PH-China joint exploration committee named

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Officials from the Department of Foreight Affairs (DFA) and Department of Energy (DOE) are part of the committee to supervise the joint oil and gas exploration deal with China.

This according to a highly placed source as reported by the CNN Philippines.

DFA Undersecretary for Policy Manalo will lead the team, co-vice chair will be DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and DOE Assistant Secretary Gerardo G. Erguiza Jr. as Cusi’s alternate.

DFA Asec. Generoso Calonge, DFA Asec. Meynardo Montealegre, Justice Usec. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar (DOJ), Dennis Arsenio B. Bringas of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, and Energy Usec. Donato Marcos are also included in the committee.

Meanwhile, China’s committee includes the following: Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui as co-chair and Vice Minister Li Fanrong of the National Energy Administration as co-vice chair. The other members are: From Ministry of Foreign Affairs are Director General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, Hong Liang; Deputy Director General of the Department of Asian Affairs Shen Minjuan; Counselor of the Department of Treaty and Law Gou Haibo; Deputy Director General of the Office of Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee Liang Jinzhe; and National Energy Administration Deputy Director General of the Department of Oil and Gas Liu Hong.

The committee and working groups will hold a meeting every three months on agreed dates and venues, according to the terms of references.

Beijing had appointed the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation as its representative in all working groups. The Philippines will assign the company that has an existing service contract with the government in the areas of joint exploration. The Philippine National Oil Company – Exploration Corporation will represent the country, if there’s no such enterprise.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin, Jr earlier mentioned that the joint exploration will be conducted in disputed areas.

Under the agreement, all negotiations “will be without prejudice to the respective legal positions of both governments.”