THE Philippines and the United States revived a 1968 nuclear cooperation agreement signed during the administration of the late strongman former President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. allowing US to share its technology to the Philippines for peaceful purposes.
Fifty-five years later, under the administration of his son and namesake President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Philippines and US brought back to life the “123 Agreement” and put back on the table the plan to build nuclear power plants in the Philippines and solve its energy crisis. Philippine Energy Secretary Rafael “Popo” Lotilla and US State Secretary Anthony Blinken signed the agreement in San Francisco, at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit Friday.
The President witnessed the signing of the new landmark agreement, which will pave the way for the country to import nuclear nuclear equipment and material from the US.
The President hailed the finalized accord since it supports his administration’s push to include nuclear power generation plants in the country’s energy mix.
“We see nuclear energy becoming a part of the Philippine energy mix by 2032, and we would be more than happy to pursue this path with the United States as one of our partners,” Marcos said during the signing event.
The country’s “123” accord was the fastest to be negotiated and signed by the US government, according to the Chief Executive.
The Philippines and the US completed the negotiations of the agreement on September 19, 2023.
Marcos said the country will be “opening its doors” for US companies to invest and participate in domestic nuclear power projects.
“I know our companies are eager to advance discussions on potential projects,” the President said.
Last Thursday, the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) signed a cooperation agreement with the US Ultra Safe Nuclear Cooperation (USNC) to undertake a Pre-Feasibility Study on Micro-Modular Reactors (MMR).
For his part, Blinken said the nuclear agreement would help the country achieve its goal of reducing its carbon emissions.
“Today, we take another step to do that. By deepening our cooperation to accelerate the transition to clean energy in the Philippines,” Blinken said.
Image credits: AP/Eric Risberg