The Philippines will soon have a space agency under this new law

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The DIWATA-1, one of the Philippine microsatellites under the PHL-Microsat program. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 13) — The Philippines will become more active in the space race following President Rodrigo Duterte's enactment of a new law.

Duterte on August 8 signed the Philippine Space Act, which creates the Philppines Space Agency (PhilSA)-- an agency dedicated to the improvement of space science and technology.

The agency will plan programs and craft policies for the Philippines' space development program.

Its facilities will be located on a thirty-hectare parcel of land under the administration of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) within the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga and Tarlac, pending a survey.

Under the law, the Philippines will also create a national registry of objects it launches into space to submit to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

One billion pesos is appropriated for the PhilSA's intital funds.

The country's space program will focus on the development of space technologies for use in national security, hazard management and climate studies, space research and development, space industry capacity building, space education and awareness, and international cooperation.

The law also creates a Philippine Space Council which will be headed by the President.