In this November 2023 file photo, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael Lotilla and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken are shown signing the 123 Agreement in San Francisco, California, for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. (Photo from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken via X)

The signed agreement between the United States and the Philippines to promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy as a clean source of power for the country officially took effect and became enforceable on July 2.

The agreement, also referred to as the 123 Agreements, was signed between the Philippines and the U.S. in November 2023 in San Francisco, California, by Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael Lotilla and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

It provides the Philippines with a legal framework for importing nuclear materials, equipment, and components from the U.S.

In a statement, the U.S. government cited the need to employ new methods to achieve global climate change and energy security targets, emphasizing that nuclear energy can assist the Philippines in sustaining clean energy initiatives.

It also aims to promote U.S.-PH cooperation in ensuring the responsible use of nuclear energy, in accordance with the standards and precautions of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“This Agreement builds on the nearly 80 years of peaceful nuclear cooperation between our nations and establishes a framework for continued U.S. civil nuclear trade with the Philippines. This Agreement is part of broader U.S. efforts to develop the Philippines’ civil nuclear sector,” the U.S. Department of State said.

“Creating a safe, secure, and modern sector requires a skilled workforce, robust regulations, and strong commercial partnerships.  Our government is committed to working with the Philippines to advance each of these areas and we look forward to further building our partnership together,” it added.

Under the agreement, the Philippines will have access to materials from the U.S. to develop new innovative nuclear technologies.

The U.S. government emphasized that the agreement strengthens diplomatic ties between the two countries and stresses its commitment to assisting the Philippines in developing its nuclear sector.