Metro Manila, Philippines — The Philippines and the United States on Friday signed a historic civil nuclear cooperation deal, which is seen to help with the country’s energy security by laying the legal basis for the transfer of nuclear equipment and material from the US to Manila.
The two countries signed the “123 Agreement,” or the Philippines-United States Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in San Francisco after less than a year of negotiations.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the inking of the deal is another milestone “towards a more energy secure and green Philippines,” as he sees nuclear energy becoming part of the country’s energy mix by 2032
“We would be more than happy to pursue this path with the United States as one of our partners,” he said in a speech after the signing.
According to the US Department of State, the partnership will allow Manila and Washington to jointly deploy advanced new technologies, including small modular reactors, to support climate goals and the critical energy security and baseload power needs within the Philippines.
Marcos earlier called for review of safe nuclear energy use, as he seeks a more affordable and sustainable energy supply to meet the Philippines’ growing demands.
The president said he believes the energy source has huge potential, especially given the highly advanced technologies and various safeguards now in place.
“I look forward to seeing this agreement in action in the years to come. Nuclear energy is one area where we can show that the Philippines-U.S. alliance and partnership truly works — for our peoples, our economies, and the environment,” he said.
Marcos also commended the negotiating teams, saying he has been informed it was the fastest 123 Agreement that the United States has finalized.
Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said the new agreement facilitates cooperation in a wide array of other peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including in combatting climate change, as well as in plant breeding, livestock production, insect pest control, soil and crop management, water use efficiency, plastic waste disposal, food safety, health and medicine.