MANILA - Malacañang again said on Sunday that a proposed 60-40 sharing of possible oil resources in the West Philippine Sea between the Philippines and China is good for the country.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that since China and the Philippines are both claiming the area, it is better for the two countries to share the area's resources.
"Apparently both countries are not budging with their position, then the next best thing is to agree on using that property to benefit both," Panelo said in an interview with ANC.
Panelo said the offer for a 60-40 split with the Philippines getting the larger share came from China.
"And that's good for us."
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier said he was okay with a 60-40 sharing in a proposed joint oil exploration with China.
Panelo added that it was better to negotiate with China.
"What we cannot get from that arbitral ruling, we might be able to get by way of negotiating with China especially because we are supposed to be friends. If you are a friend, friends usually give each other a give and take."
The Philippines can trust in China's friendship, Panelo said, because China helped the country during the Marawi siege when the United States refused to provide the Philippines with arms.
Duterte is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month, promising to raise the Philippines arbitral win against Beijing's sweeping claims over the South China Sea.
Manuel Pangilinan, chairman of listed firm PXP Energy has said that he is hoping “some progress” can be made on possible joint exploration in the South China Sea when Duterte and Xi meet.