Space agency partners with UN body to boost Philippine disaster response

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2021 04:32 PM

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The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) said it would partner with a United Nations office on Friday to improve the country's disaster response through satellite monitoring.

PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph Marciano Jr said his agency would sign a memorandum of understanding with the UN Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which would help the Philippines use satellite technology, among others.

"Iyong layon ng kasunduan ng PhilSA and UNOOSA na higit na palakasin ang ating kakayahan na bumuo at gumamit ng mga space technology para makapaghanda tayo at makapagsasaayos ng mga ahensiya at mga komunidad sa panahon ng mga sakuna, kalamidad at emergencies," he said in a televised public briefing.

(An object of the agreement between PhilSA and UNOOSA is to further strengthen our capability to set up and use space technologies so that we can prepare our agencies and communities in times of disaster, calamities, and emergencies.)

About 20 storms lash the Philippines every year, wiping out harvests and destroying houses. The country is also prone to earthquakes because it straddles the "Ring of Fire," a belt of volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean. 

The Philippines also aims to use satellite technologies for agriculture, environmental protection and conservation, and socio-economic programs, he said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018 created the PhilSA to address all national concerns related to space science and technology.