Ex-Usec Manalac, group appeal to PBBM: Take full control of Malampaya

by Dr. Celia Lamkin

Former Philippine Department of Energy Undersecretary Eduardo Mañalac and the National Movement for the West Philippine Sea (NYMWPS) on Feb. 13, appealed to President Bongbong Marcos to terminate the Service Contract 38 or the Malampaya project when it expires in 2024.

The Malampaya project is currently operated by Prime Infrastructure Capital owned by Enrique Razon Jr. and Udenna, owned by Dennis Uy.

Mañalac and NYMWPS instead, asked Marcos Jr. to order the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) to operate the Deepwater Gas-to-Power Project.

The PNOC was created in 1973 by Former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. for the purpose of taking over operations after the contract ends.

In a news release by NYMWPS following an online conference last Feb. 9, Mañalac said this process will deliberately place direct control of Malampaya operations in the hands of the government.

He added that this will also serve to maximize earnings for the Filipino people, who are at this point, losing billions of pesos to what they believe as unqualified private companies. 

Udenna and Prime Infra currently earn P50M each, or a combined P100M daily from Malampaya gas, the same amount the Philippines government may earn if it takes full control of the operations.
Presidential Decree No. 87 or the Oil Exploration Act of 1972 mandates that said activities should ensure maximum benefits to the people.

PD 87 also requires that only companies that possess technical expertise and financial capability shall be granted service contracts.

Mañalac and the NYMWPS had earlier questioned the processes by which Prime Infra and Udenna acquired the Malampaya interests from Shell and Chevron because the two service contractors allegedly do not have the required technical capability to operate the gas field.

Prime Infra and Udenna each control a 45% stake or a total of 90% of the shares in the gas field. PNOC holds the remaining 10%.

Malampaya supplies 20% of the power requirements of Luzon, the biggest of three major islands in the Philippines.  

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