MANILA — The "123" agreement will jumpstart the Philippines' nuclear energy program and set the tone for how quickly the country could access related technology, Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said Tuesday.
The Philippines and the United States last week signed the 123 deal that would facilitate cooperation between both countries on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The pact "will set the tone on how quickly we can get those nuclear technology and can start working with their... partners and jumpstart the nuclear program of the Department of Energy," Romualdez told ANC.
"That's the most important alternative energy that we're looking at because once we have that going, we can put that all over the Philippines and energy costs will start going down," he said.
The agreement will allow both countries to work together and use nuclear technologies to ensure that the Philippines has a sustainable and clean energy supply. It also provides the legal basis for the US to export nuclear technology to the Philippines for peaceful uses.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. witnessed the signing of the agreement by Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla and US State Secretary Antony Blinken at the sidelines of the APEC Summit in San Francisco.
"[This involves] big investment in the beginning, but the return is absolutely wonderful," Romualdez said of nuclear energy.
Meanwhile, Romualdez said Marcos tapped Frederick Go, his adviser on investments and economic affairs, to "precisely monitor" the investment pledges to the Philippines.
Go will be "in charge of looking at all these investments that are supposed to be coming into the Philippines," Romualdez said.
Marcos told the Department of Trade and Industry to come out with a "scorecard" to monitor the investment pledges, the ambassador said.
The Palace on Monday said Marcos' APEC trip secured some $672.3 million in investment pledges in telecommunications, artificial intelligence for weather forecasting, semiconductor and electronics, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and renewable energy.