Palace to issue policy on petroleum service contracts


The Malacanang is set to issue policy directives to investors and industry players of the upstream oil and gas sector on the requested re-submission of petroleum service contracts (PSCs) for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signature. 

In a Manila Bulletin, Energy Undersecretary Alessandro Sales said that the Department of Energy (DOE) will establish an inventory of the PSCs “to make sure that these service contracts will be unassailable.” 

Sales said that this is in line with Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla’s declaration to “ensure the stability of service contracts” following a Supreme Court ruling on PSCs not signed by the president. 

Sales added that they have met with affected companies, including the Australian investors of Sacgasco Limited, which operates as Nido Petroleum, and assured: “them that these steps would be taken.” 

Philippine Petroleum Association president and Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation board director Edgar Benedict Cutiongco said that the affected investors in the exploration and production sector are “okay to re-submit the service contracts for the President’s signing because that will put everything in the right place.” 

Cutiongco added that PAP met with the senior legal advisers of the DOE and initially established that the affected contracts may only be those undertaken by foreign investors, or local companies with minor foreign partners. 

Should the Palace require pure Filipino companies to resubmit their PSCs for Marcos Jr.’s signing, Cutiongco said that they would abide by the order. 

Back in 2015, a Supreme Court ruling rendered the contract of Japan Exploration Ltd. (JAPEX) as “void” as the signatory of the contract was not the President of the Philippines.