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Palace to study possible PH-China joint exploration on WPS
by Philippine Resources - August 31, 2022
Photo credit: Inquirer Philippines
The Marcos administration will study the proposed joint oil exploration between the Philippines and China in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea (WPS), Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“Pag-aaralan po natin sa ngayon (As of now, we will study it),” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a Palace press briefing.
Cruz-Angeles’ statement was issued after former Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao expressed optimism about the revival of negotiations on China’s possible joint oil and gas exploration with the Philippines in WPS.
Liu, the current minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Committee, hoped Sunday that the Marcos administration will consider joint oil and gas development in the busy waterway.
Cruz-Angeles said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will look into the proposal to jointly explore energy resources in WPS.
“Ukol sa mga foreign relations natin, lalung-lalo na those involving contracts kailangan pa po ng abiso ng ating Department of Foreign Affairs (With regard to our foreign relations, especially if these involve contracts, the Department of Foreign Affairs needs to be notified),” she said.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian on July 27 said China is ready to restart talks on oil and gas exploration with the Philippines.
In November 2018, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on joint oil and gas development in WPS.
The Philippines, under the Duterte administration, terminated the talks before Marcos assumed presidency on June 30 because of constitutional constraints and issues on the country’s sovereignty.
The Philippines on July 12, 2016, won its petition against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands after the court invalidated Beijing’s supposedly historic rights over nearly the entire South China Sea, including the WPS.
Despite the Philippines’ historic win, China has repeatedly ignored the 2016 PCA ruling. By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021
Gas drilling in Recto Bank should push through: Pimentel
Photo credit: Inkl The chair of the House Strategic Intelligence Committee on Tuesday said oil drilling activities in Recto Bank must proceed as scheduled amid rising tensions with China. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said the Sampaguita gas field could yield up to USD18.2 billion, or around PHP910 billion, in future royalties for the government, based on a 60 percent net share. “We have no choice but to carry on with the drilling activities because the Sampaguita gas discovery in Recto Bank has the potential to energize the entire national grid – not just Luzon – for the next 20 to 30 years,” Pimentel said. Pimentel said Sampaguita is “an untapped value-changing asset” that would be valuable to the country’s future energy security with up to 4.6 trillion cubic feet of gas, while Malampaya, which has been producing gas for the last 20 years, has only 1.6 trillion cubic feet of residual gas at best. “There is even one study suggesting that the entire Recto Bank has up to 20 trillion cubic feet of potential gas in place,” Pimentel said. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in July 2016 that Recto Bank is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, as defined under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea. By virtue of the ruling, Pimentel said the Philippines enjoys absolute rights to exploit all resources in the seamount. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - October 18, 2021
Next Malampaya can be found in Mindanao: PNOC EC exec
As the Malampaya natural gas field is drying up, Mindanao might have the indigenous energy resources to energize the country. In a webinar of Davao International Conference 2021 Thursday, PNOC Exploration Corp. (PNOC EC) vice president for upstream operation Jaime Bacud said Mindanao is rich in indigenous resources that can support the country’s energy requirement. Bacud said Mindanao alone has three sedimentary basins waiting for exploration for oil and gas resources. These basins include Agusan, Cotabato, and the Sulu Sea. “We still think that there is natural gas potential for these areas, and it could be where we could find the next Malampaya,” Bacud added. The Malampaya gas field, which supplies around 30 percent of Luzon’s power requirement, is the country’s lone natural gas source. As the government issued a moratorium on new coal projects, Bacud said oil and gas exploration, particularly in Mindanao, could help in the government’s goal to achieve energy independence. “We still have a lot of natural or oil and gas resources that are still untapped. And this could be our way forward to get closer to what we call energy independence,” he added. By Kris Crismundo Article courtesy of Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - February 08, 2022
Let biz sector handle Malampaya deal, PRRD tells senators
Photo credit: Shell President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday slammed the Senate resolution recommending charges against Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi and other officials over the approval of what lawmakers alleged was an anomalous sale of shares in the Malampaya gas field. In a statement, Duterte expressed "grave concern" over the Senate's adoption of the resolution, as it casts "undue, undeserved, and unwarranted aspersion" on key DOE officials. "The government values the critical role and contribution of the Malampaya Gas Field to energy security. I will not allow this valuable resource to be jeopardized and embroiled in the political antics of some members of the Senate," he said. Duterte affirmed that Cusi still has his full trust and confidence, and shall remain as the head of the energy department. He maintained that the national interest has been protected and the government's rights remain intact amid the developments involving the share sale and purchase agreement. "I am calling on our legislators to ensure that our ability to compete is not jeopardized by political intrigues and innuendoes. Leave business transactions in the capable hands of the business sector. Let us respect their business decisions while we protect our national interests," Duterte said. The resolution, penned by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, recommends the filing of criminal and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Civil Service Commission against Cusi and other DOE officials for approving and recommending approval of the Chevron Philippines-UC Malampaya transaction. Gatchalian said the officials violated laws for allegedly railroading the approval to the sale of the 45-percent participating interest in the Malampaya gas project of Chevron Malampaya LLC Philippines, now known as UC 38 LLC, to UC Malampaya, an indirect subsidiary of Udenna Corporation, despite the lack of financial qualification. Duterte, however, said that the sale and purchase of the stock of Chevron Malampaya LLC was a private transaction between private entities that must be respected. He also reiterated that both foreign and local investments are "vital" to the economy. "We compete for them with other countries, and our ability to do so requires me to create and maintain an environment conducive to the entry of investors," he said. Duterte said that while he recognizes the Senate's power to conduct congressional probes in aid of legislation, this should be exercised "with prudence and circumspection, devoid of reckless accusations, and focused on improving existing laws". By Filane Mikee Cervantes Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - September 27, 2022
PH-EITI holds first meeting under Marcos admin, approves plan to improve multi-stakeholder engagement in the extractives
Photo credit: PH-EITI The Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) convened its first Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) meeting under the Marcos administration on Friday (September 16), two weeks after the country reaffirmed its commitment to implement the EITI. EITI is the global standard for transparency and accountability in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. The MSG – the body that governs EITI implementation in the country – is chaired by the Department of Finance (DOF) and composed of representatives from government, industry, and civil society. The government began implementing the EITI in 2013 pursuant to Section 14 of Executive Order No. 79, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 147, s. 2013 that created the PH-EITI. “This meeting demonstrates the government’s continuing commitment to improve transparency and accountability in the extractive industries,” said Finance Undersecretary and PH-EITI Focal Person and Chair Cielo Magno. To improve resource governance, the MSG agreed to strengthen spaces for multi-stakeholder participation and advocate for more spaces along the extractive industry value chain. The group also agreed to include an MSG report on the status of civic engagement in the annual country report. The MSG also discussed remaining initiatives for 2022, including the production of the FY 2021 PH-EITI Country Report, the 2022 National Conference, and a planned visit of EITI Chair and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to the Philippines in November 2022. The PH-EITI publishes independently reconciled data on oil, gas, coal, and mineral resources through an annual and comprehensive country report. To date, the PH-EITI has produced seven country reports, reconciling over P362.5 billion in government revenues from extractive projects from 2012 to 2019. Aside from disclosing extractives data to inform research and policy recommendations, the PH-EITI also provides space for multi-stakeholder participation in resource governance. Article courtesy of the Department of Finance
Philippine Resources - September 27, 2022
Marcos admin commits to transparency and good governance in the extractive industries
Photo credit: EITI / CC BY-SA The Marcos administration demonstrated its commitment to pursue transparency in natural resource governance by rejoining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and enabling the continued development of the mining sector. In a letter to EITI Chair and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno cited the value of good governance and anti-corruption measures in maximizing the extractive sector’s contribution to resource mobilization and sustainable economic growth. EITI will complement the administration’s agenda on transparency and accountability. “We welcome the opportunity to re-engage in EITI. We also commend the progress of the EITI Board in reviewing the validation standard and making it more relevant to implementing countries. We believe that EITI is an important tool for resource-rich countries like the Philippines to improve transparency and increase accountability in the management and governance of the extractive industries,” said Secretary Diokno. Secretary Diokno said that other government agencies, as well as industry and civil society stakeholders who have been actively implementing EITI in the country, are supportive of the move to rejoin the global initiative. On June 20, 2022, the Philippines through the Department of Finance (DOF) withdrew its participation in the EITI over concerns on metrics and procedures used for assessing country compliance with the international organization’s transparency requirements. In an August 23, 2022 letter, EITI Chair Helen Clark invited Secretary Diokno to re-state the country’s commitment to the EITI on behalf of the Marcos administration and build on the progress that the Philippines has achieved in the past nine years. The PH-EITI multi-stakeholder group is chaired by the DOF and is composed of representatives from government, industry, and civil society. The government began implementing the EITI in 2013 pursuant to Section 14 of Executive Order No. 79, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 147, s. 2013 that created the Philippine EITI (PH-EITI). Annual disclosure of contracts, financial, economic, social and environmental data is mandatory for extractive industries pursuant to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2017-07. To date, the PH-EITI has produced seven country reports, covering data from mining, oil, gas, and coal industries and reconciling over P362.5 billion in government revenues from extractive projects from 2012 to 2019. In 2017, the Philippines was recognized by the EITI as the first among 50 plus countries in the world to have fully complied with the 2016 EITI Standard. The EITI updates its standard every three years and subjects member countries to validation to ascertain their compliance. Secretary Diokno said that the Marcos administration is committed to engage and unite various stakeholders in pursuing good governance and policy reforms in the country. “Rest assured that we remain committed to pursuing good governance in the extractive sector,” said Secretary Diokno. Article courtesy of the Department of Finance
Philippine Resources - September 26, 2022
Metro Manila Subway project nominated for int’l digital awards
Artist rendering of the Metro Manila Subway (Photo courtesy of DOTr) The Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) has been named as one of the finalists at the 2022 Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure for the best use of infrastructure software to save both time and money. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the general consultant for the MMSP Phase 1, the Japanese consortium Oriental Consultants Global (OC Global), developed a common digital engineering system and a “single source of truth” using ProjectWise and ComplyPro -- both programs by Bentley Software Inc. The MMSP, the DOTr said, presented communication and coordination challenges that other software programs failed to address. “The project team at OC Global realized that the implementation of collaborative BIM workflows, proactive risk management, and cost monitoring would require a connected data environment to be established,” it said. The system developed by OC Global for the MMSP enabled real-time data sharing that optimized collaboration -- saving an estimated 5,000 resource hours within the project’s first six months. “Combined with SYNCHRO for construction simulation, Bentley’s integrated technology solution identified and resolved 50 clashes, eliminating rework, shortening the project schedule, and saving costs. The successful BIM (Building Information Modeling) implementation has already achieved a return of investment of over USD600,000,” it said. The Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure is an annual event meant to honor Bentley software users for advancing infrastructure design, construction, and operations worldwide. The event’s finalists are deemed to demonstrate “excellence and digital advancements” in their respective award categories. The award winners will be announced during the program’s main event in London on Nov. 15. By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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