Attention space geeks: Senate OKs bill creating the Philippine Space Agency
Aileen Cerrudo • May 20, 2019 • 2651
The senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to establish a Philippine Space Agency.
On Monday (May 20), the Senate voted 18-0 in favor of Senate Bill No. 1983 or an Act Establishing the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy and Creating the Philippine Space Agency.
The bill was introduced by Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Vicente Sotto III, Loren Legarda, and Sonny Angara.
According to Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, the bill aims to improve disaster management as well as enhance production and profitability of agribusinesses.
“Satellites can improve disaster management from providing accurate information that allows early warnings and predicting of disasters to reliable and quick communication during relief and recovery operations,” Aquino said in his sponsorship speech.
Once the law is passed, the new agency will have an initial funding of P1 billion for the space program from the current fiscal year’s appropriation of the Office of the President.
“An additional P10 billion will come from the gross income of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for five years after the effectivity of the act, with P2 billion to be released to PhilSA yearly,” the statement said.
The Poe family commemorated the 80th birthday of Fernando Poe Jr. on Tuesday (Aug 20) at the Manila North Cemetery.
They also distributed grocery packs and toys to some 200 indigent families.
Senator Grace Poe is still overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for their family.
“Kakaiba talaga ito kasi 15 taon na. Umulan o umaraw, halos hindi pa rin natitinag iyong mga nagmamahal kay FPJ (It is still overwhelming because it has been 15 years. Rain or shine, their love for FPJ is still there),” she said.
Lovi Poe, meanwhile, posted old photos of her father on her insta-story.
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act No. 11363 or the Philippine Space Act which will enable the Philippines to have its own space agency.
The president signed R.A. 11363 on August 8. The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) aims to develop the country’s space technology. This includes research and development of programs for the country to have a representation in the international space community.
PhilSA will also improve disaster management as well as enhance production and profitability of agribusinesses.
The national space agency will be headed by a director-general.
The six key development areas of PhilSA include: National Security and Development; Hazard Management and Climate Studies; Space Research and Development; Space Industry Capacity Building; Space Education and Awareness; and International Cooperation.—AAC
Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed his support to the resolution filed by Senators Franklin Drilon and Panfilo Lacson to allow Senator Leila de Lima to join them in the plenary session thru teleconferencing.
Lacson said they have ready equipment for that purpose.
It is the same equipment that the Senate used during then-Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s term when Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was allowed to join the Senate sessions while in detention.
Once the resolution is approved, De Lima will be able to interpellate in the plenary and file her proposed amendments on existing laws.
De Lima, however, will not be allowed to vote as Senate rules dictate that a senator must be physically present in the plenary to vote.
The lady senator, nevertheless, considered this news a welcome development.
“Great news! Answered prayers. I’ve been longing to be given such privilege so I can more meaningfully fulfill my mandate,” she said.
De Lima’s camp said they still need to seek clearance from the Philippine National Police (PNP) for this.
Atty. Raymond Baguilat, De Lima’s counsel, said: “Ang rules ng PNP regarding sa mga tao sa custodial ayun nga, bawal ang electronic gadget. So, lahat yan kailangan ng approval ng PNP so iaakyat yan kay Gen. Albayalde [Among the PNP’s rules regarding personalities in the custodial facility is that electronic gadgets are not allowed. So, we need the approval of the PNP and this has to be elevated to Gen. Albayalde].”
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chairperson Dante Jimenez, however, is doubtful that this will be allowed by the court.
“I’m pretty sure the court will deny that,” Jimenez said.
The Senate Committee on Rules said that it still has to study the resolution before they present it to the plenary for the senators to deliberate and vote on. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
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