The Philippines is closer to the establishment of its own space agency with Senate Bill 1983 or the Philippine Space Act now hurdling second reading in the Senate.
The Senate is expected to tackle the proposed law once it resumes session after the May elections. The House of Representatives has already approved its version of the bill.
The bill will then have to hurdle two more steps, third reading and bicameral conference committee, before it goes to Malacaňang for the signing of the president.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the agency that has been pushing for the bill’s passage, is ecstatic at the possible the creation of the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).
Enrico Paringit, the new executive director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), said the government is pushing hard for the Philippines to have its own space agency.
“We thank our senators for heeding our call to have the Space Bill be part of the law of the land and we hope that they see it through and ensure its passage,” he said.
Through PhilSA, the country is expected to improve its capability in national security, hazard management, climate studies, space research, external relations, and in many more areas, driving scientific progress and boosting growth and employment in areas such as telecommunications, navigation, and manufacturing.
In a space industry forum held last January 29 at Shangri-la at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City, DOST secretary Fortunato de la Pena said that agency is looking forward to “developing and fabricating satellites locally like Diwata-1 and 2 and Maya-1, through the country’s highly-skilled researchers in the academe, in partnership with local industry.”
Paringit stressed that the Philippines is ready to have a national space agency that will centralize the technical and financial resources of the country.
“The passage of the bill will boost our capabilities when it comes to space research and development and utilization. We can do more and give to the Filipino more with a central agency that will be taking our journey to space with a central focus and mission,” he said.