The entire Philippines can be energized for at least 20 years using natural gas resources beneath the West Philippine Sea, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) said today. “This is one of the compelling reasons why we have to secure our 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone and its contiguous area, including the seabed of the continental shelf up to 350 miles from the national coastal baseline. We have to defend the zone against China and other foreign threats,” House Deputy Minority Leader, LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty said.
“In fact, we should invest in new warships, including frigates, missile gunboats and fast attack crafts, for deployment to the zone. We should build a strong naval base in northwest Palawan,” Ty said speaking for the minority bloc in the House energy committee.
He added that the country’s territory in the West Philippine Sea is believed to have a number of Malampaya-like natural gas fields.
“We only need to harness three more Malampaya-like fields to power up the whole country. And we’ve already discovered one of the three. It is just a question of exploring some more to ascertain where best to drill and draw out the greatest amount of gas,” Ty explained.
He was referring to the Recto Bank’s Sampaguita field, which is estimated to contain up to 4.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The field lies just 80 nautical miles northwest off the Palawan coast.
Since natural gas trades at a discount, electricity would be cheaper for all consumers, thus freeing up business and household incomes for other forms of spending; Billions of pesos in new government royalties; Energy security and economic stability for the country, without having to be troubled by potential power shortages; and the country’s air quality would improve in a big way due to reduced carbon dioxide discharges.
“We need a cleaner source of power. We have to rely more on natural gas, and less on coal and oil to produce the bulk of our electricity,” Ty noted.