The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) took part in the Navigating the Frontiers of Global Space Collaboration and Promoting Space Science and Technology Applications Across Industries conference on 19 March 2024, at Manila Polo Club, Makati City.

Organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute, in partnership with the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines and in collaboration with PhilSA, the space conference gathered experts from the field of space to discuss the critical points of building a resilient and sustainable Philippine space ecosystem, illustrating the significance of space science technologies and their applications to create products that can help address climate change, disaster response and management, food security, and maritime domain security among others. 

PhilSA Director General Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr. delivers the keynote address.

PhilSA Director General Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr. presents an overview of the Philippine Space Program and highlights the importance of the Philippines having its own space agency. Filipinos cannot simply buy their space technology; they must know how to build and create value from these space products. DG Marciano says, “Embedded in the Philippine Space Policy is the country’s central goal: […] becoming a space-capable, spacefaring nation within the next decade. To be spacefaring, there must be sovereign capability in space. At the very least, it means having satellites that you control and operate yourselves.” 

The conference is part of the celebrations commemorating the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Republic of the Philippines and the Dominion of Canada, emphasizing the friendly collaboration of the two countries in addressing their common national issues.  

“Canada places the utmost importance on international collaborations. Working with our closest allies and partners like the Philippines, in the various multilateral forums, including [the] United Nations, to advance guidelines like the long-term sustainability of better space activities, and to develop norms, rules, and principles of responsible behavior is absolutely of paramount importance,” His Excellency David Hartman, Ambassador of the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines said  during his opening remarks. 

Participation of PhilSA in the panel discussions 

PhilSA Space Policy and International Cooperation Bureau (SPICB) Director Atty. Noelle Riza Castillo (right-most) talks about the steps being taken to create the necessary national policies and regulatory frameworks to ensure that our space programs will not compromise the future during her presentation, “Attaining Space Security and Sustainability through Efforts to Develop Norms, Rules, and Principles.”

Atty. Castillo (right-most) during the first panel, “Building a Resilient Philippine Space Industry through Cooperation with the International Community,” with DFNN, Inc. Executive Chairman Ramon Garcia Jr (2nd from the left), Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Manager of Internal Relations Sarah Pacey-Parker (3rd from the left), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Advisor to the Director and Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) Executive Secretary Yumiko Tateshita (3rd from the right), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) ASec. Teresa Almojuela (2nd from the right), and PhilSA Chief for Space International Cooperation Division (SICD) Kritzman Caballero as the panel moderator.

PhilSA Deputy Director General for Space Science and Technology (DDGSST) Dr. Gay Jane Perez (left-most) with the panel, “Mitigating the Impacts of Climate Change and Managing Disaster Risks through Space-Based Technologies” as moderator. The panel features Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Intergrated Environmental Science USec. Carlos Primo “CP” David (2nd from the left), Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director USec. Ariel Nepomuceno (middle), National Academy of Science and Technology Academician Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco Lagmay (2nd from the right), and DOST-Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) Assistant Weather Services Chief Dr. Marcelino Villafuerte II (rightmost) as panelists.

DDG Perez (left) talks about PhilSA’s collaborations with other Philippine agencies and the European Union (EU) to create SSTA-based solutions that will help ensure resiliency of the agricultural sector against high agriculture loses during her presentation, “Enhancing Environmental Monitoring from Space through the National Copernicus Capacity Support Action Program for the Philippines (CopPhil).”

DDG Perez (2nd from the right) during the third panel, “Sustainable Resource Management to Attain Food Security,” with Conservation International Philippines Foundation, Inc. Country Director Wilson John Barbon (2nd from the left), Planet Country Manager and Public Sector Sales Lead Shih Shen Wong (middle), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Earth Sciences Division Senior Scientist Emeritus Dr. Josefino Comiso (right-most), and De La Salle University Associate Professor Dr. John Anthony Jose (left-most).

PhilSA Space Technology Missions and Systems Bureau (STMSB) Director Dr. Marc Caesar Talampas (middle) talks about the growing need to address the risks of rocket debris from space launches and orbital debris from re-entries during his presentation, “Reinforcing Inter-Agency Coordination for Addressing Space Debris at Sea.”

Dr. Talampas (2nd from the right) during the fourth panel, “Safeguarding National Security and Enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness,” with MDA Ltd. Director of Geointelligence Robert Quinn (2nd from the left), Embassy of Canada in the Philippines Head of Political and Public Affairs Colin Townson (3rd from the left), Philippine Navy Spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad (3rd from the right), DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute Chief Science Research Specialist Alvin Retamar (right-most), and U.P. Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea Director Dr. Jay Batongbacal (left-most).

PhilSA Deputy Director General for Space Operations Infrastructure and Industry (DDG-SOII) Denis Villorente talks about PhilSA’s projects and initiatives to bridge the digital divide in the country during his presentation, “The Role of Spaceborne Initiatives in Building Digital Infrastructure.”

DDG Villorente during the fifth panel, “Space-based Technologies as an Enabler of Communications and Connectivity,” with Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) ASec. Engr. Philip Varilla (left-most), USAID Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) Project Chief of Party John Garrity (right-most), and Stratbase Group Communications and Advocacy Director Mary Joyce Ilas-Reyes (2nd from the right).

The Philippine Space Agency is the central government agency addressing all national issues and activities related to space S&T applications. Created under Republic Act No. 11363 or the Philippine Space Act, PhilSA is an attached agency of the Office of the President for purposes of policy and program coordination, and to ensure alignment in national policies and priorities.