The country’s push to having its own space program is now realized as President Rodrigo Duterte signed the measure creating the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).
Republic Act (RA) 11363 — officially known as the Philippine Space Act and signed by the Chief Executive on 8 August — establishes the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy which in turn paves the way for PhilSA and will likewise serve as the Philippines’ strategic roadmap for space development.
The measure mandates the PhilSA to be an attached office of the Office of the President and headed by a Director General, to act as main government arm that will deal with all matters concerning issues and activities related to space science and technology applications as well as create and implement a policy centered on space research and development programs.
It also establishes the Philippine Space Council (PSC), to act as the principal advisory body for the coordination and integration of policies, programs, and resources affecting science and technology applications.
The PSC shall be chaired by the President while the secretaries of the Departments of National Defense and Science and Technology will be the vice-chairpersons.
PhilSA’s office and research center shall be headquartered at fhe Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga and Tarlac.
Additional areas for research and launch sites will also be developed in the future.
Initial funding for the Philippines’ new space program is pegged at P1 billion and will be sourced from the OP’s current fiscal year’s appropriation.
Its future budget may be derived from income on its specialized products, services and royalties, as well as accept funding from loans, contributions, grants, bequests, gifts, donations provided that such grants, bequests, contribution and donations from foreign governments as approved by the President upon the recommendation of the PhilSA chief.