The House committees on government reorganization and on science and technology are now jointly consolidating several proposals to create a Philippine space development and utilization policy and a Philippine Space Agency (PSA) in response to the growing need for a more secure and independent access to space.
The two committees recently approved the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to consolidate the following measures: House Bill No. 3637, authored by Reps. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (2nd District, Bohol) and Seth Frederick Jalosjos (1st District, Zamboanga del Norte); HB 4275 by Reps. John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto (3rd District, Manila) and Edward Vera-Perez Maceda (4th District, Manila); HB 4367 by Rep. Joey Salceda (2nd District, Albay); and HB 4623 by Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City).
Under the bills, the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy will serve as the country’s primary strategic roadmap for space development and embodies the country’s central goal of becoming a space-capable and space-faring nation within the next decade.
Earlier, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) revealed that Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved its proposal for a 10-year Space Development Program (SDP) with a funding of P24 billion.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Space Agency (PSA) will be the central government agency which will address all national issues and activities related to space science and technology applications.
DOST undersecretary for research and development Rowena Cristina Guevarra told lawmakers that the creation of a PSA is much needed by the country to cope with Asean countries in space undertakings, and because the DOST has accumulated the technical know-how for space technology.
Guevarra cited the Philippines is among five countries in Southeast Asia without a space agency, along with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Brunei.
“With the establishment of a PSA, the country will be well on our way to the 22nd century,” said Guevarra.
Asked by Rep. Alberto Ungab (3rd District, Davao City) if there have been steps taken by the DOST for space development programs, Guevarra said the agency conducted a study on the use of space technology three years ago.
Moreover, the DOST invested in the PHL Microsat Program, which launched the country’s micro-satellite Diwata-1.
Dr. Carlos Primo David, director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD, explained that developing technologies for space application will help address concerns about security, climate change, weather forecasting, and Internet connectivity.