Saturday, July 23, 2016
DOE: Nationalistic Approach Needed in Dealing with Shell and Other Business Partners
When asked to comment on the arbitration case filed by Pilipinas Shell against the Philippine Government, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi stated that “We welcome this as an opportunity for the national government to effect real change and to come up with definitive and clear-cut policies in dealing with our partners."
PNOC Exploration Corp., a government-owned and controlled corporation attached to the DOE, has a 10% interest in the Service Contract 38 consortium with Shell Philippines Exploration BV and Chevron Malampaya LLC.
Shell filed a case against the Philippine government, specifically challenging the interpretation of the Commission on Audit in the computation of the 60-40 sharing of the proceeds from the Malampaya Project.
In a separate case, the Supreme Court, through a ponencia of Justice Marvic F. Leonen, decided that all service contracts must be personally signed by the President otherwise, such contract is void. The case is under reconsideration before the Supreme Court.
“This issue is not the concern of the Department of Energy nor of the Executive branch alone. The Supreme Court, the Commission on Audit and even Congress have a stake here too.” Cusi clarified.
The newly appointed Energy Secretary pointed out that while there are benefits under a system of checks and balances such as ours in the Philippines, there are drawbacks too.
"In the end, a nationalistic approach is necessary to make a unified stand. This is in line with the Duterte administration’s vision of unity in our country."
Cusi added that “ultimately, whatever mandate each branch or agency has, our bottomline is one and the same: to serve the best interests of the Filipino people.”
The DOE will recommend to the President the necessity of aligning government institutions to work together and act consistently.
"The Philippine government must have a unified stand in all its decisions and actions just as we have shown in the West Philippine Sea issue."
"The DOE will exhaust all possibilities and avenues to study options and bring before the President recommendations that will have one objective: to protect and serve the best interests of our Country and the Filipino people," Cusi concluded.