Press Release
May 16, 2018

Senate approves Innovative Startup Act

The Senate today passed on third and final reading a measure which aims to give business entrepreneurs a better chance of succeeding in the industry by providing them with tax breaks and other forms of assistance.

Senate Bill No. 1532, authored by Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, was approved with 18 affirmative votes, no negative vote, and zero abstention.

The measure seeks to support innovative startups through financial subsidies like tax breaks and grants, easier business registration procedures and technical assistance and training programs. "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," Aquino said.

"Let's take this opportunity to empower our innovators and entrepreneurs with a heart for nation-building," Aquino added.

According to Aquino, the measure will allow innovative startups to enjoy exemption from fees and charges for the use of equipment, facilities and other services from government agencies such as testing and fabrication facilities.

"These benefits and incentives will be provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and/or the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under an Innovative Startup Development Program," Aquino said.

Under the bill, the benefits will include: (1) waived application fees; (2) Refund of fees for the permits and certificates; and (3) Expedited processing of permits and certificates.

The measure also includes a provision for Ten Billion-Peso Innovative Startup Venture Fund that entrepreneurs can apply for. This fund will be administered by the Department of Science and Technology.

Other benefits include research and development grants, exemption from fees and charges, exemption from fees and charges levied by the 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 of the Philippines; and Subsidy for Visa application, renewal, or extension of foreign owners, employees, and/or investors of an innovative startup and support service provider, and exemption from the alien employment permit. (Yvonne Almirañez)

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