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12:15 PM, January 3, 2017
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Philippines Plans Space Agency For National Security, Hazard Management

Philippines will be establishing space agency for application of global navigation satellite systems to address the need of national security and disaster management.

The senator Sen. Loren Legarda filed Senate Bill 1259 or "An act establishing a Philippine Space Development Policy and creating the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), defining its purpose, appropriating funds therefore and for other purposes."

The proposed policy will serve as the country's primary strategic roadmap for space development, Legarda was quoted as saying by Philstar Global today.

Under the proposed measure, a sum of P1 billion ($20.1 million) will be appropriated as initial operating fund for the PhilSA, taken from the budget of Department of Science and Technology and Department of National Defense.

"It must be considered that the Philippines is lagging behind its neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, each having Space Agencies with satellites devoted on telecommunications or earth monitoring," Legarda said.

"Space programs and development are not limited to sending astronauts to space or engineering space crafts and technologies, but they, in fact, 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, and the expansion of scientific and engineering resources," the senator added.

The proposed Philippine space development policy will focus on six key development areas. The policy would focus on national security and development, and also hazard management and climate studies. Other areas it focuses would be space research and development as well as space industry and capacity building.

Further the policy also aims for space education and awareness as well as international cooperation.

The PhilSA agency will be the primary policy and administrative entity of the executive branch of the government in promoting the national space program. It will be an attached agency of the Office of the President and will be headed by a director general.

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