Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), headed by its National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, Claire Dennis S. Mapa Ph.D., hosted the 3rd Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (BIMP) East ASEAN Growth Areas (EAGA) Statistics and Database Working Group (SDWG) Meeting on August 28, 2019 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City, Philippines.
All member countries were represented, there were also delegates from the Facilitation Center and Business Cluster of the BIMP-EAGA. The delegation from the Philippines were members of the working group for Philippines-EAGA who are responsible for all activities related to BIMP-EAGA commitment of the Philippines. The group is led by Regional Director Atty. Maqtahar L. Manulon and Regional Director Ruben D. Abaro, Jr. who regularly attended BIMP-EAGA activities in other countries representing the Philippines this past 2 years.
Among the highlights of the meeting was the transfer of the chairmanship of the BIMP-EAGA SDWG from Malaysia to the Philippines. As the National Statistician of the PSA, Dr. Mapa took over the chairmanship from Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin, Chief Statistician of Malaysia, as his country’s chairmanship term expires. The chairmanship of the BIMP-EAGA SDWG rotates every three (3) calendar years among the member countries: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Philippines will assume the chairmanship of the Statistics and Database Working Group of the BIMP-EAGA until 2022, by then Brunei will takeover as next chair.
Since the SDWG is tasked to maintain the BIMP-EAGA database and prepare the annual statistical brochure, the 3rd SDWG meeting focused on the discussion on areas of statistical development concerns on the BIMP-EAGA. During the meeting, the terms of reference was reviewed for the subregional databases by country including the need for the development of core indicator system for BIMP-EAGA which will provide an effective tool for monitoring, evaluation and analysis of the performance of the various clusters/sectors. The issues and concerns regarding the updating and maintenance of the database was discussed.
The Philippines presented the developed/proposed indicator system for Philippines-EAGA and initiatives on common data sourcing for both BIMP-EAGA SDWG and the ASEANStats. In the course of the discussion, points like maintenance of the database, harmonization of concepts and definitions among member countries, data comparability, sustainability and development of web-portal were also discussed.