(Photo from PBBM's official Facebook page)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos on Tuesday presided over a meeting with the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) to discuss the national space program.

Based on a photo uploaded on Marcos’ official Facebook page, PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph Marciano Jr. was giving the President an overview of the agency’s mandate and its space program.

State-run Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), in a separate Facebook post, said the meeting between Marcos and PhilSA officials was held at Malacañan Palace’s State Dining Room.

Apart from Marciano, Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. and Department of National Defense Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. were also present during the meeting, RTVM said.

Malacañang has yet to provide further details about the meeting.

PhilSA, created by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 11363 or the Philippine Space Act, is responsible in addressing all issues and activities related to space science and technology (S&T) application.

It is an attached agency of the Office of the President (OP) mandated to be the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing and administrative entity of the Executive Branch that will plan, develop and promote the national space program in line with the Philippine Space Policy.

As the national space agency, PhilSA is tasked to safeguard Philippine sovereignty, territorial integrity, and interest; support and commit to the S&T development, application and utilization; and ensure access to space and its environs.

PhilSA is also directed to create a coherent and unified strategy for space development and utilization; ensure the Philippines’ official representation in the international space community; and abide by various international space treaties and principles promulgated by the United Nations.

PhilSA is asking for around PHP756.325 million to fund its 2023 operations.

In 2023, PhilSA intends to allot about PHP828 million for development the Multispectral Unit for Land Assessment (MULA) project, the country’s satellite development project that is eyed for launch in 2025.

PhilSA is also negotiating with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for capital outlay that will be used in building satellite testing facilities. (PNA)