CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is pushing for the creation of a Philippine Space Agency to support the growing number of Pinoy space engineers and put the Philippines at the forefront of the innovation circuit.

Speaking before the delegates of the Entrepreneurs’ Summit yesterday held at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, DOST secretary Fortunato Dela Peña told Cebuano businessmen that the government is doing its best to catch up with technology and innovation, and developing the country’s potential to develop space technologies are just one of the priorities being put on the table.

Dela Peña mentioned the successful launch of Filipino developed technologies like the Philippine microsatellite called DIWATA.

DIWATA 1 is the first satellite made possible through the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) Program, a three-year program funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

According to Dela Peña The second DIWATA project was launched last year, the agency will soon introduce the third one.

At present, DOST is sponsoring scholars in the fields of space physics, space engineering, and related disciplines.

Dela Peña also expounded on DOST’s move to address the strengthening, if not sustaining the pool of human resource in the science and technology skills.

He mentioned the creation of courses and educational programs on special expertise such as in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science. In fact, the. Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and Mapua University already have offered these kinds of programs.

Based on the latest data on state of Philippine programming talent, of the 1,014 schools in the country (85 percent outside of Manila), only 600 of the schools have consistently offer computer science, BS IT (Bachelor of Science in Information Technology), because of low enrolment rate.

Joey Gurango, founder of Coders Guild, and former president of the Philippine Software Association of the Philippines (PSIA) earlier expressed apprehension on the thinning number of enrollees in the science and technology fields, particularly in programming. (FREEMAN / Ehda M. Dagooc )  Source: