Marcos Jr. urged to resume bilateral talks with China on West Philippine Sea explorations

WPS Exploration Site

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is being urged to resume the country’s bilateral talks with China on the joint energy exploration in the West Philippine Sea. 

Senator Robinhood Padilla filed Senate Resolution 9 urging Marcos Jr to continue the talks as an attempt to mitigate rising oil prices caused by global factors like the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

“Now therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved, urging President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to resume the bilateral talks with the People’s Republic of China for the purposes of cooperation on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea,” the resolution read. 

Prior to the end of the Duterte Administration, former Foreign affairs secretary Teodoro Locsin said that the joint exploration between China and the Philippines was terminated due to constitutional restraints and sovereignty issues. 

The joint exploration project was first signed in November 2018. 

Under the resolution, the country needs a long-term strategy to ease its oil dependency on foreign sources. 

“The parties further understand that the MOU shall not be prejudicial to ‘respective legal positions’ which ‘does not create rights or obligations under international or domestic law’ and as such, there is no derogation of the Philippines’ assertion of its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea,” the resolution said. 

The neophyte senator said that the government can resume the bilateral talks “without bargaining the sovereign rights of the Philippines on the disputed territories therein.” 

“The new administration can further explore these common interests of cooperation to resolve the country’s oil dependency from foreign countries,” Padilla said.