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Nationwide Network Data-Sharing System to Establish in the Philippines

The Philippine Space Agency has begun its pre-implementation of a new project to capacitate and enable various sectors to access and use space data in accordance with their needs. The PhilSA Space Information Infrastructure Bureau will carry out the PINAS project, which stands for PhilSA Integrated Network for Space-Enabled Actions Toward Sustainability (SIIB).

PINAS will be an active community of national government agencies, local government units (LGU), research institutions, the civil society, and the private sector, working collaboratively on the socially responsive use of space data and information.

– Dr Ariel C. Blanco, Director, Space Information Infrastructure Bureau

Dr Blanco continued by saying that the PINAS project aims to empower a community by utilising the entire value chain of space data. The significance of space data collected by satellites for planning, monitoring, and local policymaking was underlined.

Dr Ariel emphasised that working together with LGUs, who are direct users of satellite data, will improve on-ground operations even more. Network development, capacity development, and build-up and growth will be the three phases of PINAS. The network building phase has been launched by the SIIB, starting with the Province of Iloilo.

In Dumangas, Iloilo, the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) runs and maintains the third Ground Receiving Station (GRS) in the nation. Over 100 representatives from the province’s LGUs, regional government agencies, and non-government organisations attended the PINAS Project’s pre-implementation workshop.

Participants come from different sectors involved in agriculture, disaster risk reduction management (DRRM), urban and rural planning, environmental monitoring, and natural resource management – all areas where space data could be useful for data-driven policymaking. PhilSA’s goal is to create a community of diverse, responsive, and cooperative members who will ensure long-term knowledge sharing across the country using space products.

The space agency also gave a presentation on the applications of remote sensing and geographic information systems (RS-GIS). This provided an overview of RS-GIS and how information from these images is used for land cover change detection, flood mapping, monitoring of ocean and marine ecosystems, and air quality monitoring efforts, to name a few.

UPV also uses space science and technology applications to detect changes in the environment. One example is studying the enhanced vegetation index over time to detect topographical changes on the UPV Miagao Campus.

Some workshops were also provided, and the participants had the opportunity to identify the problems and challenges that their sectors are facing, as well as the efforts and plan to address those challenges, as well as sites of interest and opportunities for capacity building and networking.

During the workshops, participants were also asked to conduct a baseline survey to assess LGUs’ positions and capabilities in space-related programmes and projects, the use of space data products, ICT infrastructure and human resources, resource allotment, and learning opportunities.

Similar workshops will be conducted in other parts of the Philippines as part of the programme to determine their requirements and talents. Based on these requirements, PhilSA would be able to cooperatively construct a unique capacity-building method and ultimately enable end-users to establish a system for space data access, sharing, and utilisation -this would enable them to fulfil their responsibilities and address the needs of the communities.

Capacity-building activities will begin in 2023. In addition, the establishment of a network data-sharing system and the expansion of this system to other local government entities, research communities, and segments of the civil society will occur soon.

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