OVER 300 participants from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia Malaysia, and the Philippines (BIMP) joined the East ASEAN Growth Area (EAGA) Strategic Planning in February 24 to 26 at the Marco Polo Davao City.
The strategic planning meeting focused on the socio-cultural pillar, which deals with the promotion of more people to people, education and cultural exchanges in the sub-region.
Besides the following, BIMP-EAGA also has eight other working clusters, namely agri-business, transport connectivity, power, ICT, trade and investment facilitation, tourism and environment.
During the meeting the socio-cultural cluster was divided into two working groups: the human resource development (HRD) that deals on education and technical skills, and the socio-cultural development (SCD) that focuses on culture.
The latter group was headed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, represented by its OIC-executive director Adelina Suemith.
For the SCD group, the meeting started with a review of the summary report on the October 2015 SCE meeting held in General Santos City last October 2015. During the meeting, Malaysia pointed out that apart from the academe, there are other sources of skills and education such as the practitioners who may not be based in the academe but who are experts and knowledgeable on certain skills that could be taped to harness human capital.
The group also agreed on the importance of museums and archives as sources of information in developing human capital.
To reach the objectives, the group laid out various strategies like promotion, preservation and sustainability of the BIMP-EAGA culture and heritage, increase in the number of BIMP-EAGA-wide socio-cultural events, and conducting and publishing of researches on culture and heritage. During the meeting, the group decided to create a Budayaw Council to oversee the implementation of the SCD projects which they have agreed upon.
There will also be a round-table discussion on BIMP-EAGA history-slash-exhibition, which will be held in Kuching, Sarawak in October 2016. This event will be coordinated by the Sarawak Office for Culture and Sports. Experts from each country will participate, while the papers and proceedings will be published in Budayaw, the publication of the BIMP-EAGA activities.
The group will undertake the mapping of practitioners in the region. This will help in creating a database and inventory of artists and cultural organizations in the region. They welcome new publications, such as video documentary, journal, monograph, coffee table book and brochures, which will contain the culture, ethnicity and heritage of the region.
Finally in December, the group will hold the bi-annual Friendship Games in Kalimantan, Indonesia. The Philippine participation will be taken care of by the Philippine Sports Commission.