Former foreign affairs secretary Albert Del Rosario reiterated that the Philippines has the exclusive right to explore the West Philippine Sea.
"Instead of benefiting the female workforce in general, it may have a negative effect on the economic and political stability of the country," Lascon said.
The consultative meetings aim to maintain friendly relations between the Philippines and China amid a heated maritime dispute.
The Office of Ombudsman has been working to prosecute corruption cases, but Philippine officials continue their corrupt ways, the State Department said.
The Philippines is predominantly Catholic--a religion that only allows annulment and legal separation.
EDCA allows U.S. access to Philippine bases for joint training, pre-positioning of equipment and building of facilities such as runways, fuel storage and military housing, but it is not a permanent presence.
The Philippines and China have seen tensions escalating since earlier this year amid incidents involving the Chinese Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea.
The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between U.S. and Philippine defense chiefs last took place in 2016.
The European Union is moving to increase maritime presence in disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea as the Philippines continues to deepen security and defense ties with its allies.
Singapore's Changi Airport dominated five categories, while the Philippines did not even make it in the Top 100 list.
Three first-time events are taking place in this year's Balikatan Exercise, including an anticipated ship-sinking exercise at the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
The Philippines recently granted the U.S. four new military sites, drawing the ire of the Chinese government.
The Philippine central bank has been pushing for digitalization in the payments sector over the past several years.
The Philippines is shifting its defense focus on territory as the country works to strengthen security ties with its allies.
An author at the think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative believes tensions regarding the West Philippine Sea should not be a reason for the Philippines to not explore energy sources.
As other countries disputing with China over territorial waters pursue gas and oil exploration projects, the Philippines has yet to resume exploration of Recto Bank.