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Senate OKs bill seeking to support innovative startups

/ 06:18 PM May 16, 2018
Bam Aquino

Sen. Bam Aquino (Photo from his media office)

The Senate on Wednesday passed on third and final reading a measure that seeks to support innovative startups through financial subsidies like tax breaks and grants, easier business registration, technical assistance and training programs.

Authored by Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Senate Bill No. 1532 was approved with 18 affirmative votes, no negative votes and zero abstention.

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”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,” he added.

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.

Once put into law, startups will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Waived application fees
  • Refund of fees for the permits and certificates
  • Expedited processing of permits and certificates
  • Research and development grants
  • 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
  • Subsidy for visa application, renewal, or extension of foreign owners, employees, and/or investors of an innovative startup and support service provider
  • Exemption from the alien employment permit

According to Aquino, the benefits and incentives will be provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DOS), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under an Innovative Startup Development Program.

The bill also provides for a P10-billion Innovative Startup Venture Fund that entrepreneurs can apply for through the DOST. /atm

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TAGS: Bam Aquino, innovative startups, Senate Bill No. 1532
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