PhilSA to work on security, climate studies and space research

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 23, 2019   •   336

The newly-created Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) will work on the key development areas of the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy which include climate studies and space research.

On Tuesday (October 22), the Philippine Navy conducted the third leg of the Philippine Navy Governance Forum (PNGF) Series 2019 in Manila which discussed “Space Technology and its Significance to National Security and Development.”

Program leader of the National Space Development Program, Dr. Rogel Mari Sese, identified the six (6) 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.

Commodore Nichols A. Driz, Commander of the Naval Installation Command, said it is time for the Philippine Navy role of space study in the future naval systems.

“Space technology is a new opportunity not only for the Navy, but also for the other branches of service and the entire country itself,” he said.—AAC

Don’t forget to catch the Leonid meteor shower this weekend

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 15, 2019

If you missed the Orionids meteor shower last October, or you were not able to catch one meteor during your “star gazing”, then worry not. The Leonid meteor shower will peak this weekend, November 16-17.

READ: Netizens share their Orionids meteor shower experience

Since it’s the weekend, hopefully, you won’t have to worry about your classmates or colleagues seeing your eyebags.

The Leonid meteor shower is active from November 6-30 and will peak in the late hours of November 17 until dawn, according to PAGASA.

A zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) of about 15 meteors might occur during the peak hours of the meteor shower.

Unfortunately, PAGASA said the waning gibbous Moon will interfere with the observations of fainter meteors.

“The Leonids Meteor Shower is created by bits of debris left behind by the repeat passages through the inner solar system of comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle,” according to PAGASA.

Where’s the best place to view meteor showers?

READ: Tara drawing tayo! Ways to make your long weekend memorable

It is always best to view the night sky in high places like in the mountains or rooftops. Less light pollution is also better because too much city or street lights can overpower the light in the night sky.—AAC

House members push for a bigger budget for DOST in 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

The first Philippine-made train developed by DOST that takes the PNR Tutuban-Alabang route. | Photo courtesy of DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute

Members of the House of Representatives are pushing for a bigger budget for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2020.

The DOST’s budget proposal is P20.18 billion, which is P79.85 million lower than its 2019 allocation of P20.26 billion.

However, 2nd District Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. pushed to increase the DOST budget by at least P5 billion for all the provinces across the country.

During the budget briefing of the House Committee on Appropriations, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the efforts of the department has raised the country’s rank by 19 spots in the Global Innovation Index this year.

The DOST Secretary also added that several initiatives of the department has helped address the concerns of the Filipinos. These include the Anti-Dengue Program, the Malnutrition Reduction Program, the creation of Hybrid Electric Trainsets, and others.

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago also expressed hope for the DOST’s budget augmentation.

“I really lament that you have very meager budget…Science and technology should be our top priority,” Elago said.—AAC 

PH will now have its own space agency! Duterte signs Philippine Space Act

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 13, 2019

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

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