By Media Mindanao News Service
(August 15, 1987 News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988)
SURIGAO SUR (MMNS) — The newly-convened Senate does not have to bang its head over whether the country’s debt should be fully paid or selectively repudiated. The answer lies at the bottom of the Philippine Deep where the largest deposit of deuterium can be found, says a Filipino scientist.
In addition, deuterium may yet be the solution to chronic unemployment and could be an alternative to the fuel problem, said Cesar Escosa in an international press release datelined Metro Manila.
In his report, Escosa revealed that the Philippine Deep in Surigao Norte province holds the largest deposit of deuterium, known as heavy water or hydrogen water. The world-renowned Philippine Deep is about 7,000 to 10,500 feet deep.
Deuterium is now used as fuel for cars, trucks, jet planes and other engines in highly-industrialized countries, the report said.
If this mineral will be tapped, after one year, the country “would be able to pay all (our) foreign debts and wipe out the red ink from our economic chart,” Escosa said.
Escosa explained: “The production capacity is projected at 12 million barrels per day. At the current price of US $ 7 per barrel, we would be earning about US $ 34 million daily or US $ 30.66 billion per year. This amount is more than enough to pay all external debts in just one year.”
Escosa estimated that the combined production capacity will need a workforce of at least 350,000 workers at “international pay rates and allowances.” He stressed that international fees will be applied “so as not to disturbed international energy pricing and economy of costs.”
“Thousands of Filipino contract workers aborad would finally come home, lured by higher paying jobs, right at the bottom of our ocean floors, untapped for centuries,” Escosa said.
If fully developed, Escosa predicted, “the Philippines may soon become one of the richest countries in the world – after the fashion of Saudi Arabia , Kuwait and Brunei,” Escosa predicted.
This solid hydrogen fuel was used to activate space vehicles Challenger and Columbia, the report disclosed. Also called “the fuel of the future,” deuterium can replace petroleum-based power sources. It can be used in cooking, heating and lighting homes and industries, the report further said.
Escosa, pointed out that the country’s deuterium deposit can “supply all the deuterium requirements of the world.” He also noted that deuterium is pollutant-free. He wrote: “What makes the fuel unique is that it does not emit any toxic pollutants such as carbon monoxide. Steam or water vaport is the only by product of its use.”
The Filipino scientist also ruled out any fear that exploiting the deuterium deposit will drain the country’s natural resources. “Unlike oil the supply of which is finite and exhaustible, deuterium supply is replenished by nature 24 hours a day,” Escosa said.
Except that the operation would require “facilities similar to the petroleum production in the Middle East,” Escosa, however, failed to determine the technology and capitalization needed, and where and how these could be acquired. He only noted in his report the deuterium project has been discussed by the Philippine and the American government since March last year.
He likewise revealed that the United States government sent an “investment mission” to the country June last year and that the country’s officials have had “initial meetings with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of Washington.”
Escosa also said the deuterium project was discussed during President Corazon Aquino’s visit in September last year to the United States. (News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988, Media Mindanao News Service)