BIMP-EAGA ICT delegates led by Undersecretary Mano Verabathran (in blue shirt) of Malaysia’s Ministry of Communication and Multimedia visit the Yamang Bukid in Brgy. Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, on June 27, 2019. (Photo by Juan Lim)

Visiting information and technology (ICT) ministers from the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) have cited the Yamang Bukid farm in Brgy. Bacungan as a “new model of agricultural tourism” in the city and province.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Undersecretary Mano Verabathran and representatives of the nations that compose the subregional economic co-operation initiative lauded the Yamang Bukid’s distinctive business model of giving value to the well-being of its employees because “it is not too profit-oriented and it is more of people going independent on farming”.

“I’m sure that different models are applied in Malaysia but this seems to be a more soft, soft model. Everybody is happy. You’ll realize everybody is happy here. We came here and there is dancing,” said Verabathran.

He said the unique character of the business model is the presence of happiness.

“So, maybe we can inject happiness into the other models within BIMP-EAGA,” he added.

Verabathran and the BIMP-EAGA guests were here on June 27 for the 7th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) ICT Cluster Meeting.

Upon their arrival, they were greeted by a flash mob performance of Yamang Bukid staff before they were led to a guided tour, visiting the sunflower garden, herbal and ornamental plants nursery, the bee yard, glamping area, and other parts of the agri-tourism farm.

“It’s a very beautiful farm, and I like the way that you all have the farming going back to the people,” he said.

Malaysia, headed by Verabathran, is the current cluster chair. Kuala Lumpur will head the bloc until 2021 and Manila will follow the next three years after that.

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