DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental – There is no time to waste in exploring and harnessing the energy sources in our part of the West Philippine Sea.
On this note, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said he supports a joint venture with other countries in exploring and harnessing such energy sources, so long as they follow the 60-40 formula in the Philippine Constitution.
“I’m supportive of a joint exploration with any country, not necessarily China. We don’t have the wherewithal or technical expertise to explore oil,” the Partido Reporma standard-bearer said at a lunch with local government officials and local business leaders here.
Citing information he received, Lacson said there are at least 200 billion barrels of oil in Area 72 in the Philippines’ part of the West Philippine Sea.
“Just imagine if we can harness such oil and natural gas resources, what it can do to the Philippines as a country economically,” he said.
Lacson said that while these energy sources are within the Philippines’ territory and exclusive economic zone in the WPS, the Philippines lacks the technical and financial resources to explore them on its own.
But he maintained that what is important is that the Philippines’ partner will follow our Constitution’s 60-40 provision.
Under Sec. 2, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution, the State “may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens.”
Meanwhile, Lacson maintained the Philippines’ foreign policy must remain anchored on our own national interest – “but directed at strengthening our alliances with equally powerful countries like China.”
He said China’s bullying in the West Philippine Sea has resulted in a triple whammy affecting our national security, food security and economic security