By Noel Punzalan
COTABATO CITY; The Regional Board of Investments-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RBOI-BARMM) has provisionally registered the PHP998-million petroleum project by the Esmaulana Global Ventures Company Inc. (EMGVCI) in the region under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP).
RBOI-BARMM chairman Ishak Mastura revealed this in a statement Tuesday following a recent zoom meeting with DOE and EMGVCI representatives.
“The proposed investment project covers the Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao and the Sulu Sea but the areas that fall within the BARMM jurisdiction are subject to the joint determination by the BARMM regional government and the national government,” Mastura, a lawyer, said.
He said the EMGVCI participated in the PCECP of the DOE and purchased the appropriate data package for pre-determined areas in the BARMM –the Cotabato Basin and Sulu Basin– amounting to over PHP2 million.
“As such, the DOE informed EMGVCI that the awarding of the service contracts for BARMM areas were held in abeyance since the modality of processing and awarding of such contracts in the BARMM for petroleum investments still have to be worked out in the Intergovernmental Relations Body, as established under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL),” Mastura said.
He said the EMGVCI registered with the RBOI-BARMM subject to the final approval of a service contract by President Rodrigo Duterte so they can prepare, recruit, and train manpower as well as obtain capital equipment for future exploration, utilization, and development of their target areas in the BARMM. Mastura said the registration of the investment project does not mean that EMGVCI can proceed with their study, but rather the latter is only recognized as a firm operating in the BARMM area since the BOI provides preference to BARMM residents in the exploitation of its natural resources, particularly oil and gas reserves if any.
He said no financial incentives were given to EMGVCI by the RBOI-BARMM because petroleum companies have their own terms and conditions under a service contract.
“However, EMGVCI can apply in the future for reduced duties and taxes for the importation of capital equipment should their oil and gas venture progress during their talks with the BARMM regional government and the national government,” he said.
The EMGVCI is a registered Filipino company with 40-percent foreign equity engaged in the business of oil/gas petroleum minerals, mining exploration, extraction, refinery, import, and export of its by-products.
Philippine News Agency