The Philippines, as much as possible, has its hands away from anything to do with the universe. Why? Because these types of projects and expeditions are taken care of by richer, first-world countries. However, since last year, the Philippines is attempting to improve in terms of space and technology. An update from the Philippine Senate passed the Philippine Spaces Act; it had a voting of 18-0 and this act looks to have a Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).
What is the Philippine Spaces Act?
As per the Senate, the PhilSa will be a branch of the government to deal with the national space program as well as promoting and developing it. So, we will have our very own, somewhat a space system participating with other first-world countries of the world.
When was this measure passed?
Last December, the House passed this measure. However, the Philippine Spaces Act that was delivered and passed was their own version. No idea has been placed like this before so everyone is hoping for the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSa) to become a reality.
Based on the provision, the Philippine Space Policy will become the Philippines’ main roadmap and planning facility in terms of space development. More so, the Philippine Space Agency will personify the goal of our country to become a nation that is both space-faring and space-capable. Their target is to be able to pursue this within the next decade.
Focus of the Philippine Space Agency
Of course, there are other goals of this PSA that would be beneficial to the country. As a matter of fact, the Philippine Space Policy would put emphasis on: space industry capacity building, management and studies of hazard and climate, space awareness and education, national security and development, and of course, international cooperation.
A total of thirty (30) hectares of land will be allotted to PhilSA and it will be within the vicinity of the Clark Special Economic Zone in Tarlac and Pampanga; this is where they will construct their research facilities and offices for the Philippine Space Agency.
They will be allowed to construct and add offices, launch sites, and additional offices if deemed necessary and if for a cause that will enhance and improve the projects and the facilities of the PhilSA.
Budget of the Philippine Space Agency
As per the budget department, the budget that will be given to the PhilSA is P2 billion annually within the first five (5) years when the PhilSA gets recognized as law.
The fund will be coming from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) as well as the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
Fund-wise, it’s quite a large amount of money but of course, the budget that is allocated is for the appropriate use of improving and enhancing he resources of the PhilSA.
In addition to that, the PhilSA will also be granted a P1 billion fund from the national budget; this will serve as the initial fund to be able to proceed with the operations when the institution begins.
What will happen when the Philippine Space Agency gets signed into law?
If our dear President Rodrigo Duterte signs this into law, the Philippine Space Agency will obtain the functions and the responsibilities of the Philippine Space Science Education Program of the Science Education Institute.
As of this moment, they are under the government body of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV was the one who sponsored this Senate Bill No. 1983 or more commonly known as the Act Establishing the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy and Creating the Philippine Space Agency.
He hopes that this can enhance the disaster management by giving better, more accurate and efficient information.
Satellites can improve disaster management from providing accurate information that allows early warnings and predicting of disasters to reliable and quick communication during relief and recovery operations.”
He adds that this can enhance the lives of people—from the lives of Filipino farmers, to those who earn using the Internet.
A solid space program can improve disaster management, enhance the lives of Filipino farmers, speed up our internet and telecommunications systems and help us build better, more livable cities. Let us continue to dream big for our country and let us never tire of finding better solutions for our countrymen.”
If we have our very own Space Agency, we no longer have to rely on other countries’ news about what’s happening out there—more so, it’s going to be another milestone that our country has achieved.