“The President wanted to study first the proposal,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday.
Duterte orders review of nuclear energy agreement with Russian firm
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2019 - 12:00am

  MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has ordered a review of the Nuclear Energy Agreement entered into by the government with a Russian company during his visit to Moscow last week.

Speaking at the 42nd Cabinet meeting on Friday night, Duterte told Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi that he wanted the memorandum of intent reviewed.

“The President wanted to study first the proposal,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday.

Panelo said Cusi and Assistant Secretary Gerardo Erguiza discussed the Nuclear Energy Agreement with a company in Russia. 

The DOE said the memorandum, signed on Oct. 4 between the DOE and their counterpart officials in Moscow, was a framework for discussion and not for a particular construction of a small modular reactor (SMR). 

Duterte has been careful about the nuclear energy proposal, noting it is prohibited under the Constitution.  

“The Constitution does not (allow it). It is prohibited. That is why I have to talk to the Cabinet,” the President said upon his arrival from Moscow on Oct. 6.

“The hard-line would come after I have consulted with everybody concerned, including people of the industry affected,” Duterte said.

Following Duterte’s move to strengthen ties with Russia, Ambassador Carlos Sorreta said the government is keen on tapping Russia to boost the Philippines’ energy sector, including the construction of natural gas plants as well as possible exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

Sorreta also saw the need to review the government’s nuclear policy before the Philippines enters into any agreement for nuclear energy with Russia.

Duterte met with officials of the Roseneft Oil Co. during his visit in Moscow recently. He urged the firm to invest in the Philippines.

Malacañang officials assured the public that any agreement would undergo proper procedures and comply with the law.

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