Oct 21, 2021 @ 10:28

Carpio warns: Energy crisis due to Malampaya will be worse than COVID-19

The Department of Energy has only three years left to act and find a new drilling contract at the Malampaya natural gas facility in Palawan to avert a major energy crisis that could send the Philippine economy in a permanent downward spiral.

Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said it’s about time for the government to act now that there’s still time left, adding the deal should not fall on the hands of Davao businessman Dennis Uy, whom he earlier called President Rodrigo Duterte’s crony.

“The Malampaya gas field supplies up to 40 percent of the energy requirement of Luzon. Without the Malampaya gas, Luzon will suffer from 12 to 14 hours of rotating brownouts every day,” Carpio wrote in his Oct. 21 column for the Inquirer. “Factories, malls, schools, and offices will have to close. Employees cannot even work from home since there will be no power for the internet. This will be worse than COVID-19.”

“The DOE must now bid out an extended SC 38, together with all the fixed Malampaya assets that the government will own by December 2024, to prevent a debilitating blow to our economy,” he added.

The abogado said a new bidding is needed rather than just simply extending the Malampaya Consortium’s contract, which is now under the control of Uy’s UC Malampaya.

“Clearly, the Philippine government must bid out an extended SC 38 together with its fixed assets in Malampaya, including the gas pipeline. Otherwise, all these fixed assets will be acquired for a song by UC Malampaya if it is granted a Service Contract extension ahead of the bidding of such fixed assets,” Carpio said.

“To prevent such a possible sell-out, the DOE must expressly write in any extended SC 38, and in all existing and future Service Contracts issued by the Philippine government, that the grantee or holder of the Service Contract cannot accept any service contract from any foreign government over the same area. Any violation of this condition should render the Service Contract automatically void.”

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