Bongbong eyes Russian oil, fertiliser supplies, workforce
Published on: Wednesday, September 28, 2022
By: ABS CBN News, KG, GM
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Motorists queue for fuel at a gas station in Quezon City, after another oil price hike.
Motorists queue for fuel at a gas station in Quezon City, after another oil price hike.
MANILA: President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is currently in talks with Russia for possible fuel and fertiliser supply, a report has shown. 

In an interview on Bloomberg done during his 6-day working visit in the US, Marcos said he is looking at Moscow for petroleum products amid a tight global supply due to the war in Ukraine.

US-led sanctions against the Eurasian country have compounded the oil supply woes, but Marcos said there may be a need for the Philippines to “approach Russia and say maybe they can loosen up and provide us with some fuel.” 

When asked if he is currently transacting with Moscow, the Philippine leader said, “yes we are.” 

Aside from the fuel supply, he said he is also looking into the supply of fertiliser and feeds from the country. Marcos had said he was willing to conduct government-to-government talks regarding this.

It was also important, Marcos noted, to diversify the country’s food supply chain and veer away from the traditional sources of fuel, based on the report.

Russian Ambassador Marat Pavlov in June, meanwhile, said his government was willing to help the country in terms of its energy and supply needs. 

Malacañang said it would not comment on the matter “until such time that the agreement has been entered into and finalised.” 

“We cannot disclose the pending transactions, if any,” said Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles on Tuesday.

The Palace has yet to release a transcript of Marcos’ interview with the international outfit.

Meanwhile, improving the skills of the Filipino workforce was among the topics discussed during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, the Office of the Press Secretary said.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the matter was discussed by the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE), the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) during the Cabinet meeting.

“Sa Cabinet meeting naman po, ang aming na-discuss tungo doon sa economic transformation agenda ng ating Pangulo ay ang mga sumusunod: Una, efforts to ensure compliance with Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW). Ito po ay diniscuss ng MARINA, CHED at Department of Migrant Workers,” Cruz-Angeles said at a press briefing.

“Tungo pa dito, ang DOLE naman at TESDA at CHED ay nag-discuss ng pag-upgrade ng skills of the Filipino workforce. Bahagi ito doon sa economic transformation program ng ating Pangulo. Kasama pa doon iyong educational aspect at isa po ito doon sa aspeto na iyon,” she added.

She said both vocational skills training and expanding the skills of our workforce are part of the economic transformation of the Marcos administration.

The DOLE previously said it would prioritise increasing job opportunities, ensuring just and humane working conditions in the workplace, and delivering accessible, prompt, and continuous services to the public.

Marcos presided over the Cabinet meeting this morning with newly-appointed Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin in attendance. – ABS-CBN, KG, GM

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