The Philippines may soon have its own space agency. According to Filipino astrophysicist Dr. Rogel Mari, both Congress and the Senate have filed bills for the creation of a Philippine Space Agency.
Both House Bill 3637 and Senate Bill 1211 looks to legislate “a Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy and create a Philippine Space Agency”, according to Mari Sese’s Facebook post on Tuesday.
And why does our country need a space agency? Sese says that a having a Space Agency and a solid space policy would ensure access to space for sustainable economic growth, according to an interview with GMA News Online.
“Independent access to space is no longer a luxury but rather a necessity even for developing countries such as ours,” he added.
House Bill 3637 was filed by Bohol Rep. Erico Aumentado and Zamboanga del Norte 1st District Rep. Seth Frederick Jalosjos, while Senator Bam Aquino filed Senate Bill 1211.
And while a Space Agency conjures images of astronauts, the creation of the Philippine Space Agency would primarily be tasked with more mundane tasks like weather imaging and telecommunications.
The Philippines has already taken steps towards the stars via Diwata, the first satellite developed by Filipinos. Packing a high precision telescope for imaging, it’s used for assessment of damage due to natural disasters, multi-spectral imaging for monitoring bodies of water and vegetation and has a wide field camera for observing large-scale weather patterns.