MANILA: The Philippines on Tuesday called for collective international efforts to combat terrorism in the wake of strikes on Saudi oil facilities.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Vice President of the Philippines Maria Leonor Robredo said that the attacks were a “wake-up call” to the world and threatened not only her country’s economy but also Filipinos working in the Kingdom.
“I know for a fact that Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of combating terrorist activities. Now that we have heard of the recent attacks last week in the Middle East, it is another wake-up call for all of us that the threat is still there,” she added.
Speaking at her office in Manila, Robredo said that such strikes would have a negative impact on the Philippines. “The attacks are not just expected to affect our economy, but also the future of Filipino workers who reside there (Saudi Arabia).”
On Tuesday, Reuters reported a drop in oil prices. Oil ended nearly 15 percent higher on Monday, with Brent logging its biggest jump in more than 30 years amid record trading volumes.
“My stance is that attacks will continue if we will not step up as a community of nations in really working together, doing collective efforts to combat terrorism,” said Robredo.
Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also expressed concerns about the possible impact of the terror strikes, particularly on oil prices and supplies to his country.
“This is serious. It will — not could — affect us deeply; to put it bluntly, an oil shortage or steep rise in oil price will rock the Philippine boat and tip it over,” Locsin said on Twitter.
Following Saturday’s coordinated drone hits on key Saudi oil sites at Khurais and Abqaiq in the Eastern Province, the Philippine government convened an emergency meeting on Sunday afternoon to discuss the situation.
Present during the meeting held at the Department of Energy (DoE) headquarters in the city of Taguig were officials of the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, Industry Management Bureau, the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the National Power Corporation (NPC), the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC), and the PNOC-Exploration Committee.
“We are seeking to ensure that the energy family will be sufficiently prepared to face the potential impact of this unfortunate incident, if any, on the country,” Secretary of Energy Alfonso Cusi said in a statement.
“Rest assured that the DoE, together with the entire energy family, is closely monitoring the situation, and will keep the public properly informed of developments on the matter,” he added.