By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV on Tuesday renewed his call for the passage of a measure strengthening support for Filipino entrepreneurs, especially those in start-up businesses.
Aquino said it is important for Congress to pass a law strengthening and protecting Pinoy entrepreneurs as they are considered the pillars of the country’s economy.
“They generate jobs and livelihood, some even provide solutions to our country’s problems,” said Aquino in a statement.
Aquino, chair of the Senate committee on science and technology, made the pronouncement after the country’s negative performance in a survey conducted by consumer research group Value Penguin.
The senator noted that the Philippines ranked as second most unfriendly country to startup businesses among 12 major economies in the Asia-Pacific region. 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.
“We need to support our small enterprises and startups, especially now that prices of goods and services are ever increasing,” he said.
The Senate on Monday passed on second reading Senate Bill No. 1532 or the Innovative Startup Act which Aquino authored and sponsored as science committee chair.
The measure aims to provide support for innovative startups through financial subsidies like tax breaks and grants and ease of red tape in business registration.
Start-ups would also get technical assistance and training programs that can help them flourish.
If enacted into law, Aquino said innovative startups would also benefit from free use of equipment, facilities, and other services from government agencies, such as testing and fabrication facilities.
The measure also provide start up businesses assistance from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines for the patenting or licensing of their product.