Duterte govt to create National Space Development Office

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2017 05:42 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. Reuters

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will soon sign an order to create the National Space Development Office, a precursor to the planned Philippine Space Agency.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said the president supports the Philippines’ joining the space race.

Astrophysicist Rogel Sese is happy with this development as space technology will help many sectors like communications, agriculture, and the military.

A bill for creation of space agency is now pending in Congress, and a P1 billion budget will be allotted for its first year of operation.

Sese said, it's important for the Philippines to have its own space agency as the country spends at least P3 billion a year for the purchase of satellite images from other countries.

Asked if there will soon be Filipino astronauts, Sese said part of the long-term plan is for the Philippines to launch space rockets.

He said for now, the focus on developing space technology. He also noted that the Philippines is an ideal location for rocket launches.