The Philippines accepted the chairmanship of the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) ICT Cluster in the 9th BIMP-EAGA ICT Cluster meeting held on September 7-8, 2022 in Bali, Indonesia. The country was represented by a delegation of DICT Mindanao and Palawan Directors, headed by DICT Assistant Secretary for Regional Development, Maria Teresa M. Camba.

The BIMP-EAGA is a cooperation initiative established in 1994 to spur development in remote and less developed areas in the four participating Southeast Asian countries. From its inception, the cooperation program adopted a public-private approach to development, with the private sector serving as the engine of growth and the public sector taking on an enabling role. This year, it aspires to achieve a level of resilience in its development that would cushion the subregion from the impact of external shocks and hasten recovery.

“The Philippines is honored to accept the chairmanship of the ICT Cluster for 2022-2025. This period would be a very critical time as in the next 3 years, BIMP EAGA Vision 2025 would be completed and a succession plan would be drafted. With 3 years left, the work continues, and we hope to intensify our efforts to harness ICT so that the East ASEAN growth area will rise from the impact of the pandemic and for our fellow countrymen to thrive and enjoy the infinite opportunities from ICT,” Asec. Camba said during the meeting.

The Philippines will lead the ICT Cluster for the years 2022-2025, following the turn over from Malaysia. As the new chair, the country will oversee the implementation of agreed deliverables towards achieving the BIMP EAGA Vision of 2025 (BEV 2025) — “Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable and Economically competitive (R.I.S.E.) BIMP-EAGA to narrow development gap”.  The BEV 2025 was formulated to ensure that member countries are attuned to regional and global development trends, opportunities, and challenges that would influence the future of economic cooperation.