One of the gains of the country from the Hague ruling in 2016 was that the country pursued oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
Last October, President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the West Philippines after the late former President Benigno Aquino III suspended exploration activities in the West Philippine Sea due to tensions with China over the disputed waters.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said his office has endorsed the awarding of three new petroleum service contracts located in the West Philippine Sea to the Office of the President.
“These activities are concrete and explicit forms of the enforcement of sovereign rights consistent with our real gains in the South China Sea Arbitral Award,” Cusi said in a statement Friday.
He added the service contracts are all in exploration stage, which activities include study of the geological and geophysical characteristics of the area and the conduct of on-site survey and drilling activities.