PH to continue negotiation with China on Malampaya gas fields — Marcos
WASHINGTON D.C., United States — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the Philippine government will continue to talk and negotiate with Beijing on their claims and concerns on the Malampaya natural gas fields.
This, he said, is to avoid future conflicts.
“The only way to resolve the issues that are outstanding is to once again keep talking and to come to a consensus, to come to an agreement, and to continue to negotiate,” Marcos said in a forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) here.
“It is not an easy process but the Malampaya fields, natural gas fields that lie in our, within our baselines and within our exclusive economic zone, and that again is being questioned in certain cases, in certain areas by China, and we continue to negotiate with them,” he added.
The President said the Chinese government has been claiming particular areas where the Malampaya fields are located, which are already recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as part of the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
“Therefore there is that conflict and so what happens now especially when it comes to exploration in — for energy — for our energy needs are which law will apply because we say this is part of Philippine territory and therefore Philippine law should apply,” Marcos said.
However, the President pointed out that both parties are “slowly inching towards a resolution” regarding their claims on the Malampaya fields, saying both countries may have to compromise.
“It may have to come down to a compromise that will just limit that application, the application of laws maybe to the vessels that are involved in this exploration and exploitation of whatever natural gas fields we can access,” he said.
Marcos also noted that it is just one of the suggestions both parties are looking into to resolve the issue.
“There is no silver bullet where you say, we’ll do this and it’s done. As I said, we are inching slowly towards the resolution and that’s why we must be constant, we must be transparent and we must be accountable for all that we do. And I cannot see any other way to handle the problem other than that,” he said.
The Malampaya gas field is a deepwater gas-condensate reservoir, located offshore, 65 kilometers northwest of the island of Palawan.
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