Here’s some good news for startup entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts! The Philippine Senate voted unanimously, 18-0, to pass Senate Bill No. 1532 or the Innovative Startup Act on final reading, bringing the measure closer to becoming law.
“This is great news for our innovators and entrepreneurs. We’re one step closer to giving them the support they deserve,” Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, the principal author and sponsor, said.
“It isn’t easy building a successful startup, especially in the Philippines. Still, they find ways to bring better solutions to problems in transportation, healthcare, agriculture, and other industries. Tama lang na tulungan sila ng gobyerno (It’s only right that the government will help them),” Aquino added.
The measure aims to support innovative startups through financial subsidies such as tax breaks and grants, easier business registration procedures, and technical assistance and training programs.
“These are startups 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,” Senator Aquino explained.
“Let’s take this opportunity to empower our innovators and entrepreneurs with a heart for nation-building,” the young senator proclaimed.
According to Aquino, the bill will allow innovative startups to enjoy exemptions from fees for the use of equipment, facilities, and services from the government. These include testing and fabrication facilities.
The incentives and benefits will be provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under an Innovative Startup Development Program.
Benefits will include waived application fees, refund of fees for permits and certificates, and expedited processing of permits and certificates.
If signed into law, the bill will establish a P10 billion Innovative Startup Venture Fund which will be handled by the DOST. Startups can apply for funding using this fund.
Other benefits of the Innovative Startup Act include:
- research and development grants
- exemption from fees and charges levied by the national government agencies for the use of equipment, facilities, or services availed by the innovative startup
- access to applicable benefits and incentives provided by the Intellectual Property of the Philippines;
- subsidy for visa application, renewal, or extension of foreign owners, employees, and/or investors of an innovative startup and support service provider
- exemption from the alien employment permit