MANILA -- Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo confirmed Thursday that the Philippines is about to discuss with China the "general terms of reference" for a possible joint energy exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
"We will, maybe, entering a technical expert level preliminary talks just to discuss general terms of reference" Manalo said in a chance interview.
Before stepping down in 2022, then-President Rodrigo Duterte ended negotiations with China over a possible partnership for oil and gas exploration in the disputed waters claimed by both Manila and Beijing.
The Code of Conduct for the West Philippine Sea, however, remains a work in progress, Manalo said.
"They're still negotiating," Manalo said before leaving.
Earlier this year the Department of Energy also said Manila and Beijing had agreed to “resume talks” about cooperating on oil exploration.
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