By Jasmine Joy Panes

Are Filipinos excited to see Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) on the next level?

As part of the country’s interests to expand our participation in space exploration, PhilSA is expecting to receive its 756-million-peso budget for the year 2023, which the agency will use for building a “game changer” project.

Photo courtesy of Speed Magazine/Blogspot

Short for the “Multispectral Unit for Land Assessment” satellite, MULA is a satellite device weighing 130 kilograms and carrying a “true color camera” capable of capturing higher resolution images “covering around 73,000 square kilometers” of the country in just a day.

Marcos to tap PhilSA for the improvement of country’s security and economy

President Ferdinand Marcos said that he met with the PhilSA last October 18, 2022 wherein the agency outlined its plans.

In a tweet, he said that he believed that we can boost national security, calamity preparedness, and improve our economy through the data and science of PhilSA.

However, he hasn't said much details on how the PhilSA could improve our country’s security and economy. Furthermore, the agency has asked for a P2.8 billion budget for 2023, but only got P756 million under the National Expenditure Program (NEP).

Coming soon: A Filipino space in the horizon

The MULA satellite will be used to address food security, disaster resilience, environment protection, and protect the country’s sovereignty.

“Di po natin ito bibilhin. Gagawin po natin ito. May ka-engage po tayong industrial partners. Filipino engineers will have their fingerprints on this satellite,” PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph Marciano said.

The PhilSA head also added that MULA will boost interest and talent in science, as it will open opportunities in domestic sources that will build and strengthen the local industry of the country.

“Yung paggawa natin ng MULA will equip Filipino engineers and scientists with new and cutting-edge know-how in satellites that are built, with more operational level and commercial missions in mind," said Marciano.

"Finally, as a sovereign satellite, MULA will provide our country with control and undisputed access to commercial quality or observation data. We stand to reap the benefits of gaining self-reliance and sufficiency for strengthening the components of the space value chain domestically," he added.

Under the Office of the President, PhilSA is the national space agency of the Philippines created under the Republic Act 11363 or the “Philippine Space Act” to address the national issues and activities related to science and technology. As it gears up for its dream project, PhilSA hopes to embody the country’s goal of “becoming a space-capable and space-faring nation within the next decade.”