Manila, Philippines — A group of stakeholders eyes Palawan and Mindanao as key areas that will be instrumental to the economic growth of the east ASEAN region.
The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) has reached the consensus during the 2nd Budayaw Festival. Held in Sarawak, Malaysia, the biennial event is a crucial avenue for the four countries to discuss matters related to regional development.
The Budayaw Festival helps promote regional cooperation between the four countries. It has also been called a festival of cultures as the diversity of the member countries is highlighted.
The word Budayaw is a combination of the Bahasa words “budaya” (culture) and “dayaw” (present with pride). The first festival was organized in General Santos City in 2017.
Philippine delegation to the Budayaw festival
The Philippines sent an entire delegation to Sarawak for the festival. Led by Tourism Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Myrna Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar and National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ Aduel Suemith, the delegation hoped to emphasize the economic potential of both Mindanao and Palawan to potential investors.
The Philippine delegation helped lay out a plan for the promotion of economic interests and tourism in the five Mindanao regions and Palawan. There were also talks of creating sisterhood agreements between Sarawak localities and local government units in Northern Mindanao. Additionally, the possible opening of a direct route between Davao City and Kuching City was discussed.
Philippine Airlines to open two direct routes to Indonesia, Malaysia
An evidence of the major growth in Mindanao’s economy is the opening of direct flights between Davao City and Zamboanga City and two other destinations in the BIMP-EAGA area.
Philippine Airlines will soon start offering biweekly flights for the Zamboanga City – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, and Davao City-Manado, Indonesia routes. The flights will be available beginning on March 31. PAL Express will make the flights available every Tuesday and Thursday.