DOST-ASTI, PhilSA sign Tripartite Memoranda w/ Landbank, DA-BFAR

8 Aug 2023 4:59 PM

Quezon City, Ph-- In response to Presidential Proclamation No. 302 declaring August 8-14 of every year to be the Philippine Space Week, the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) launched a series of events with the theme Yamang Kalawakan Tungo sa Maunlad na Kinabukasan today. This initiative stands as a testament to the agency's unwavering dedication to advancing the nation's interests in space exploration and technology. 

With the goal of promoting space awareness as mandated by the proclamation, the PhilSA hosted the signing of Memoranda with different National Government and Non-Government Agencies, including the tripartite memorandum of understanding among DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and PhilSA with the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) and Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), respectively. 

The MOU with the LBP stands with the goal of development and utilization of Space-related technologies for financial applications; while the agreement with DA-BFAR seeks the development, application, and use of nighttime satellite images in support of fisheries and conservation, protection, and management of marine biodiversity. 

Engr. Alvin E. Retamar shakes hand with DA-BFAR Assistant Director Isidro M. Velayo, Jr., after the ceremonial signing of MOU

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to PhilSA, Landbank of the Philippines, and DA-BFAR for their unwavering patience, support, and understanding throughout the process of forging our respective memoranda,” said Engr. Alvin E. Retamar representing DOST-ASTI in the event. 

 “Your willingness to collaborate, adapt, and work harmoniously, as well as your insights, expertise, and contributions have enriched the foundation of our partnership, which in turn laid the groundwork for a promising future of advancing space science and technology applications in the field of research and collaboration for financial applications as well as data science for fisheries and aquatic resources,” he added. 

[In front from L-R] DOST-ASTI representative Engr. Alvin E. Retamar, PhilSA Director-General Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr., and Landbank of the Philippines' Senior Vice President Elcid Pangilinan pose after the signing of MOU on Development and Utilization of Space-Related Technologies for Financial Applications

In his message as a member of the Philippine Space Council, Department of Science and Technology’s Secretary Renato U. Solidum also extended his support to PhilSA’s endeavors. 

“The Department of Science and Technology is one with the Philippine Space Council in recognizing the significance of space S&T in addressing various challenges in our society and communities. I know you’ll agree with me when I say that space infrastructure is a key component of Yamang Kalawakan. This is why with the support and collaboration of various stakeholders from the government, academe, civil society, and the private sector, the Philippines is now well-equipped to harness the vast opportunities, resources, and infrastructure offered by space science and technology,” he added.  

DOST Secretary Renato Ul Solidum, Jr., gave his message in his capacity as a member of the Philippine Space Council

Aside from the launch of the activities, PhilSA also celebrates its fourth-year anniversary today. In his speech, Director-General Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr., said that PhilSA is fortunate and proud that the agency now rises along the ranks of various international organizations and space agencies because of the personnel who built the Diwata microsatellites and Maya nanosatellites, as well as those involved in ground receiving station operations (the PEDRO Center) and GRASPED.  

“[These] were really accomplishments of the DOST that we kind of inherited. Personnel from DATOS who work for processing and value-adding on satellite images had also been assimilated into the space agency. Various workflows had been institutionalized within its bureaus and divisions. The people, the teams, that are now in PhilSA equipped us with capabilities that allow us not only to preserve the country’s space development momentum but more importantly to continue building forward,” he said. 

What we have so far

What the Philippines have so far are indispensable tools in driving socio-economic development in our country. From revolutionizing communication and navigation to enhancing disaster preparedness and environmental monitoring, space technology has been vital in addressing the pressing needs of our society.

The synergy between the DOST and PhilSA exemplifies the power of collaboration and dedication of the agencies’ researchers and scientists. By nurturing local talent, fostering innovation, and investing in emerging technology in space S&T, both DOST and PhilSA have paved the way for the nation to explore, innovate, and contribute to the global space community. 

DOST-ASTI commits to supporting this undertaking within the bounds of our mandate, that is, the science and technology infrastructure that we run, which exists to support national initiatives that drive groundbreaking discoveries and further revolutionize the landscape of space science and technology in the Philippines.