By ROGER M. BALANZA
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has gathered government agencies in an inter-agency meeting aiming to strengthen Mindanao’s barter trade with countries under the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
The July 19, 2022 meeting at Century Park Hotel in Manila, is part of government effort to develop integrated interventions and policy support on the finalization of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order (EO) No. 64 s. 2018 or “Reviving Barter in Mindanao and Constituting the Mindanao Barter Council (MBC).”
Executive Order No. 64, signed in 2018 by President Rodrigo Duterte, hoped to revive barter trading in Mindanao to help promote more economic activities by the Philippines in the BIMP/EAGA region.
EO No. 64 established the MBC to supervise, coordinate and harmonize policies, programs and activities on barter in the southern Philippines.
BIMP/EAGA is a sub-regional pact of economic cooperation established in 1992 by Asean nations in a bid to make the region as an economic power in the map of world trading.
Also discussed as one of the main topics of the inter-agency meeting was the “Outcomes of the Bangsamoro Barter Trade Council (BBTC) IRR Consultations.”
Various consultative dialogues on the barter trade system were conducted in June 8-10, 2022 in Cotabato City, Tawi-Tawi, and Zamboanga City.
Participants in the inter-agency meeting facilitated by MinDA headed by Chairman Mabel Acosta, were key officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) representatives from Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS) and other national government agencies .