President Duterte is now open to a 60-40 revenue sharing with China if Manila and Beijing would conduct joint oil explorations and development in the West Philippine Sea, but quickly stressed that the Philippines should get the bigger share.
The Chief Executive’s new pronouncement on Thursday (August 8) was a turnaround from his position last year, when he said the Philippines should get more than 60 percent.
Duterte, in a speech at the Eastern Mindanao Command camp in Davao City on August 23, 2018, said what he wants is for the Philippines to get a higher share than the 60-40 he earlier broached.
But speaking to reporters on Thursday, Duterte said: “They have proposed a 60-40 (sharing). Okay na ‘yan para sa akin (That’s okay for me).”
“Of course, 60… 60 in favor of our country,” he added.
The President is scheduled for a state visit to Beijing for the fifth time at the end of the month.
Like in his previous visits to China, the issue on the South China Sea will again be a sticky topic.
Duterte already said he’ll be bringing up the South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) to avoid more adverse incidents and conflicts between the two countries in the oil- and mineral-rich West Philippine Sea.
“Once we have set the agenda, I’d talk first about jurisdiction, the COC, and the exploitation of the natural resources of my country since, as far as I’m concerned, we own it. So that is my position. We still own what we are claiming,” Duterte said.
Malacanang has already given assurances that all deals that will be forged regarding the West Philippines Sea would be according to the Philippine Constitution and would redound to benefits for Filipinos.