Philippine Space Agency signed into law
Quezon City, Ph – The Department of Science and Technology, headed by Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, held a press conference yesterday to shed light on the establishment of the Philippine Space Agency at the ULYS3ES Building, EEEI Building, University of the Philippines Diliman.
With the establishment of the Philippine Space Agency under Republic Act 11363, all space science and technology applications in the country will be centralized into a single agency. The PhilSA will be an attached agency of the Office of the President for purposes of policy and program coordination, to ensure alignment in national policies and priorities.
During his presentation Sec. Dela Peña talked about the existing space science and technology applications being developed and housed under DOST. He said that the agency has invested a total of P7.48 billion on space-related research and development. This includes 15 space-related programs and projects implemented by different universities and agencies across the country (e.g., PEDRO Center, Stamina4Space); three (3) Filipino-made satellites that currently are operational (Diwata 1 & 2, Maya-1); 25 space R&D Facilities operating nationwide (ground receiving stations housed in DOST-ASTI and Davao), among others.
“This landmark bill will pave the way for the Philippines to join other nations which have their own space agencies. We are no longer bystanders when it comes to [space] technology. We can now do things. What we have done mostly were in the areas of space research and development, and space industry capacity building,” Sec. Dela Peña said.
Under the law, the PhilSA will become the main government agency to take up activities and issues related to space science, space technology, and its applications. These include the crafting and implementation of space policies, space-related research, as well as related development programs. The key development and priority areas include:
- National Security and Development
- Hazard Management and Climate Studies
- Space Research and Development
- Space Industry Capacity Building
- Education and Awareness
- International Cooperation
This means that the officials of PhilSA will be representing the country in international space events like for a, meeting, and agreements.
The PhilSA will be composed of the Office of the Director General, and under are the offices of the Deputy Director Generals, and various divisions under these DDGs. The Director General will have the rank of a Cabinet Secretary and shall provide direction and supervision over the entire operations of the Agency. The officials will also serve as Presidential advisors for space matters and advise the President on developments in space science, technology, and applications.
The Philippine Space Council will then be composed of the following:
- Chairperson – President of the Philippines
- Vice Chairperson – Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology
- Vice Chairperson – Secretary of the Department of National Defense
- Members- Senate Committee Chair on S&T, House Committee Chair on S&T, Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority, and Secretaries of:
When asked if the Philippines can keep up with the space initiatives of other countries, Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr., Acting Director of the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute said that we can take partnerships with other countries.
“We can send Filipinos to study there and because they are breaking new grounds, we can be right in the middle of it through our people studying in the universities, to international cooperation projects, that’s how we can keep pace with them. Being pragmatic in the beginning, we probably start off on continuing what we are doing, momentum on building small satellites. But we’re not precluding the possibility that later on, the Filipinos will be in space,” he added.
Welcome to the space age. Officially, we are now a part of the space-faring nations!
The University Laboratory for Small Satellites and Space Engineering Systems (ULyS3ES), located in the University of the Philippines Diliman Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP-EEEI) is scheduled for formal inauguration on August 31, 2019. Through the Development of Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) which is now succeeded by the Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement Program STAMINA4Space Program, the ULyS3ES facility was established with the goal to become the hub for university space research innovation and collaboration.