PHL-US civil nuclear cooperation pact good, not just for power generation, but also for health and water management: DOE

President Bongbong Marcos witnesses the signing of the 123 Agreement, a civil nuclear cooperation pact with the US, on the sidelines of the APEC Leaders’ Summit./PCO/RTVM/

(Eagle News)–The civil nuclear cooperation agreement signed between the Philippines and the United States on Thursday will  benefit not just power generation and supply but also agriculture, health and water management.

This is according to Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, who spoke at the 123 Agreement signing ceremony during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week in San Francisco, California.

The pact  allows for the peaceful transfer of nuclear material, equipment, and knowledge from the US to the Philippines, the Presidential Communications Office said.

According  to President Bongbong Marcos, who witnessed the signing, the 123 Agreement would ensure a “more energy-secure and green Philippines.”

“Beyond nuclear power applications to combat climate change, the new Agreement facilitates bilateral cooperation in a wide array of other peaceful uses of atomic energy — all supportive of various Sustainable Development Goals — including plant breeding, livestock production, insect pest control, soil and crop management, water use efficiency, plastic waste disposal, food safety, health and medicine,” Lotilla said.

Lotilla noted that the idea of nuclear energy in the Philippines  was not a new thing, with the efforts of the Philippine government  investing in the same starting during the administration of former President Carlos Garcia.

The same was also pursued by former President Ramon Magsaysay, former President Diosdado Macapagal, and the late  President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

The country’s Bataan Nuclear Power Plant remained intact but was, however, never operational more than three decades since its construction began, he said.

Nevertheless, he said  the 1987 Philippine Constitution remained open to all peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Lotilla said the 123 Agreement, the predecessor pact of which expired in 1998, “recognizes adherence to standards and safeguards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

“On behalf of the member agencies of the Philippine Nuclear Energy Program-Inter- Agency Committee, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to President Marcos, Jr. for his support and to the two countries’ respective negotiating teams for successfully concluding the negotiations leading to the signing of this Agreement,” he said.