Engineer of Philippines’s first microsatellite quits
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - April 5, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – At least one of the engineers who worked on the first Filipino-designed and assembled microsatellite has resigned from the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Microsatellite program.

Julian Marvick Fua Oliveros, 23, a UP Diliman Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE) magna cum laude graduate, told The STAR that he had submitted last Sunday his letter of resignation from the program to Joseph Joel Marciano, DOST PHL Microsat Project leader; Carlos Primo David, DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD); and UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan.

Oliveros declined to give his reasons for resigning, but had disclosed these in his letter of resignation. He declined to elaborate.

Oliveros shared that some of his fellow engineers in the program are also thinking of resigning. 

“Others are thinking of it but I won’t disclose who,” Oliveros said.

He said he was setting up a startup venture for an efficient POS (point-of-sale) system for laundry shop chains when he was drafted into the microsatellite building program last year.

This developed as the DOST issued an official response to the Facebook post of engineer Juan Paolo Espiritu posted last April 1. Espiritu denounced the department’s treatment of the young Filipino engineers it had tapped for the program.

In the statement, the DOST stressed that they recognized that their PHL Microsat program was a human-resource capacity building program that seeks to capacitate Filipino engineers on satellite technology.

The DOST said that after officials read the Facebook post of Espiritu, a meeting was called with Espiritu and two other unidentified co-members on the program.

“The DOST finds nothing derogatory with the term ‘student.’ As scholars, the Diwata-1 engineers receive stipends 35 percent higher than what a Mombusho Scholarship provides. On top of that, they also get additional compensation for their work in the development of the microsatellite,” the DOST said.

The DOSt also addressed the claim of Espiritu on the alleged frequent trips of DOST officials to Japan to check on the project, even the consumption of “fancy dinners.”

The statement added that the only fancy dinner that the DOST officials had recently consumed on a recent trip to Japan last January was one that was hosted and paid for by the two universities giving technical support and expertise to the DOST: Tohoku University and Hokkaido University.

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