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Philippine Agencies Collaborate for Space and Technology

Image credits: philsa.gov.ph

It’s another case of technology exploration to further the cause of a nation. In a bid to enhance the country’s national security and development, the Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) Director General Joel Joseph Marciano Jr. Specifically, their joint effort uses the Space Science and Technology Applications (SSTA) towards this end.

Under the MOU, PhilSA and DND will collaborate on the following key areas:

  1. Sharing of know-how on space science and technology applications (SSTA) and other related information;
  2. Capacity building and joint training on the application of satellite-based technologies including remote sensing, geographic information systems, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and satellite communications;
  3. Research & Development (R&D) activities, conditional exchange and/or co-location of experts and personnel, and;
  4. Organising public conferences, symposia, workshops and events.

It’s a legally-mandated initiative. The MOU supports the mandate of PhilSA under RA 11363 or the Philippine Space Act to implement activities related to National Security and Development. It’s one of the six Key Development Areas in the government’s SSTA development policy.

Our partnership entails the implementation and advancement of space capabilities and applications that preserve and enhance the country’s national security and promote development that is beneficial to all Filipinos. 

– Joel Joseph Marciano Jr, Director General, Philippine Space Agency

Director General Marciano stipulated that his agency has assured the DND of active engagement in its defence modernisation drive through the exchange of information, R&D collaboration, training, and other capacity building in space-enabled applications.

The Defence Department is more than happy to welcome such development. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed confidence that with PhilSA leading the country in SSTA, the Philippine defence and security sector will be able to “reach new heights in research and development.”

The MOU between the Department of National Defence and the Philippine Space Agency recognises that the mandates of our two agencies go hand in hand, with science and technology playing a crucial part in developing our capabilities to better protect our country.

Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defence

The partnership should be able to discover a new range of opportunities to develop and enhance the country’s national security and defence systems. Both agencies working hand in hand should be able to explore the development, application and utilisation of the nation’s space capabilities.

It’s not the first time the PhilSA has tied up with other government agencies to further the country’s welfare. Earlier this year, it signed an MOU with the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) to boost maritime security through space-enabled technologies. With these engagements, PhilSA is committed to utilising SSTA in support of safeguarding Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Such joint efforts to utilise technology are being more widely deployed across sectors and agencies in the nation. In its pursuit of digital adoption, it has sought expert knowledge from other countries. For instance, the Philippine Government signed an MOU with the United States to explore nuclear energy. That should move the needle for the whole country when it comes to sustainable power.

Indeed, when it comes to digital transformation, the country has made the most of expert partners and knows how powerful digitisation can be. Recently, Manila tapped tech organisations to implement digital maps for its long stretch of bike lanes. Its Supreme Court is looking to use AI to expedite its long cases lits, as reported on OpenGov Asia.

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