Philippine space ambition gets House boost

December 30, 2018

THE House of Representatives has unanimously approved on third and final reading a proposal to establish the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy and create the Philippine Space Agency.

Voting 207 and without abstentions, the bill, principally authored by Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado, provides for the establishment of the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy (PSDUP) that shall serve as the country’s primary strategic roadmap for space development and shall embody the country’s central goal of becoming a space-capable and space-faring nation within the next decade.

The PSDUP shall focus on the areas of Space  Science and Technology Application (SSTA) to address national issues, promote the efficient use of space assets and resources, establish capacity-building measures for human resource development, and enhance international cooperation.

It shall focus on the following areas to ensure the country’s sustained progress: 1) national security and development; 2) hazard management and climate studies; 3) space research and development; 4) space industry capacity building; 5) space education and awareness; and 6) international cooperation.

Likewise, the bill provides for the creation of the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) as the central government agency to address all national issues and activities related to SSTA.

The PhilSA shall be attached to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to coordinate policies and programs and ensure alignment in national policies and priorities.

Among the functions and powers of the PhilSA are: 1) create, develop and implement national and international space policies; 2) implement the PSDUP; 3) advise the President of the Philippines and government agencies about space-related issues;  4) design, develop and construct the necessary space systems and facilities, as well as launch, track, and operate the satellites on behalf of the Philippine government; and 5) collaborate with space-related agencies of other countries for the peaceful use and development of space technology.

The bill is also authored by Reps. Seth Frederick Jalosjos, John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto, Edward Vera Perez Maceda, Joey Salceda, Maximo Rodriguez, Jr., and Salvador Belaro, Jr., among others.