By Genalyn D. Kabiling
President Duterte may be regarded as a strong and tough leader but the latest oil and gas production in Cebu actually made him weep.
The President admitted shedding tears after being overwhelmed by the ceremonial opening of the oil field in Alegria, Cebu, considered the first onshore oil discovery in the country.
“Last week I was in Alegria, Cebu. For the first time nakita ko ‘yung apoy na…when I turned on the valve para lumabas ‘yun and pag-uwi ko sa chopper kunyari nag-wipe ako ng face ko but I cried. At least for the first time nakita ko oil,” he said at the inauguration of the Davao River Bridge Widening Project in Davao City last Thursday.
The oil and natural gas project, operated by China International Mining Petroleum Co. Ltd., is expected to boost the country’s energy security, improve the town’s economic activities, and generate jobs.
When he attended the opening of the gas field last weekend, Duterte had said Alegria should brace for “an expansive human and economic development” as well as influx of migrants following the commercial operations of the oil facility.
In his speech in Davao City, the President admitted that the country has never been as progressive compared to other oil-producing neighbors due to lack of domestic oil production. He said oil was a crucial element in boosting a country’s growth since it fuels many industries.
“After the war, we were given our freedom. While we were working a lot hard really building our country, merong isang bagay na wala tayo na nandiyan sa kanila and what is it? It’s oil,” he said.
“It’s not because we are lazy that the Japanese are better off than us. We do not have the – they do not have the monopoly of industry. Problema wala tayong oil and oil builds the roads,” he added.