1952 which was signed into law by the President. This Law repealed Executive Order No. 94 and recognized both the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Civil Aeronautics Administration. Under R.A. No. 776, the powers and duties of the CAB and the CAA were specifically delineated.

     By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 189, Section 26, and pursuant of Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972, the CAB was placed under the newly created Department of Tourism, to assist the same in this drive to promote and cultivate the tourism industry in this country.

     On April 13, 1987, by virtue of Executive Order No. 125, the Civil Aeronautics Board was transferred to the Department of Transportation and Communications as an attached agency.

     Republic Act # 776, as amended by Presidential Degree #1462 mandates the CAB to REGULATE, PROMOTE and DEVELOP the economic aspect of air transportation in the Philippines and ensure that existing CAB Policies are adapted to the present and future air commerce of the Philippines. Vests supervision, jurisdiction and control over all carriers engaged in air commerce in the Philippines as well as their property, equipment, franchise and facilities.


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