Science and Technology

Senate Bill No. 1211: Philippine Space Act

Rocket ships, astronauts, and scenes from outer space are what often come to mind at the mention of Space Science, but there are much more practicai technologicai appiications to this discipiine that can benefit countries iike the Phiiippines.

In fact, both deveioped and developing countries alike, including our ASEAN neighbors, have respective aeronautics and space agencies to build their own spaceships and join the ranks of space-faring nations.

Little known to many Filipinos is that our country has a number of existing programs related to space scjpnce including PAGASA, which has astronomical science programs; the National Mapping & Resource Information Agency (NAMRIA), which requires gathering satellite information; and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), which handles disaster risk management. 

Other applications of space science and technology crucial to our country’s welfare are protection of national territory, natural resources accounting, and capacity building for telecommunications. 

This bill seeks the creation of a Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), which shall be responsible for creating and enacting our nation’s roadmap toward becoming fully participative in global space activity. 

The PhilSA would be responsible for developing space science technology policies, implementirig research and education programs, and establishing industry linkages between private and public sector stakeholders. Lastly, the PhilSA would be our country’s representation for international space agreements and arbitrations. 

A Philippine Space Agency, with its consolidated programs and strategies for space science and technology, will pave the way for future Filipino astronomers, space scientists, and astronauts by laying down a strong foundation in space science education and research.

In view of the foregoing, the passing of this bill is earnestly sought.


Senate Bill No. 679: Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and other S & T Personnel in the Philippines

We find science and technology embedded in every branch of modern life, driving progress and innovation. It is in the best interest of the country and its people to foster our local talent in the field of Science and Technology (S&T) to drive development in the Philippines and improve the lives of millions of Filipinos.

In 2010, only 2.3% of our 31’million workforce were classified under S&T professionals1. In the two-decade assessment of science and technology human resources in our country, a two fold increase in the number of S&T professionals from 1990 to 2010 was coupled with an almost three fold increase in S&T professionals that work overseas2.

In government, the reports2 on the exodus of S&T professionals from agencies like PAGASA, PHILVOLCS, and ASTI has attracted public interest in the past years and motives for their migration were revealed, including uncompetitive local compensation and protracted processing of hazard pay.

In line with these findings, this measure aims to:

1. Remove set limits on additional salary of honoraria for S&T professionals; and
2. Foster ease in accessing benefits for S&T personnel in departments and agencies other than DOST.

It is high time we deliberately retain and empower our Filipino scientists, engineers, researchers, and other science and technology practitioners so we may harness the benefits of S&T to further our national agenda.

Regulations inimical to this interest must be addressed immediately.

In view of the foregoing, the passage of this measure is earnestly sought.


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