The Philippines and Indonesia on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen their cooperation in the field of energy.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Indonesian President Joko Widodo witnessed the exchange of MOU on energy cooperation between the Department of Energy and Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in a ceremony at the President’s Hall of Malacañan Palace in Manila.
In a joint statement delivered after the MOU signing and his bilateral meeting with Widodo, Marcos welcomed the two nations’ bid to strengthen their cooperation on the energy sector.
“Through this MOU, our countries create a new synergy as we cooperate to achieve energy security,” Marcos said.
He also noted that another MOU on science and technology is “nearing the completion phase.”
Marcos added that he and Widodo had also instructed their respective concerned agencies to expedite the signing of relevant MOUs that will help unlock the economic potential of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to spur growth in the region.
“So today, we also recognize Indonesia's contribution to peace and development in the southern Philippines. As Mindanao continues to reap the dividends of peace and democracy, we hope that Indonesia will continue to extend its helping hand to building the institutions of local governments, particularly in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” Marcos said.
He said the Philippines and Indonesia, as immediate neighbors and fellow archipelagic states, also agreed to continue their cooperation on political and security matters, noting the advancements made on several action points in the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation’s plan of action signed in September 2022.
“Our shared historic roots are deep and thank you to our close kinship and our cultural ties that we continue to promote and we continue to allow to prosper,” he said. “The Philippines and Indonesia enjoy this affinity for one another. As such, our exchanges and discussions about ways to deepen our political and economic ties have come naturally.”
Meanwhile, Widodo said he and Marcos also agreed to strengthen the two countries’ border and trade cooperation.
Under the cooperation, both parties agreed to facilitate trade in coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG), especially during periods of supply constraints.
"The signing of the MOU reinforces and updates the long-term energy cooperation between the two countries. On the part of the Philippines, it is an offshoot of our President’s efforts to achieve higher energy security through energy diplomacy," DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.
In 2022, 98 percent of the country's coal imports were from Indonesia.
Lotilla added that the cooperation in LNG with Indonesia will help in the transition to clean energy, which can provide baseload generation, filling in the gap once existing coal-fired power plants start to retire. (with reports from Kris Crismundo/PNA)
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency