The way forward

November 25, 2018

Coming from highly respected and seasoned judicial authorities the word is reassuring.

Read their lips: nothing is being given away.

Therefore, The people can heave a sigh of great relief, comfort, and peace of mind.

Patriots guarding the ramparts are not sleeping on the job.

And they deserve the deep gratitude of the people.

But the people themselves must be constantly and keenly aware of developments concerning the engagement of foreign governments and other parties in the exploration of mineral and other natural resources within the country’s maritime territories.

Such heightened awareness would allow them to arrive at informed decisions on policies adopted by the national government concerning the use of such natural wealth.

In a joint statement, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del have said that our interests are "safe" and that "nothing is being given away" by the Philippines in its oil exploration agreement with China.

This seal of a good agreement from two eminent experts bodes well for the eventual forging of a constitutionally-compliant venture that is economically beneficial to us.

Because the memorandum that was signed respected our sovereignty, then the joint venture started off on the right foot, and not with the foot of one party pressed on the back of the other. It showed the way forward.

There is an urgency in our search for energy independence. The Malampaya field off Palawan could run out of natural gas by 2024. This spectre of energy starvation is what should drive the renewed hunt for new gas and oil fields within our seas.

Malampaya supplies 40% to 50% of the energy needs of Luzon, the world's 4th most populous island where 58 million live.

Malampaya fuels five baseload plants in Batangas with a capacity of 3,211 megawatts. If the plants' fuel source go dry, then substitutes will have to be imported, until we hopefully strike gas in a territory believed to contain large deposits of it.

The West Philippine Sea is our fuel and fish depot. It is our principal source of protein and power. However, we cannot deny the cruel reality that our country is facing a huge barrier, or a great wall, in accessing these.

It is not easy to walk on this tightrope, of cooperating with another nation and contesting some of its actions at the same time. We are caught between a dark future and a powerful force.