The resumption of oil prospecting in the WPS is a result of the Hague decision
Alfonso Cusi, Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE), stated that one of the benefits of The Hague decision in 2016 was that the government pursued oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea.
After the late previous President Benigno Aquino III halted exploration operations in the West Philippine Sea owing to tensions with China over the disputed seas, President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the embargo on oil and gas development in the West Philippines last October.
Cusi said his office has approved the President’s Office receiving three new petroleum service contracts in the West Philippine Sea.
Cusi said in a statement Friday that “these actions are tangible and unambiguous forms of the enforcement of sovereign rights commensurate with our genuine achievements in the South China Sea Arbitral Award.”
He went on to say that the service contracts are all in the exploration stage, which entails studying the geological and geophysical characteristics of the area, as well as conducting on-site surveys and drilling activities.
Cusi stated, “The DOE is constantly monitoring the progress of each project and ensuring that the service contractors’ commitments are met.”