Press Release
April 22, 2016


Independent vice-presidential bet Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero assured that under the "Gobyernong may Puso," the province of Palawan will get its fair share of revenues from the $4.5-billion Malampaya natural gas project.

Escudero said that if Palawan receives its lawful share from the multibillion-peso Malampaya royalties, it could finance new development projects, improve its tourism infrastructure and increase basic services for its residents.

"Dapat ang susunod na gobyerno walang humpay ang pag-release ng share ng Palawanmula sa Malampaya fund dahil malaking bagay po 'yan para sa kaunlaran ng lalawigan," Escudero said during Thursday's campaign sortie of Partido Galing at Puso in Palawan.

"Kailangang punan ng national government ang pangangailangan ng probinsya para matulungan itong mapanatiling maganda at maayos ang kalikasan, at lalo pang palakasin ang turismo dito sa Palawan," he added.

Since 2009, the Palawan provincial government has been seeking its 40-percent share from the total Malampaya royalty, in accordance with the provision of the Local Government Code pertaining to the entitlement of local government units where natural wealth is discovered.

But the national government maintained that Malampaya is outside Palawan's administrative jurisdiction and thus not entitled to proceeds from the sale of offshore gas deposit.

The disagreement between the national and provincial governments is the subject of a case now pending before the Supreme Court.

Last year, the national government, through the Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), offered to give Palawan 10 percent of the Malampaya fund in a bid to settle the legal dispute, but this was rejected by the provincial board.

The Malampaya fund is managed by the Department of Finance and is primarily intended for energy-related projects, but it could also be used for other purposes approved by the President.

As of April 30, 2015, the Bureau of Treasury reported that the total remittances to the Malampaya fund reached P210 billion while the expenditures amounted to P42 billion, for a net of P168 billion.

"If Palawan was given 40 percent of the proceeds, it should have received at least P67 billion by now," Escudero pointed out.

Escudero said a small portion of that amount could have been used to provide the people of Palawan access to basic services, particularly electricity.

He noted that several villages in Palawan still do not have electricity.

"It is ironic that while the Malampaya project is able to supply energy to Luzon, some towns in the province are suffering from lack of power supply," Escudero said.

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