Sunday, March 26, 2017

Loren wants ‘space capable’ PH within next 10 years

Sen. Loren Legarda, who traces her roots in Antique and Malabon, has filed Senate Bill No. 1259 which seeks to make the Philippines more “space-capable” within the next 10 years.

Also known as the proposed Philippine Space Act, the lady politiko also wants the creation of a Philippine Space Agency (PSA) and a National Space Development and Utilization Policy (NSDUP).

Legarda said that the agency will be an attached agency of the Office of the President for purposes of policy and program coordination to ensure alignment in national policies and priorities.

The agency will focus on space applications that can preserve and enhance the country’s national security and promote development that is beneficial to all Filipinos.

It is also meant to conduct research and development endeavors in vital areas of space science, technology and allied fields.

Moreover, it will also help develop and utilize space science and technology applications to enhance its hazard management and disaster mitigation strategy as well as ensure the nation’s resiliency to climate change.

It will also create a space industry to support the country’s space program through private sector involvement and cooperation; and establish a pool of trained space scientists, engineers and communicators.

Legarda said the Philippines will eventually become a key player in the ASEAN and global space community by providing significant contributions and capabilities on space science and technology applications.

She noted that Philippines is currently lagging behind its neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, with space agencies with satellites devoted to telecommunications or earth monitoring.

“It is unfortunate that due to lack of local support to this field, many of our globally-competitive Filipino space scientists have instead opted to serve in space agencies abroad,” the lady politiko said.

She explained that space programs and development are not limited to sending astronauts to space and engineering space crafts and technologies.

“Space programs and development address basic needs in our daily lives such as the application of global navigation satellite systems which directly affects industries, transportation management, national security, health management, climate studies and disaster risk management, and the expansion of scientific engineering resources,” Legarda added.

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