President Ferdinand “Bongbong”Marcos Jr. on Thursday said the Philippine government will find “other ways” for the joint exploration with China in the area of the West Philippine Sea to proceed if the government-to-government (G2G) talks would not work.Speaking to reporters in Quezon City, Marcos said that the oil exploration is just a “small thing” for China but something important for the Philippines.

The West Philippine Sea, which is a part of the South China Sea, is also being claimed by Beijing. The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in 2016 upheld the Philippines’ claim and dismissed China’s argument that the territory belonged to them by virtue of the historical “nine-dash line”.”I think there might be other ways para hindi gawing (so that it doesn’t become) G2G or I don’t know. We’ll have to find a way. Kasi kailangan na natin eh (We need it already).

We already need — kung may mahanap diyan, kailangan na talaga ng Pilipinas (if there’s a way, the Philippines really needs it),” the President said during a chance interview.

“‘Yung China, hindi ba, maliit na bagay sa kanila ‘yun. Sa atin, malaking bagay ‘yan. So kailangan talaga natin ipaglaban at mapakinabangan kung mayroon mang oil talaga (For China, it’s just a small thing but it’s something big for us. So we really need to fight and tke advantage if there really is oil),” he added.To recall, the Duterte administration announced the termination of joint exploration talks with Beijing. The two countries signed the memorandum of understanding in 2018, but the Philippine government said the goal of developing the oil and gas resources was not achieved.