Duterte signs law providing incentives to startups

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2019 04:35 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2019 05:00 PM

MANILA - A new law aims to encourage Filipinos to form startups by providing incentives and business assistance.

Republic Act 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 26, a copy of which was obtained by ABS-CBN News only on Wednesday, gives incentives to encourage the establishment of new businesses that “foster an innovative entrepreneurial culture in the Philippines.”

Under the new measure, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are tasked to formulate the Philippine Startup Development Program, which details benefits for startups.

The 3 government agencies are also mandated to support the research and development of startups, promote the access to startup development programs, and support the participation of startups in international competitions and conferences.

Startups may receive the following incentives under the new law:

-    Full or partial subsidy for the registration and cost in the application of permits and certificates required for business registration
-    Endorsement for prioritized processing of applications with other government agencies
-    Full or partial subsidy for the use of facilities and spaces to be provided by the government
-    Grant-in-aid for research, development, training, and expansion projects

To spur the growth of startups in the country, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in consultation with the DOST, DICT, and DTI is ordered to promote the creation of Philippine Startup Econzones or Special Economic Zones.

The DOST, DICT, and DTI are also tasked to form a website containing updates on statistics, events, and programs for startups.

To enhance business education, the law meanwhile requires the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to “develop and integrate in their respective curricula entrepreneurial programs that foster an environment conducive to innovation.”