Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV has emphasized the need to strengthen support for entrepreneurs, especially startup businesses, after a study ranked the Philippines as second most unfriendly country to startups among 12 major economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Mahalagang mabigyan ng sapat na tulong ang mga Pinoy entrepreneurs dahil sila ang haligi ng ekonomiya. They generate jobs and livelihood, some even provide solutions to our country’s problems,” said Aquino.
The lawmaker made the pronouncement after the country’s negative performance in a survey conducted by consumer research group Value Penguin. Based on 18 economic indicators, the country placed 12th in labor force quality, 11th on business climate, 10th on cost of doing business and 12th on economic health.
“Kailangan nating suportahan ang ating maliliit na negosyo at startups, lalo na ngayong pataas ng pataas ang presyo ng mga bilihin at serbisyo,” said Aquino.
He renewed his call for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1532 or the Innovative Startup Act, of which he is the principal sponsor and author as chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology. The measure has been approved on second reading on Monday.
The measure will provide support for innovative startups through financial subsidies like tax breaks and grants and ease of red tape in business registration. Start-ups will also get technical assistance and training programs that can help them flourish
If enacted into law, innovative startups will also benefit from free use of equipment, facilities, and other services from government agencies, such as testing and fabrication facilities.
Aquino said they will also get assistance from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines for the patenting or licensing of their product.