Robin

Start joint oil, gas exploration talks with China – Padilla

September 6, 2022 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 339 views

SENATOR Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla on Monday reiterated his call to consider his Senate Resolution (SR) no. 9 and get the ball rolling on joint exploration between the Philippines and China for oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) without the sacrifice of sovereignty and the Constitution.

“Para sa akin, hindi lang dapat pag-aralan kundi simulan na ang pakikipag-usap sa kabilang panig patungkol sa joint exploration. Tiwala po ako sa ating mahal na Pangulong Bongbong Marcos na hindi niya pababayaan ang soberanya at ang ating Saligang Batas,” said Padilla.

Raising the alarm that many large Chinese vessels and fishing vessels are already in WPS, he said that there is “no time to waste”. The country continues to suffer from the effects of high fuel prices due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“In the meantime, we have to deal with a slowdown in the progress of our economy due to the high prices of food, water, transportation, electricity, medicine, and other basic needs,” he added.

“Habang patuloy ang debate at bangayan dito sa Maynila, ang West Philippine Sea po ay pinamamahayan na ng naglalakihang industriyal na barko ng Tsina na nagkukubling fishing vessels.

Huwag naman po sana mangyari na bago pa man tayo makarating sa isang kasunduan ay wala na tayong mabubungkal dahil naubos na ang ating inaasahang likas-yaman,” Padilla pointed out.

Padilla said that past studies show that joint development is one way where countries can cooperate in exploring resources without raising the issue of sovereignty.

Also, Padilla noted former Chinese Ambassador Jiu Jianchao had voiced “openness” to further discussions on joint exploration between the Philippines and China. “At ayon sa ating Press Secretary Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, pag-aaralan ito ng executive,” he said.

Also, Padilla noted many other countries had found ways to engage in partnerships.

“Kung nagawa ng mga bansang ito na magsigasig sa pag-aaral at pairalin ang bukas na isip at diplomasya, bakit hindi natin muli bigyang pansin at konsiderasyon ang usaping ito,” he said.

“Hayaan po nating mag-usap nang walang panghuhusga muna ukol sa usaping soberanya at Konstitusyon,” Padilla suggested, adding: “Sapagkat sa puntong ito, ako ay naniniwala na hindi makakatulong ang agarang pagharang sa usapin ng joint development. Nakatiwangwang lang po ang ating yamang gas at langis,” Padilla said.

Padilla cited data from the US Energy Information Administration showing there are 0.8 to 5.4 billion barrels of oil and 7.6 to 55.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the West Philippine Sea.

He said studies also show a big part of the reserves are in Recto (Reed) Bank, which has the potential to replace the Malampaya natural gas fields once its supplies are projected to run out in 2027.

“Kung hindi pa po natin sisimulan, saan pa? Kung hindi po ngayon, kailan pa po tayo aaksyon,” Padilla asked.