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November 15, 2016

CONG JOEY SALCEDA WANTS PHILIPPINES TO HAVE ACCESS TO SPACE

Legazpi City — Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has recently filed a bill establishing the country’s space development and utilization policy and creating the primary agency that will spearhead the program of space access, science and technology applications.

Salceda said House Bill No. 4367, also referred to as the “Philippine Space Act of 2016,” serves as a response to the growing need for the country for a secure and independent access to space through the establishment of its own space policy and space agency.

The bill proposes the creation of the Philippine Space Agency or PhilSA, as the central government agency addressing all national issues and activities related to space science and technology applications, and the safeguard the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and interest.

PhilSA shall 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 bill further proposes.

Rep. Salceda said space technology has become ubiquitous that many modern activities would not operate without space systems, such as satellites, to provide capabilities in communications, environmental monitoring, navigation, disaster assessment, defense and security.

This, he added, has made space infrastructure and capabilities as an indispensable asset of society and an essential requirement for any modern country. As a developing country and an emerging economic powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific region, Salceda said it is crucial for the Philippines to embark in the efficient utilization of space science and technology applications to address various national development and security issues and keep up with the rest of the world that is gradually becoming more space capable.

joey_salcedaHe said the “creation of a national space policy to serve as the Philippines’ primary strategic roadmap for space development will embody the goal of the country to become a space-capable and space-faring nation”.
The establishment of a national space agency responsible for addressing space-related issues, advance space science and technology research, coordinate all national space activities, and provide a framework for harmonious cooperation will ensure the country’s space development goals are realized, said Salceda.

With a strong national space policy and agency, he added that the Philippines can become a significant member and contributor to the global space community in the future. The bill aims to: safeguard Philippine sovereignty, territorial integrity, interest, and the right to self determination as mandated under Article II, section 7 of the 1987 Constitution; support and commit to the development of science and technology, such as the development of space technology and applications for its security and for the benefits of its citizens; ensure the access of space and its environs as a sovereign right and stipulates the need to create a national strategy for space development.

It also seeks to: recognize the urgent need to create a coherent and unified strategy for space development and utilization to keep up with other nations in terms of space science and technology; ensure the country’s official representation in the international space community for establishing cooperation agreements and linkages on space development; and ensure that the Philippines abides by the various international space treaties and principles promulgated by the United Nations and is an active participant in the international space community.

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