ValuePenguin, a Singapore-based research firm, has released a study showing the best countries for startups in the Asia-Pacific region. The study revealed that the Philippines ranked second to the last among 12 countries.
Singapore topped the list with a composite score of 4.1 (a lower score is better) and Vietnam is last with 8.5. The Philippines ranked 11th with a composite score of 7.8.
The Philippines ranked high for labor force quality (5th) and the worst (12th) for economic health and business climate.
Among the factors measured in the study are: economic health, cost of doing business, business climate, and labor force quality. The study gathered sources from the Economist, World Bank, World Economic Forum, tax consultancies, and governments.
Alarmed by the result of the study, Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV wants the government to offer support for startups.
“It’s important to give assistance to our Filipino entrepreneurs because they are the pillars of the economy. They generate jobs and livelihood, some even provide solutions to our country’s problems,” Sen. Aquino explained.
The senator is the principal author and sponsor of the Senate Bill No. 1532 or the Innovative Startup Act, which was approved on second reading on March 19, 2018.
The proposed bill will provide assistance and support, such as tax breaks and grants, to innovative startups. It will also give technical assistance and training to would-be entrepreneurs.
Under the measure, startups will be entitled to free use of facilities, equipment, and services from the government, such as fabrication and testing equipment. Startups will also get assistance in the patenting and licensing of their products by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
New startups will also be exempted from paying local and national taxes in their first two years of operation. An “Innovative Startup Venture Fund” worth P10 billion will also be established to help startup entrepreneurs.
“We should support our small businesses and startups, especially now that the prices of goods and services have increased,” Sen. Aquino said in Tagalog.
The senator also said that the Philippines has more than 200,000 startups but only a very small percentage of that are focusing on technology and innovation. Sen. Aquino urged his colleagues in the Senate to enact the bill and encourage these enterprises that “provide unique and relevant solutions to our problems, from daily hassles, like finding a taxi during rush hour, to improving the delivery of healthcare, providing support for our farmers, and addressing unemployment.”
Featured image credit: Startup Summit