Philippines, China ink MOU on oil and gas development

Philippines, China ink MOU on oil and gas development
President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of the memorandum.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and China have signed a memorandum of understanding on oil and gas development, although a copy of the document has yet to be released to media.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of the memorandum.

A supposed Chinese draft of the framework agreement on joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea would be in accordance with the principles of "mutual respect, fairness and mutual benefit, flexibility and pragmatism and consensus," a document released by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a Duterte critic, reads.

Trillanes released the document within hours of Chinese President Xi Jinping's arrival in Manila for a two-day state visit, the first for a Chinese president in 13 years. 

RELATED: In supposed draft, China claims oil exploration deal to have no bearing on sovereignty

"The joint oil and gas exploration shall not affect the respective position on sovereignty and maritime rights and interests of the two parties," the unverified document reads.

The supposed draft also indicates that the outcome of the joint exploration will be shared by Manila and Beijing.

Earlier this year, Malacañang confirmed that two areas are being considered for the possible joint exploration — Service Contract (SC) 57, which covers northwest Palawan, and SC 72 which refers to Reed Bank. SC 57 is located in a non-contested area while Reed Bank is disputed, which requires an agreement from both parties for the deal to push through.

The MOU on gas and oil development, the Philippines and China was among 29 deals and agreements that the two countries signed and exchanged on the first day of Xi's visit:

1. MOU on cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative
2. MOU on oil and gas development between the Philippines and China
3. MOU on Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines and China Foreign Affairs University
4. Exchange of Executive Program of the Cultural Agreement between Philippines and China for 2019 to 2023
5. MOU on basic education cooperation between Department of Education and China’s Ministry of Education
6. MOU between Department of Information Communication Technology and Ministry of Industry and Information Communication Technology
7. MOU between Philippine Cooperative Development Authority and Ministry of Agricutlure and Rural Affairs on strengthening the building of agricultural cooperatives
8. Infrastructure cooperation program between Philippines and China
9. Program for cooperation on industrial parks development between Philippines and China
10. Handover certificate of emergency humanitarian cash assistance betwen Philippines and China
11. MOU on jointly promoting cooperation in key infrastructure projects in Davao region
12. Handover certificate of humanitarian cash assistance between Philippines and China
13. Implementation agreement on feasibility study for Davao City Expressway Project
14. Implementation agreement of feasibility study for Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project
15. MOU on renminbi clearing arrangement
16. Protocol of phytosanitary requirements for export of fresh young coconuts from Philippines to China and protocol of sanitary and phytosanitary requirements for export of frozen fruits from Philippines to China
17. Agreement on economic and technical cooperation between Philippines and China (between DOF and China International Development Cooperation Agency)
18. MOU on supporting feasibility study of major projects between Department of Finance and China International Development Cooperation Agency
19. Letters on project of container inspection equipment
20. Letters on Davao Region Bridge Project
21. Letters on China-aided Bridge and Road Project in Marawi
22. MOU on panda bonds issuance
23. Loan agreement on New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam Project
24. Commercial contract of Safe Philippines Project Phase I between Department of Interior and Local Government and China Telecom
25. Commercial contract on New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam Project between Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and China Engineering Group
26. Framework agreement for industrial park between Bases Conversion and Development Authority and Gezhouba
27. Exchange of contract for project management consultancy of Philippine National South Longhaul Project North-South Railway Project between Department of Transportation and China Railway Design Corp Ltd
28. Letter of no objection to the organization of the Renmindi-Philippine Peso Foreign Exchange Trading Market between Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Bank of China
29. Handover of Certificate of Authority to operate for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) Manila branch between ICBC and BSP

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