MANILA — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) celebrated the World Space Week (WSW) via a two-day event organized by the Science Education Institute (SEI) in Cebu City.
Every October 4-10, the WSW is being observed to gather students and teachers to learn more about space science and its benefits to the society.
For this year’s theme, “Exploring New Worlds in Space”, the SEI held space-related activities in Cebu last October 4-5, with a goal of reaching a wider audience since it was the first time the SEI held the celebration in Visayas.
“We hope that students will realize the oppor-tunities in space science,” SEI Director Josette Biyo said.
Among the activities that the SEI has organized included a lecture on Opportunities for Space Science in the Philippines, on-the-spot poster making contest, and the annual National Water Rocket Competition.
It may be recalled that DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena always note the importance of space technology, and also said that the creation of Space Technology Agency is a priority bill for the DOST.
According to him, there are only four ASEAN countries which doesn’t have a Space Agency Bill. Aside from the Philippines, the other three are Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, he added.
The Science chief said the country can expand its growth opportunities through space technology. “It can help us do many things,” he said, adding that space technology can help in monitoring the state of agricultural pro-duction as well as national security.
Dela Peña said early warnings when threatened by natural disasters can also be attained through space technology, and thus, this would make communities more resilient.
Late last year, Dela Pena said the DOST has prepared a National Space Development Program for 2016-2016. The 10-year program will focus on development areas such as national security and development, space research and development, hazard management and climate studies.
During the 23rd Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APR-SAF-23) that the Philippines hosted last November, Dela Pena stressed that the government would invest substantially in space technology development, particularly in the next 10 years.
He earlier told the Philippine News Agency that for the DOST’s long-term goal of strengthening its satellite development capacity and create a robust space industry, it has allotted PHP1 billion for the National Space Program for 2017-2018.
Beyond 2018, he said the budget is P2 billion per year. Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA