Duterte signs law creating Philippine Space Agency
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines will now have its own space agency.
This is after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11363 or the Philippine Space Act on August 8 which will establish the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy which will create the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).
The PhilSA will be the main government agency to tackle issues and activities related to space science and technology applications from crafting and implementing the country’s space policy to undertaking research and development programs and representing the country in international space-related forums and organizations.
The PhilSA will be an attached agency of the Office of the President and will be headed by a Director-General.
The Philippine Space Policy will serve as the country’s primary strategic roadmap for space development and will embody the country’s central goal of becoming a space-capable and space-faring nation within the next decade.
It will focus on six key development areas namely: National Security and Development; Hazard Management and Climate Studies; Space Research and Development; Space Industry Capacity Building; Space Education and Awareness; and International Cooperation.
The law also creates the Philippine Space Council (PSC) which will be the principal advisory body for the coordination and integration of policies, programs, and resources affecting science and technology applications.
The PSC will be chaired by the President of the Philippines, while the Secretaries of Defense and Science and Technology will serve as vice-chairpersons.
A sum of P1 billion is appropriated as initial operating fund for the PhilSA to be taken from the current fiscal year’s appropriation of the Office of the President. /je