BARMM exploration deals vital in ensuring energy security: PBBM

MANILA – The exploration and development of fossil fuel deposits in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is crucial in attaining energy security in the Philippines, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Thursday. Marcos made the statement, as he witnessed the signing of the Intergovernmental Energy Board (IEB) Circular on the Joint Award of Petroleum Service Contracts (PSCs) and Coal Operating Contracts (COCs) in the BARMM in a ceremony at Malacañan Palace in Manila. In a keynote speech, Marcos said harnessing the enormous energy potential within the Bangsamoro Region will reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, mitigate the detrimental impacts of price fluctuations, and build a ‘solid’ foundation for energy security. ‘Considering the challenges of the depleting Malampaya reservoir and volatile fossil fuels prices, it is crucial to take this decisive action, reigniting petroleum exploration and fostering the development of indigenous energy resources,’ he said. ‘Ensuring security and self-sufficiency of our nation’s energy supply is not an option. it is an imperative, a solemn duty to our people, our nation and future generations,’ Marcos added. During the event, the Department of Energy and the BARMM’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) signed the IEB Circular on the Joint Award of PSCs and COCs n the Bangsamoro Region. The IEB Circular operationalizes the provisions of Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to jointly grant rights, privileges and concessions for the exploration, development and utilization of uranium and fossil fuels such as petroleum, natural gas and coal within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro. The circular aims to facilitate the growth of the energy sector and attract foreign investments in the region. Once implemented, these will kick off the application process for PSCs and COCs in the BARMM. The framework also outlines the requisite requirements, procedures and standards for companies seeking to apply for and operate PSCs and COCs. Marcos said the guidelines must serve as a safeguard in ensuring the strict adherence of all industry players to stringent rules and regulations for the exploration and development activities. ‘These guidelines demonstrate our resolute commitment to responsible stewardship, ecological sustainability and the cultivation of a vibrant energy sector,’ he said. Marcos also expressed optimism about local and foreign investors’ participation in the exploration and development of the BARMM’s energy resources. ‘Through this, we promote economic growth, generate employment opportunities and nurture a thriving business landscape in the region. As conscientious custodians of our environment and natural heritage, we possess a profound awareness of the significance of safeguarding our invaluable natural resources and preserving the holistic wellbeing of our communities,’ he said. Marcos also assured the BARMM of his administration’s support. He also stressed the need to ensure the ‘responsible and innovative’ utilization of abundant resources in the Bangsamoro Region. ‘Let us therefore wholeheartedly embark on this journey with determination and goodwill. We must recognize that through our unity and commitment, we wield the ability and the power to shape our nation’s destiny,’ Marcos said. For petroleum contracts, an applicant may be any local or foreign individual company or group of companies forming a joint venture or consortium, organized, or authorized for the purpose of engaging in petroleum exploration and development. On the other hand, an applicant for coal contracts must be a corporation or partnership with at least 60 percent Filipino-owned capital and duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a cooperative organized and authorized for the purpose of engaging in coal exploration and development. Any applicant must also comply with the Anti-Dummy Law and the Foreign Investment Act. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency