Senators want probe over Malampaya


With its critical role in the country’s security, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, are seeking a probe into the depleting supply of the Malampaya gas field.

The senators filed Senate Resolution 533 citing the need for Congress to be informed of the government’s plans for Service Contract 38 or the Malampaya gas-to-power project, which expires in 2024.

Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate energy committee, said one of the things they plan to resolve is whether the Malampaya contract should be extended or that the government should take over the project.

“Kaya nagsagawa tayo ng imbestigasyon para yung mga bagong papasok diyan, yung mga bagong may-ari ay merong technical capability at magandang plano para sa atin dahil kung walang silang technical capability at kung wala silang plano, eh baka pag naubos yan wala tayong pagkukunan at magiging problema din,” Gatchalian said in an interview over DWIZ Sunday.

“Kung magkakaroon ng problema, let’s say a technical problem, eh alam ba nila kung ano gagawin nila? Kahit na andun po yung mga technical managers, importante din na alam ng mga may-ari. Yung mga bagong may-ari, ano yung gagawin nila,” he added.

The senator earlier mentioned that Udenna Corporation, which already bought the 45% stake previously owned by Chevron and wants to buy the other 45% being sold by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), must prove it has the technical capability to run Malampaya.

Gatchalian likewise wants to check if the government and the Malampaya consortium complied with Presidential Decree 87, or the Oil Exploration and Development Act of 1972. He also wants to know more details on SPEX’s planned sale since it operates the gas platform.

The Philippine National Oil Company owns the remaining ten percent of Malampaya. Udenna is competing with the MVP Group and San Miguel Corporation for control of Shell’s share.

Malampaya, the country’s main domestic source of energy, supplies a fifth of the country’s power supply fuelling five power plants.