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Duterte signs law creating Philippine Space Agency

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law creating a Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).

Duterte signed the Philippine Space Act (RA 11363) on August 8 but a copy of which was released to reporters on Tuesday (August 13).

In signing the new law, Duterte recognized 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.”

Moreover, he said there is also a need “to ensure that the Philippines has official representation in the international space community for establishing cooperation agreements and linkages on space development.”

Under the law, the PhilSA will be the central government agency addressing all national issues and activities related to space and science and technology applications.

The PhilSA will also 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.

It will be an administrative entity of the Executive branch of government.

The law also establishes the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy or the Philippine Space Policy which will serve as the country’s primary strategic roadmap for space development which will embody the country’s goal of becoming a space-capable and space-faring nation within the next decade.

It will prioritize areas of space science and technology applications (SSTAs) that would address national issues, promote the efficient utilization of space assets and resources, establish capacity-building measures for human resources development, strengthen national defense, and enhance international cooperation.

It will also focus on six key development areas namely: National Security and Development; Hazard Management and Climate Studies; Space Research and Development; Space Industry Capacity Building; Space Education and Awareness; and International Cooperation.

Moreover, it also creates the Philippine Space Council (PSC) which will be the principal advisory body for the coordination and integration of policies, programs, and resources affecting science and technology applications. The PSC will be chaired by the President.

Aside from the Philippine Space Act, Duterte also signed the “Murang Kuryente” Act (RA 11371), which seeks to reduce the country’s electricity rates; the “Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act” (RA 11361) which aims to ensure the continuous and uninterrupted transmission and distribution of electricity; and an act (RA 11360) mandating service charge in hotels and restaurants to be distributed in full to all employees. (PNA / Azer Parrocha)

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