, December 8, 2005
(STAR) President Arroyo will push for greater cooperation on energy security during the 11th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next week.

Through investments in alternative fuels, Mrs. Arroyo will also call for further exploration of the South China Sea for possible energy resources.

Gilbert Asuque, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman, said ASEAN leaders would see how they could transform the South China Sea, a potential flash point among claimant countries, into an area of cooperation.

The high cost of fuel is a common problem of ASEAN countries dependent on oil, mostly from the Middle East.

Only three ASEAN countries Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam are oil producers.

After signing a joint seismic exploration agreement on the South China Sea, the Philippines, China and Vietnam called other claimant countries to join them.

The South China Sea is being claimed wholly or in part by the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

ASEAN ministers had earlier drafted a plan of action to explore new initiatives such as promoting bio-energy, or the use of marine- compressed natural gas as an alternative mode for transporting gas.

The ministers agreed to promote the greater utilization of bio-diesel and ethanol in the region, and to seek better cooperation in natural gas development, oil market studies, oil stockpiling and renewable energy. Aurea Calica

GMA's net satisfaction rating falls to 2nd lowest yet: survey 12/08 3:34:58 PM

A recent survey showed Thursday that negative feelings about the performance of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have grown larger, lowering her net satisfaction rating to negative 30.

According to the Social Weather Survey for the Fourth Quarter of 2005 and conducted over November 27 to December 4, the survey found 24% satisfied and 54% dissatisfied, or net -30, with the performance of GMA.

This is comparison to the previous 30% satisfied and 53% dissatisfied, or net -23, in the SWS Third Quarter survey of August 26 to September 5.

The -30 Net Rating is the second-lowest of Pres. Arroyo's term, outdone only by the -33 recorded in the SWS Second Quarter Survey of May 14-23, 2005. It has now been negative for six consecutive quarters, and was last positive in August 2004.

According to socioeconomic class, her net satisfaction rating was -18 among the middle-to-upper ABCs, -30 among the masa or Ds, and -34 among the very poor Es. This compares to the previous survey's -13 among ABCs, -23 among Ds, and -31 among Es.

The Social Weather Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2005 was done over November 27 to December 4 this year using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The survey was not commissioned, but was done on SWS's own initiative. The quarterly Social Weather Surveys are supported by subscribers, who have no proprietary rights over the data.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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