Phl. nears being part of the space age league



By Rose de la Cruz


With the launch last August 10 of the Philippines’ first nano satellite called CubeSat into the orbit above the Earth from the International Space Station, the country has come closer to joining the big players in the space age league.


This, as Rep. Salvador Belaro, 1 Ang Edukasyon partylist, congratulated recently the University of the Philippines, his alma mater and the Advanced Science Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology on the historic achievement for UP, the DOST and the Philippines.


Special commendation goes to the Filipino scientists who worked hands-on with the Maya-1: Joven Javier and Adrian Salces who are taking their masters and doctorate, respectively, at Kyutech (Kyushu Institute of Technology).


Two Filipino graduate students under the PHL-Microsat program developed Maya-1 in Japan: Joven Javier is taking his master’s degree while Adrian Salces is taking his doctoral degree, both in Kyutech.


Maya-1 was launched together with the CubeSats of Bhutan and Malaysia. All three CubeSats are part of the 2nd Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Project or BIRDS-2 Project of Kyutech.


As a proponent of the creation of the Philippine Space Agency (HB 6413), I see this moment in Philippine science history as a pivotal, catalytic event that will capture the imagination of my colleagues in Congress and will inspire thousands of Filipino youths interested in pursuing science and technology careers.


This milestone augurs well for both UP and DOST because the budget hearing process is underway and we in Congress will soon come across the budgets of UP and DOST.


This deployment of Maya-1 brings us one step closer to the creation of our very own Philippine Space Agency and onwards to the new frontier of Filipino innovation, genius, imagination, and determination.




There are currently five bills in the House creating the space agency: HB 3637, HB 4275, HB 4367, HB 4623, and HB 6413. I am the author of HB 6413 (AN ACT ESTABLISHING A PHILIPPINE SPACE DEVELOPMENT AND UTILIZATION FRAMEWORK AND CREATING THE PHILIPPINE SPACE AGENCY (PhilSA), DEFINING THE SCOPE OF ITS POWERS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES).


Over at the Senate, there are three bills on the same matter: SBN 1572, SBN 1259, and SBN 1211.


Space exploration can be cost-effective but it will still entail huge capital requirements. It is for this reason I suggest to the DOST and the DOF that they consider issuing Science Bonds for the long-term financing of our space science efforts and the development of our country science, technology, research, as well as education programs on science and mathematics.


I suggest the issuance of Science Bonds because our national budget simply cannot fund all of our science needs given our many development priorities.


While the release of Maya-1 from the International Space Station marks a milestone in space technology for the Philippines, the members of PHL-Microsat program remain focused and committed to the hard work that remains ahead. In particular, the few days after its release, the team members from the Philippines, Bhutan and Malaysia have been working together to establish contact with the CubeSats through the BIRDS ground station network and to perform initial measurements and characterizations, said the press release of the Department of Science and Technology.

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Friday, 17 January 2020
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