Department of Energy assures exploration in West Philippine Sea won’t compromise Philippine sovereignty

Malampaya Onshore Team is helping power up Luzon grid. Malampaya is a deep-water gas field located in the West Philippine Sea. (Department of Energy File Photo)

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the Department of Energy (DOE) is working together with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) so that exploration activities in the West Philippine Sea could finally proceed.

In updating the members of the Regional Peace and Order Council (ROPC) of Region IV-B MIMAROPA (Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan) recently, Secretary Cusi assured the body that exploration and development of resources within the area will not compromise the country’s sovereignty.

“While we are protecting our territories, the DOE is trying to work together with the DFA on how we can continue exploration in the area,” Secretary told the RPOC members.

The body is chaired by Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, while Secretary Cusi is the designated Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Region IV-B.

“We are doing this without compromising our sovereignty. That’s one thing we can assure you as we progress in our exploration on how to develop and utilize the resources there at the West Philippine Sea,” the Secretary said.

“We need it to attain energy security,” he stressed.

He commended the Western Command (WESCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), headed by Lt. General Erickson Gloria, for keeping watch over the Philippine territories in the area.

“We thank our uniformed people, the WESCOM, for keeping watch in that area and for protecting our territories,” Secretary Cusi said.

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