MANILA — The Philippine government said the plan to conduct joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea would really depend if the endeavor is worth pursuing, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday.
With this, DFA Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar reiterated the statement of DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano that whatever endeavor the country would enter into with ASEAN member nations would be amenable to the laws of the land.
“I believe the secretary also mentioned in his press conference on Saturday… what we are trying to do is exploring if there’s anything to explore and that was the secretary’s way of saying we’ll see if there is something worth pursuing,” he said in a press briefing for the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City.
The DFA official added, “He mentioned something about first commercial viability fund. More importantly, he mentioned that any endeavor that the Philippines whether in a corporate setting, entered into should be compliant with the Philippine Constitution and its local laws.”
Bolivar was asked if Cayetano was able to discuss with the ASEAN officials about joint development with all countries in the region. He said that many things had been discussed during the retreat but the time was very limited.
“That is the most important thing that Secretary Cayetano mentioned and also we have to understand that the ASEAN meeting, we have very limited time for working that discussion usually there are a lot of issues to cover…we discussed China Sea, terrorism, climate change and all in a span of only two and a half hours,” he said.
“So we’ll have to wait and see…we really don’t know what went on inside the retreat until we see the joint agreement…”Bolivar added.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said that a partner had been found that will help develop oil fields and exploration and exploitation which is set to restart this year. But, he did not name the possible partner.