MANILA

Duterte allots P1B to finance Philippine Innovation Act

AN INITIAL P1 billion will be appropriated for the first year implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11293 or the Philippine Innovation Act inked by President Rodrigo Duterte to "promote growth and national competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

RA 11293, signed on April 17, seeks to generate and scale up action in all levels and areas of education, training, research and development toward promoting innovation and internationalization activities of MSMEs as driver of sustainable and inclusive growth.

In line with this objective, the law mandates the government to adopt a broader view in developing its innovation goals and strategies covering all potential types and sources of innovation.

"While the country's innovation goals shall be directed at developing new technologies, it shall likewise seek to harness global knowledge and technology that will aid in developing new processes or services for increasing its productivity and for promoting overall public welfare," RA 11293 read.

Under the law, the National Innovation Council (NIC) is created to develop the country's innovation goals, priorities, and long-term national strategy.

The council will be chaired by the Philippine President and vice chaired by the National Economic and Development Authority vice chairperson.

Other members include secretaries of Science, Trade, Agriculture, Environment, Health, Energy, Defense, Information, Budget, Education, Local Government, Foreign Affairs, and Labor departments; Commission on Higher Education chairperson; Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines head; and seven members from the private sector.

The NIC is tasked to develop a 10-year National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD), which will establish the country's vision and long-term goals for innovation and provide a road map and strategies for improving innovation governance.

The NIC is likewise directed to develop strategies to promote the creation of new ideas that will be developed into new and quality products, processes, and services aimed at improving the welfare of low-income and marginalized groups.

The law also orders the council to develop strategies towards promoting MSME internationalization and participation in the local and global value chains.

"A comprehensive support program, from incorporation to internalization, shall be developed by the NIC and implemented by the agencies concerned," it said.

"These programs shall include coaching and mentoring in the areas of design; technology extension services; standard business practices in contracting, accounting and project management; quality control; standard-setting; business services such as commercialization and management; patents; among others," RA 11293 added.

Through a startup MSME innovation development program, the law stressed the need for the various government agencies to work hand in hand with private organizations to provide technical and financial support programs for the development training of entrepreneurs.

The law instructs the Department of Trade and Industry to look for high productivity innovative businesses to help them identify and exploit opportunities in overseas markets.

To promote public awareness and national support for innovation, RA 11293 declares April 21 of every year as National Innovation Day. The date is also announced as special working public holiday across the country.

A copy of the law is made public by the Palace just on Tuesday, July 16. (SunStar Philippines)


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