Senate approves bill granting gov't support for 'innovative' startups
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Wednesday, May 17, approved the bill that aims to give entrepreneurs a better chance of succeeding by providing them with subsidies and assistance.
Voting 18-0, senators passed Senate Bill 1532 or the Innovative Startup Act, authored by Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV. In the House of Representatives, it is still pending at the committee level. (READ: What you should know about the PH startup ecosystem)
"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," said Aquino.
Under the bill, the benefits include waived application fees, refund of fees for the permits and certificates, and expedited processing of permits and certificates.
The measure also proposes a Ten Billion-Peso Innovative Startup Venture Fund that entrepreneurs can apply for. This will be administered by the Department of Science and Technology.
"It isn’t easy building a successful start-up, specially 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 is just right for the government to help them)," Aquino said.
Other benefits include:
- research and development grants
- exemption from fees and charges levied by 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 Office 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