The Senate on Wednesday started plenary discussions on three measures that aim to provide needed assistance to innovative start-ups and benefits to support Filipino scientists and researchers.
Senator Bam Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology, defended the three measures — Innovative Startup Act, Balik Scientist Act and Magna Carta for Scientists — during period of interpellation.
Sen. Bam, who stood as principal sponsor and co-authors of the said measures, underscored the importance of providing support to around 200,000 innovative start-ups in the country.
Innovative start-ups are businesses that provide unique and relevant solutions to pressing problems, from a simple application for finding a taxi and other systems for improving healthcare, supporting Filipino farmers and addressing unemployment.
“Our country has a number of promising start-ups and we need to provide them with the environment where they can grow and succeed, just like what their counterparts in other countries like United States and Israel are enjoying,” said Sen. Bam.
“Hopefully, this measure will unlock the potential of this sector. A lot of Filipino innovators are looking forward to this bill,” added Sen. Bam.
If enacted into law, innovative startups will enjoy benefits such as tax breaks and grants and other forms of assistance, including a faster process for business registration.
Innovative start-ups could also avail of technical assistance and training programs, free use of equipment, facilities and support for patenting or licensing of their product through the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
Aside from the Innovative Start-up Act, the Senate also tackled the Balik Scientist Act and Magna Carta for Scientists, which both aim to ramp up support to Filipino scientists, engineers and researchers.
After the period of interpellation, the Senate will continue discussions on the said measures next month during period of amendments.