The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) has been signed into law by President Duterte to make the country a “space-capable nation” within a decade.
Signed on August 8 and announced today (Tuesday, August 13) Republic Act 11363 calls for a “Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy” which will serve as the country’s strategic roadmap for space development.
Under the law, space policy will focus on national security and development; hazard management and climate studies; space research and development; space industry capacity building; space education and awareness; and international cooperation.
An initial one billion pesos for the PhilSA will be taken from the current fiscal year’s appropriation of the Office of the President. Future funding will be included in the General Appropriations Act.
Additional funding for capital outlay amounting to 10 billion pesos will come from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the next five years.
The new law also establishes the Philippine Space Council, which will coordinate and integrate policies, programmes and resources. This will be chaired by the President of the Philippines.
PhilSA’s head office and research facilities are to be built in 30 hectares of land at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga and Tarlac. Other bases and launch sites are yet to be confirmed.
Before the space agency…
The Philippines has been involved in space technology since the 1960s when the government built a satellite receiving station during the Marcos era. In the 1970s, the country also began work on its first rocket programme.
In 1996, a Filipino private firm, Mabuhay Satellite Corporation, acquired the country’s first satellite, Agila-1. In 1997, the company launched its own telecommunications satellites, Agila 2.
In 2014, the Philippine government partnered with universities in Japan to launch the first micro-satellite developed by Filipinos, Diwata-1. As we reported, the government was able to develop and send two more satellites, Diwata-2 and Maya-1 cube satellite in 2018.
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