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Duterte signs law creating a national agency that ushers the country into the space-age

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By Genalyn Kabiling

A new Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) has been established based on a new law signed by President Duterte amid the government resolve to propel the country into a space-capable nation within the next decade.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Apart from creating the PhilSA, Republic Act No. 11363 establishes the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy as well as P10-billion Philippine Space Development Fund.

Under the Philippine Space Act, the PhilSA will be established as the central government entity addressing all national issues and activities on space research development, and related science and technology applications.

“The PhilSA will be the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that will plan, develop and promote the national space program in line with the Philippine Space Policy,” the law read.

The new agency, which will be headed by a director-general, will be an attached agency of the Office of the President.

The new law also stated that the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy or the Philippine Space Policy will serve as “the country’s strategic roadmap for space development and will embody the country’s central goal of becoming of a space-capable and space-faring nation within the next decade.”

It will focus on six key development areas such as 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 created the Philippine Space Council (PSC) as the principal advisory body for the coordination and integration of policies, programs, and resources affecting science and technology applications. The council will be chaired by the President, with the Secretary of Science and Technology and Secretary of National Defense as vice-chairpersons.

The Philippine Space Development Fund will be used exclusively for the PhilSA and will be administered by the PhilSA director-general.

The P10 billion allocations will be sourced from the income of the Philippine Amusement Agency and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the next five years. Of the amount, P2 billion will be released to the PhilSA per year.

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