Philippines to launch new satellite in 2018

admin   •   October 24, 2017   •   14179

MANILA, Philippines — In 2017, the first Filipino-made microsatellite Diwata 1 was launched in Japan. It is now being used to take pictures of Earth.

By mid-2018, the Philippines is again set to launch into space its second microsatellite Diwata 2.

The satellite was developed within a year by seven Filipino scholars.

According to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Diwata 2, which passes through the Philippines twice a day, can be used for a duration of up 12 to 18 months.

It has the size of a big balikbayan box with four cameras that can take pictures and provide details of anything with a size of three meters.

This is an improved version with some capacity for communication, it’s like a radio and of course better cameras in place,” said DOST Sec. Fortunato de la Peña

Diwata 2 can be used for the analysis of climate and weather in the country, and for national security purposes like conducting surveillance in the West Philippine Sea.

It can also monitor incidents of forest fires and drought in particular areas.

The DOST said that the government can save a huge amount of money by using the said satellite than buying from materials taken by the satellites of foreign countries or private firms.

The agency cites as an example a satellite image of the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda in 2013 which the government bought for P56-million.

A bill seeking the creation of a Philippine Space Agency is now in Congress.

Under the proposal, the DOST is tasked to train about 800 people for the said program.

The DOST has a proposed budget of P21.8 billion for next year. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Phivolcs to launch mobile app for volcano information

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) will launch a mobile app on Monday (June 21) to make the current status of volcanoes easily available to the public.

On Thursday (June 17), Phivolcs announced that the “VolcanoPH Info” app will be available on Android devices. Through the app, the public can access the latest volcano bulletins and advisories.

The app will help users understand the current volcano status, and more importantly, identify the necessary preparedness and response actions for their safety.

“We aim to provide the users with accessible and easy-to-read information,” said DOST Undersecretary and Phivolcs Officer-in-Charge Renato Solidum Jr.

Once a user is able to access the app, he or she can select from the list of volcanoes with alert levels on the homepage.

The selection will provide the user with a summary of the 24-hour observation period containing the alert level, monitoring parameters, and recommendations in the Filipino language.

Future developments of the app include the English language setting and iOS version. AAC

AFP chief Sobejana visits Pag-asa Island

Robie de Guzman   •   June 9, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Cirilito Sobejana visited Pag-asa Island amid the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the AFP said Sobejana visited the island on Monday along with key officers from the General Headquarters and the Western Command.

The visit was in connection to the conversion of the island into a logistics hub that seeks to sustain the Philippine government forces deployed in the area.

The trip also aims to uplift the morale and welfare of troops securing Pag-asa Island and other communities within the Kalayaan Island Group.

“The AFP will strike a balance between mission accomplishments and looking after the morale and welfare of our men and women,” Sobejana said, addressing the military force manning the Naval Station Emilio Liwanag on Pag-asa Island.

The AFP chief also stressed the importance of the troop’s role in protecting the citizens of Kalayaan Group of Islands and their livelihood as well as guarding the country’s territories in the West Philippine Sea.

The AFP said it recently deployed additional air and naval assets under the operational control of Western Command (WESCOM) in Palawan to support the National Task Force-WPS together with the Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in performing sovereignty patrols in the area.

Prior to visiting Pag-asa Island, the Chief of Staff met with the troops of the 3rd Marine Brigade to extend the AFP’s commendation for keeping the Province of Palawan peaceful, stable and progressive.

He also lauded the unit’s contributions in security operations, civil military operations, stakeholder’s engagement and on COVID-19 mitigation which are vital in the over-all mission accomplishment of WESCOM and the AFP as a whole.

The AFP Chief also visited BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS35), one of the many ships currently deployed at WESCOM while docked at Puerto Princesa City Pier, to commend the their efforts in protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country particularly in the West Philippine Sea.

He likewise lauded the officers and personnel for their role in the successful rescue of 31 fishermen of MB Pauline 2 at Nares Bank, WPS on May 24.

 

Philippines to conduct real-world study on effects of COVID-19 vaccines — DOST

Robie de Guzman   •   May 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is eyeing to conduct a study on the effects of vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a real-world setting, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Tuesday.

DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said the study will look into the vaccines’ efficacy, as well as seek answers to questions on its effects as determined by ethnicity and how long will it last on Filipinos.

Guevara said the study will include all vaccine brands available in the country. It is targeted to begin in June.

“Real-world data will answer questions on the effect on the ethnicity kasi Pilipino na ngayon iyong mga bakunado that’s one. Second, iyong pinakaimportanteng masagot, ano iyong efficacy niya over time? Kasi iyon wala pang masyadong mga sagot doon sa tanong na iyon kasi hindi pa tapos lahat ng Phase 3 trials ng lahat ng bakuna na ito, lahat sila naka-EUA pa,” she told reporters in a briefing.

The study will cost about P100 million and would need around 1,000 participants who have not received the vaccine by the time the trial starts.

Guevara said the study would follow participants for about a year to review the effect of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly on Filipinos.

The DOST official said the proposal was not yet final and still subject to approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

Once approved and underway, the Philippines’ study on the vaccines’ effects in a real-world setting will be the latest to be done following studies undertaken by the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, Indonesia, and Chile, among others.

The Philippines has so far administered more than 4 million doses since the government started its immunization program on March 1. COVID-19 vaccines used in the inoculation are Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Sputnik V. RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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