HEADLINES

Thinking Beyond Space

By Francis Ryan B. Pabiania | News Writer

Vol. XCI No. 6

Sept. 6, 2019


In a report from the Manila Times, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported the budget utilization of government agencies has improved in the first seven months of 2019, agencies used P1.569 trillion of the P1.688 trillion released under the Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA) from January to July.

However, in its effort to appropriately fund national and local agencies, the Philippine government still struggles to equalize the economic condition of its people. Yet another expense looms with Republic Act 11363, a quite ambitious law that would establish our own space agency akin to US’ NASA.

President Duterte signed earlier this month the Philippine Space Act, creating the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) tasked to plan, develop and promote the national space program in the next decade.

Significantly, the approval of the Philippine Space Agency would be helpful in elevating science and technology in the Philippines. Senator Bam Aquino, who penned the bill before the end of his term, said that the launching of a space program would give Filipinos a new perspective and valuable insights that could help solve some of the country’s biggest problems. These include satellites that would improve disaster management, environmental conservation and preservation, urban planning, transportation and communication networks. But if there is one sector that PhilSA would directly and immediately benefit, it would arguably be agriculture.

PhilSA seeks to give the country more accurate and timely data about its atmospheric and geographic conditions helpful in stepping up the management of our agricultural resources, given that our country economically depends on it. According to Fact Sheet Philippines, agriculture contributes an average of 20 percent to its gross domestic product and involves about 40 percent of its workers.

With the help of PhilSA, we can cope with the prevalent climatic threats to our crops, livestock and fisheries – those that do not only spell income but also fill stomachs.

We measure people’s well being through how they can sustain providing food on their tables. Apparently, that would be far-fetched without our flourishing agriculture, which can be improved notches with space satellite technology.

PhilSA may be a subject of awe to some or scrutiny by others, but we can’t deny the boons it could bring in the long run. Regardless of how we look at it, at the end of the day, thinking forward at a great expense will definitely pay off greater dividends.

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