Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana on Thursday denied being summoned by the Chinese government following the decision of the Philippine government to resume exploration activities at the West Philippines Sea (WPS).
“No, I wasn’t summoned. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman gave his reaction in a briefing last Friday and the reaction was (that) China looks forward to cooperation with the Philippines on oil and gas in accordance with the MoU (memorandum of understanding) on oil and gas cooperation,” Sta. Romana said in a televised briefing.
Earlier, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced that President Duterte has approved the lifting in the suspension of oil exploration in the WPS.
“I think we should let the process proceed and see what will happen but so far, the prospects are quite good,” Sta. Romana added.
He added that the resumption of oil exploration in WPS will not affect the talks between China and the Philippines.
Cusi noted that the lifting of the suspension will infuse the economy with fresh foreign direct investments and generates high-skills jobs, both of which are need in order to boost economic recovery following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease pandemic.