DOST-Landbank tie-up to help commercialize Filipino inventions

By Edd K. Usman

A new partnership between the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) is expected help Filipino inventors commercialize their inventions.

TAPI Director Edgar Garcia: The program provides credit to inventors, allowing them to commercialize their inventions.

Photo shows TAPI director Edgar Garcia  speaking at the podium while DOST secretary Fortunato dela Pena (center) and Landbank president Alex Buenaventura listen intently during the launch at the PICC

Under the Innovation and Technology Lending Program, or I-Tech, inventors or their authorized representatives can avail of credit to buy fixed assets and/or capital equipment, production materials, and working capital for the production or commercialization of their inventions,” said Edgar I. Garcia, head of the Technology Application and Promotions Institute (DOST-TAPI).

The I-Tech program, which was announced on Sept. 28 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, also allows inventors to borrow up to 85 percent of the total loan amount or a maximum of P12.5 million, or what the borrower’s repayment capacity is, whichever is lower, said Garcia.

He also noted that the TAPI is the implementing agency of Republic Act No. 7459, the “Inventors and Inventions Act of the Philippines.”

The law provides for an invention guarantee fund (IGF) which will “guarantee the loan assistance of government banks to patented Filipino invention; pay cash for rewards and other incentives to inventors; and utilize the fund in undertaking special financial programs for Filipino inventions,” he said.

Moreover, both TAPI and Landbank “agreed to work together to implement” I-Tech as a means to heighten government services benefiting the inventor sector of the country.

The TAPI chief said Landbank will open a lending window to complement the IGF’s use with a lower interest rate for qualified inventors’ loan assistance.

Landbank can shoulder 45 percent (up to a maximum of P5.625 million), the IGF will cover 40 percent (up to a maximum of P5 million), and the borrower’s equity is pegged at 15 percent minimum, in cash or in kind. Landbank will collect a 5 percent interest a year for its share; but zero interest for IGF’s share.

Inventors applying for the loan must comply with the documentary and collateral documents required by Landbank.

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of I-Tech is available on TAPI’s website and Official Gazette.

Meanwhile, Landbank president Alex Buenaventura informed the inventors present that the most crucial part of the loan requirements is the business plan, which may determine whether their loan would be approved or not.

Thus, he advised them to enlist partners who will help them on the loan’s business side as inventors maybe good in the technical side, but not about managing a business.

“It can’t be that there is no business plan,” said Buenaventura. “With the difficulty in making a business plan, maybe you want to partner with some business. I strongly encourage you to go into that kind of arrangement; but your business is the start of the business,” the Landpank president said.

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