Monday, January 30

PH agency pushes space data use in Ilocos Norte

BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO

BATAC, Ilocos Norte (November 25)—Aiming to promote the use of space data for development, the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) this week brought its Philippine Space Agency Integrated Network for Space-enabled Actions toward Sustainability or “Pinas” project to the province of Ilocos Norte.

Under the Office of the President, PhilSA is the central government agency addressing national issues and activities related to space science and technology applications under Republic Act 11363.

A workshop on the Pinas project at the Mariano Marcos State University-Teatro Ilocandia that ended on Thursday, November 24, was attended by about 100 delegates, including MMSU personnel and college students, government agencies and representatives from local government units (LGUs).

MMSU President Shirley Agrupis thanked PhilSA for bringing this initiative to the Ilocos Region, “which will enable us to appreciate the value of space data to address various environmental issues and challenges.”

“The university is eager to collaborate with the Pinas project since we are using remote sensing and geographic information systems in conducting our research activities related to agriculture development, climate change mitigation and disaster risk management,” Agrupis said.

PhilSA Deputy Director-General Gay Jane Perez noted that the workshop, which aims to teach the participants about mobilizing space data for information-based action, included a hands-on session on the Open Data Kit Collect application.

Perez said this highlights the importance of field data in validating and calibrating information from satellite-derived maps.

She also said the workshop was held to identify the needs and capabilities of LGUs and agencies and for PhilSA to work together in developing a customized capacity-building approach, thus enabling end-users to set up a space data access, sharing and utilization system.

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Perez pointed out that this would allow the LGUs and agencies to perform more efficiently their functions and respond to community needs.

Through provincial chief of staff Juan Alfonso Jose, the provincial government said space data use will help boost agricultural productivity in the province as well as deliver more efficient land and water resource management and improve internet connectivity.

Meanwhile, Mayor Albert Chua expressed hope that the Pinas project will contribute to local governance, particularly in policy formulation.