Energy, nat’l security at risk: Biz leaders back Senate probe on Dennis Uy’s Malampaya buyout | Bilyonaryo Business News
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Energy, nat’l security at risk: Biz leaders back Senate probe on Dennis Uy’s Malampaya buyout

The country’s biggest business organizations voiced support for the Senate’s ongoing probe into the ownership of the Malampaya consortium after bilyonaryo Dennis Uy acquired a 90% stake in the project.

In a joint statement led by the Makati Business Club, business leaders called on the Senate to thresh out the issues regarding the deal, which saw big-time fuel firms Chevron and Shell sell their shares to Uy’s Udenna Group in a span of a year.

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“We urge the Senate and the concerned agencies and groups to fully explore why the government did not exercise its right of first refusal over Chevron’s and Shell’s shares in Malampaya,” the groups said.

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“By failing to do so, the government may have given up tens of billions of pesos at a time when the government needs money more than ever and more importantly has put the country’s energy and national security at risk,” they added.

Among the groups backing the Senate probe are the Energy Lawyers Association of the Philippines (ELAP), the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), Filipina CEO Circle (FCC), Integrity Initiative Inc., Investment Houses Association of the Philippines (IHAP), the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN), and the Women’s Business Council Philippines (WomenBizPH).

 

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The groups worried that Uy’s takeover could “severely harm the economy”, citing Udenna’s “lack of expertise and heavily-financed nature of the proposed purchases.”

“We urge the Senate and concerned agencies and groups to fully explore if the government could easily get financing for such a purchase, as was done by the private purchaser, given Malampaya’s stable and highly guaranteed revenue stream,” they added.

 

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The business groups said the government should explain its failure to award a license or extend the authority given to Chevron and Shell by 2019.

“From an energy security standpoint, the delay may be a breach of fiduciary duty given that the existing wells are expected to be depleted by 2025, and the estimated 5 years needed to explore and develop additional wells,” they said.

Graft charges have been filed against Uy and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the deal.

 
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