Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) Deputy Director General Gay Jane P. Perez, Ph.D., delivered the Philippine National Statement under Agenda Item No. 3 on “General Exchange of Views” on 02 June 2021 during the 60th Session of the Legal Subcommittee (LSC) of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS).
The 60th Session of the LSC, currently being held in hybrid format, began on 31 May and will end on 11 June 2021.
The Philippine Delegation representing the country in this forum is led by PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr., PhD. He is joined and supported by representatives from PhilSA, the Philippine Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
In her statement, Dr. Perez highlighted PhilSA’s role “in developing and complementing the national space program through international partnerships and collaborations” – emphasizing that PhilSA will be signing its first international agreements with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) this June.
Here is the Deputy Director General’s full statement:
60TH SESSION OF THE LEGAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE PEACEFUL USES OF OUTER SPACE
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL STATEMENT
AGENDA ITEM NO. 3 “GENERAL EXCHANGE OF VIEWS” | 02 JUNE 2021
GAY JANE P. PEREZ
DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINE SPACE AGENCY (PhilSA)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Madam Chair and distinguished delegates,
It took forty-two years after joining the Committee in 1977 for the Philippines to enact the landmark piece of legislation we now call Republic Act 11363 or the Philippine Space Act, which was signed by the President of the Philippines on August 8, 2019. This achievement was the product of a long process of consultations, planning, research, and outreach involving different stakeholders in the government, the Filipino public, the academe, and the business sector, with the support of the international community.
The enactment of the Philippine Space Act marks the Philippines’ formal recognition of the increasing strategic importance of space and its peaceful uses for the benefit of Filipinos and all humanity. The law provides a framework for the Philippine Space Policy that will enable the country to become a truly space-capable and space-faring nation, specifically identifying six key development areas which are 1) National Security and Development, 2) Hazard Management and Climate Studies, 3) Space Research and Development, 4) Space Industry Capacity Building, 5) Space Education and Awareness, and 6) International Cooperation. To realize these goals, the Philippine Space Act mandated the creation of the Philippine Space Agency or PhilSA, which now serves as the central government agency addressing all national issues and activities related to space.
Grounded by our legislated mandate, we emphasize PhilSA’s role in developing and complementing the national space program through international partnerships and collaborations, as well as in ensuring that the Philippines is represented and remains an active participant in the global space community.
We likewise wish to reaffirm the Philippines’ commitment, through the PhilSA, with the able support of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the members of the Philippine Space Council, that we will continue exploring avenues for cooperation with other international partners in line with our shared goals.
Toward this objective, I am pleased to share with you that the PhilSA will finally sign its very first international agreements in the coming days: a Memorandum of Understanding with the UNOOSA, and a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA. Both agreements cover a wide range of impactful areas of cooperation, with emphasis on research and development, hazard and disaster studies and management, and education and capacity building.
On this note, I wish to take this opportunity to invite fellow delegations to the virtual signing ceremony of the PhilSA-UNOOSA MOU, an official LSC side event, on Friday, 04 June 2021. The MOU will be signed by PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph S. Marciano Jr. and UNOOSA Director Madam Simonetta di Pippo.
Madam Chair and distinguished delegates,
We wish to express our support for the work of the Legal Subcommittee, including the Working Groups on the Status of the Five UN Treaties on Outer Space, on the Definition and Delimitation of Outer Space, on the “Space2030” Agenda, and the informal consultations on space resources. We reaffirm the Philippines’ active participation and keen interest in these initiatives.
My delegation is also pleased to co-sponsor the Report and the accompanying side event on the Status of the National Space Legislation of Countries in the Asia Pacific Region, by our country, the Philippines, with Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Viet Nam, through the National Space Legislation Initiative or NSLI of the APRSAF. The NSLI has been a useful venue for exchanging experiences in space law and policy matters and we appreciate the opportunity to have been able to contribute significantly to the discussions. In this regard, we also wish to thank you, Madam Chair, for your leadership and contributions as Co-Chair of the NSLI Study Group.
Finally, we are pleased to inform the Subcommittee of important ongoing efforts in the Philippines related to space law and policy. In particular, we are now working toward the ratification of the UN treaties on outer space that we have not yet ratified or acceded to. Related to this effort, initiatives are underway for the identification and preparation of relevant national legislation that will support our programs and help us meet our commitments in the peaceful uses of outer space. We have also begun building the capacity of our human resources and institutions in the areas of space law, policy, and diplomacy.
In line with the Philippines’ activities, policies, and principles, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to international cooperation and collaboration in the peaceful uses of outer space.
Thank you very much.
— END —