November 24, 2018 – The projected oil deal between the Philippines and China is off to a good start, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.
The Senator said this in a statement after Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alberto del Rosario Recto claimed that the interests of the Philippines are “safe” and “nothing is being given away” by the country in the said agreement.
“This seal of a good agreement from two eminent experts bodes well for the eventual forging of a constitutionally-compliant venture that is economically beneficial to us,” Recto said.
“Because the memorandum that was signed respected our sovereignty, then the joint venture started off on the right foot, and not with the foot of one party pressed on the back of the other. It showed the way forward,” he added.
He noted the country’s urgent need for ‘energy independence’, adding that Malampaya in Palawan may run out of natural gas in 2024.
“This spectre of energy starvation is what should drive the renewed hunt for new gas and oil fields within our seas,” he added.
Malampaya supplies 40 to 50 percent of the energy in Luzon. It also fuels five baseload plants in Batangas with a capacity of 3,211 megawatts.
“If the plants’ fuel source go dry, then substitutes will have to be imported, until we hopefully strike gas in a territory believed to contain large deposits of it,” Recto said.
“It is not easy to walk on this tightrope, of cooperating with another nation and contesting some of its actions at the same time. We are caught between a dark future and a powerful force,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation of oil and gas development during latter’s state visit to the country last week.