DOJ conveys all out support to PH-US Nuclear Energy Agreement

23 May 2024

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” C. Remulla, in his capacity as member of the Nuclear Energy Program – Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC), has expressed his agency’s ‘all-out’ support to the Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and Government of the United States of America Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy or the 123 Agreement inked on 16 November 2023 in San Francisco, California, USA.

In a 3-page legal opinion addressed to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the DOJ reiterated the legality of the 123 Agreement, its conformity to existing laws and compliance with international agreements and policies undertaken by the Philippines.

“Considering the world’s perpetual and unending need for better sources of energy, nuclear energy research is an avenue our country can expeditiously explore with proper regulation and safety measures locked in place,” Secretary Remulla stressed.

It is important to note that the 123 Agreement covers the safe and secure use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes wherein the parties undertake to transfer and share information, nuclear material equipment and components directly or through authorized persons such as the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute which is mandated to regulate activities related thereto by virtue of RA 5207 or the Atomic Energy Regulatory and Liability Act of 1968, as amended.

It is also explicitly provided under the provisions of the PH-US Nuclear Energy Agreement that the same are not in conflict with existing Philippine laws, as well as with pending nuclear-related bills before Congress.

Moreover, the 123 Agreement also emphasizes that outputs produced within its purview shall not be used for any nuclear explosive devices, for research on or development of any nuclear explosive devices or for any military purpose detrimental to the national interest of the parties.

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