By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is eyeing the use of modern satellites to keep tabs on the country’s maritime borders and track down terrorists and lawless elements.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the government must scale up to such technology to better monitor and protect the country’s resources, apart from boosting the country’s telecommunications network.
“I’m actually the advocate for the use of more satellites in the Cabinet,” Esperon said during a recent Palace news conference.
“And we will soon be coming up with the one which will be an imagery satellite to look into such things as oceans and seas,” he added.
Esperon, who presented the government’s National Security Policy, said the country has a massive maritime area that requires improved satellite surveillance system.
“Our has such a big area with a large maritime area to the right and to the left and to the — to the south as well as to the north. So, we would wonder why we don’t have satellite, imagery satellites,” he said.
Esperon said his “main advocacy” was the use of satellites for communications to improve on the “land-based backbone” by local telcos Globe and Smart. “The penetration of the two leading telcos, is not — is so much on in the urban areas but what do we have in the rural areas?” he said.
The satellites could also enhance intelligence gathering to combat terrorism and other security threats, according to Esperon.
“In our job, we would constantly look at the threats of terrorism, illegal drugs, criminality, lawlessness, of course, anti-graft and corruption, including illegal gambling,” he said.