A benefit for all Filipinos | President Duterte gives go signal for PH-China gas search - The Daily Sentry

Monday, August 13, 2018

A benefit for all Filipinos | President Duterte gives go signal for PH-China gas search

President Rodrigo Duterte | Photo from PTV News
Joint oil and gas exploration for Philippines and China has been given a go signal by President Rodrigo Duterte after approving the principle of creating a high-level working group tasked to formulate a framework for the upcoming exploration.

“China is also ready [with its]working group and as soon as both sides have working groups, we could start talking,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.

China is open to a 60-40 split in a joint exploration of the disputed maritime areas in South China Sea, and this has prompted the two countries to make necessary preparations full steam ahead.

While Cayetano has yet to give full details with regard to the working group, he said that it will be composed of officials from the Cabinet level, including the Departments of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Defense, Interior and Local Government and Justice, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and National Security Agency.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with Communist Party of China Central Committee Member Meng Xiangfeng and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua | Photo from UNTV

He also said that the mentioned agencies could provide expert inputs on environmental, energy, security and legal issues.

“The working group will also advise us and help us in negotiations,” Cayetano explained.

The group will handle all concerns, inputs, and collation of data regarding environmental, energy, security, 

and legal issues that may ensue in the joint exploration.

The group is expected to come up with a framework agreement by September this year because of the agreement is made on the fifth year of the Duterte administration, the project could very well be delayed into the next administration instead of pursued during Duterte’s term.

President Rodrigo Duterte with delegation from China led by Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi and Ambassador Zhao Jianhua | Photo from Concept News Central 
Cayetano emphasized how the joint exploration will benefit Filipinos since the Malampaya gas field is running out of resources and is predicted to completely dry out by 2024.

“For us, it is an urgent need and could benefit all Filipinos. I want to work double time on it and I am hoping that our side of the working group can do a lot this August and then try to hit September or October,” Cayetano said.


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Source: www.manilatimes.net