In the 14th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit, President Rodrigo Duterte pushes to open travel corridors in the region.
Duterte attended the said summit, virtually, in which he made a statement that opening travel corridors is needed to restore the tourism sector, which was greatly affected by the pandemic.
These travel corridors would allow people to enter certain territories without quarantine, but it is subject to specific requirements such as complete COVID-19 vaccination.
He also said that making similar arrangements should be considered to safely reopen borders and mitigate the impact of the global health crisis.
“It is vital that we make BIMP-EAGA a major catalyst for transformative change in our region,” Duterte said in a report by CNN Philippines.
Duterte stressed the importance of re-establishing the air and sea linkages, which was interrupted by the pandemic. He also mentioned the value of investing in digital infrastructure to address development gaps.
According to the latest Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia are placed at the bottom ten among the 53 countries that Bloomberg evaluated.
Bloomberg said that even though the outbreak in Southeast Asia has peaked and vaccination has improved, several of the region’s nations are “still reeling” from the surge caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Meanwhile, Philippine government authorities questioned the report, saying the country’s COVID-19 situation is steadily improving. In addition, they asked what criteria were used in the assessment and why only a fourth of the world’s nations were included in the ranking.