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Philippine Congress urged to pass Philippine Innovation Bill

The House of Representatives is being urged to pass a bill which would promote innovation and knowledge transfer for economic and social development, according to a recent report.

The support comes as the House Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development approved the Substitute bill on the “Philippine Innovation Act”.

This bill will provide incentives for ideas that result in the development of new or improved policies, products, processes or services that spread across the market.

The current business situation where start-up companies and MSMEs have the opportunity to compete with big businesses through technology and innovation should be taken advantaged of.

The government should step in and cultivate this environment by providing MSMEs with a platform to flourish.

The consolidated version of the “Philippine Innovation Act” will also cut bureaucratic red tape for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and increase their access to finance, market and technology.

Also in the proposal is the inclusion of a requirement for all banks to set aside at least 4% of their total loanable funds for innovation development credit.

If enacted, the bill is set to establish the National Innovation Council (NIC), which will be in charge of setting priority areas for innovation and developing the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD).

The NIASD will contain the country’s long-term goals for innovation and a roadmap for improving innovation governance.

The NIC will be responsible for administering the following instruments: a PHP 1-billion (US$ 18.5 million) Innovation Fund, which will provide capital to enterprises that are engaged in developing innovative solutions, which will primarily benefit the poor.

NIC will also be responsible for the Innovation Development Credit and Financing System, which aims to boost the development of new technologies by providing MSMEs with loans and other financing activities.

The government plays a vital role in providing the people with the right perspective and skills to be competitive.

The government needs strategic planning and a long-term vision to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.

The proposed Philippine Innovation Act consolidates the following House Bills: House Bill No. 5618; House Bill No. 5701; House Bill No. 6227; and House Bill No. 6476.

House Bill No. 5618 intends to remove the obstacles that hinder MSMEs to achieve the sector’s potential and growth promoting role. It will suppress the bureaucratic blocks to MSMEs.

House Bill No. 5701 will establish the aforementioned NIC as well as focus on strengthening scientific, technological and institutional capabilities and promoting scientific and technological advancement.

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