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Philippines’ energy portfolio diversifies with new nuclear agreement with US

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The Philippines is set to diversify its energy portfolio following the recent entry into force of the United States-Philippines Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, commonly referred to as the “123 Agreement.” The agreement officially took effect on July 2, marking a significant milestone in the bilateral relationship between the two nations.

Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual highlighted the importance of this agreement in a statement. “The US-Philippines civil nuclear cooperation agreement is a significant step toward diversifying and strengthening our energy portfolio. This partnership underscores our commitment to clean and sustainable energy, vital for achieving our climate and economic goals,” he said.

As nuclear energy is seen to enhance the country’s energy security and supporting economic growth, Secretary Pascual emphasized the potential of this agreement to attract investments in clean energy, positioning the Philippines as a prime destination for such investments.

“The DTI is dedicated to promoting sustainable industrialization and inclusive growth, and we are optimistic about the positive impacts this collaboration will bring to our nation’s energy resilience and sustainability,” he added.

The US State Department, in a media note, echoed the significance of the agreement, saying that it will enhance cooperation between the two countries on clean energy and energy security, further strengthening their long-term diplomatic and economic relationships.

“Energy security is an increasingly critical global challenge requiring deliberate collaborative efforts, and together our two countries can make a significant contribution to our shared clean energy goals,” the media note read.

The US State Department also highlighted the role of nuclear energy in achieving global climate change and energy security targets. “We look forward to exploring new avenues of cooperation with the Philippines in civil nuclear energy and other clean energy initiatives,” the note continued.

The 123 Agreement builds on nearly 80 years of peaceful nuclear cooperation between the US and the Philippines and establishes a framework for continued US civil nuclear trade with the country. It is part of broader US efforts to develop the Philippines’ civil nuclear sector, which includes creating a safe, secure, and modern industry supported by a skilled workforce, robust regulations, and strong commercial partnerships.

Civil nuclear cooperation agreements, or 123 Agreements, provide a legal framework for the export of nuclear material, equipment, and components from the United States to other countries. This particular agreement allows for the transfer of nuclear material, equipment (including reactors), components, and information for nuclear research and civil nuclear energy production, all based on a mutual commitment to nuclear nonproliferation.

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