The decision was reached during the 1st reorganizational meeting of the BIMP-EAGA Media and Communicators Association (BEMCA) at the Sabah Trade Center in Kota Kinabalu last Sunday.
BIMP-EAGA comprises Brunei, East Indonesia, East Malaysia and Mindanao and Palawan in the Philippines.
BEMCA is an association of journalists, communicators and government information officers from the four participating countries which was set up during the Roundtable Discussion on effectively communicating the significant gains of the BIMP-EAGA held in Likupang, North Sulawesi, Indonesia on January 30 to 31, 2004.
It is headed by Malaysian Joniston Bankuai of Sabah and the Philippines’ Gil Abarico of Davao City as co-chair.
Davao City was chosen as venue for the summit because it is the most strategic and accessible city, having more flights than the rest of Mindanao’s 25 provinces and 26 other cities.
BEMCA aims, among others, to provide “mutually beneficial and professional assistance to accredited members of good standing of the media community in BIMP-EAGA; establish acceptable mechanisms to improve the flow and exchange of information with the BIMP-EAGA; provide facilities for the exchange of journalists, media practitioners and communicators between BIMP-EAGA member-countries; exchange reliable, truthful, and real-time information related to the social, political and economic environments in their respective countries and areas of concern and jurisdiction.
The group, however, was unable to meet its goals because of some problems, among them the lack of registration. Where among the four-member countries will the group be registered, has been resolved in Sunday’s meeting.
The 2004 plans included the publication of a BIMP-EAGA Media Directory. GTZ or the German Technical Cooperation is funding the publication for launching in the March 2007 summit.
A website is presently under construction to keep members updated on the BIMP-EAGA events.
A BIMP-EAGA Editors’ Roundtable Conference will also be held in Kota Kinabalu prior to the Media Summit in Davao City. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)