TARLAC City Second District Representative Victor Yap recently urged the House of Representatives to work for the immediate approval of House Bill 3057 or the Philippine Innovation Bill.

Yap, the principal author of House Bill 3057, said it has significance to Filipino entrepreneurs and that “innovation should not be feared bu should be welcomed.”

“However, our people must be equipped with the right perspective and skills to be competitive,” Yap said.

The measure intends to promote a culture of innovation and ensure that knowledge is created, acquired, disseminated, and used more effectively by individuals, enterprises, organizations, and communities to promote economic and social development.

If enacted, the National Innovation Council [NIC], headed by the President, will be established.

The NIC is mandated to develop the appropriate vision, strategies, and priorities to promote and support innovation and to formulate the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document [NIASD].

The NIASD will establish the country’s vision and long-term goals for innovation and will provide a road map and strategies for improving innovation governance.

The NIC will also develop Research, Development and Extension (RD & E) themes that will be adopted by concerned government agencies.

The NIC will develop a “relevance criteria” that will be administered by the agencies concerned in the selection of RD & E projects and programs for funding.

Throughout the process, the “whole of government approach” will be adopted where all the government agencies concerned shall be responsible in implementing the country’s innovation strategies to facilitate engagement with business, the RD & E sector, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and the broader community.

An innovation fund, with an initial fund of P1-billion, will be created to strengthen and support enterprises engaged in developing innovative solutions.

In urging fellow legislators, Yap further said “we should take advantage of the current business situation where start-up companies and MSMEs have the opportunity to compete with big businesses through technology and innovation.

The government should step in and cultivate this environment. Government should provide MSMEs with a platform to flourish, he said.

The four bills, all entitled “The Philippine Innovation Act”, were heard by the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development of the House of Representatives and were referred to a Technical Working Group (TWG) for consolidation.

The bills were authored by Yap and representatives Wes Gachalian, Luis Raymond Villafuerte, Jr., and Arthur Yap.

The Senate has earlier approved the same measure authored by senators Loren Legarda and Win Gatchalian on third and final reading. (Ric Sapnu)