Unlocking Filipinnovation

Monday, June 20, 2022

Fresh on a resurgent path following the pandemic, the government lost no time to operationalize the Philippine Innovation Act (Republic Act No. 11293) signed in April 2019, and the adoption of its Implementing Rules and Regulations in February 2020.

 

The robust and inclusive innovation ecosystem envisioned by the law is key to anchoring the energy and resilience of the Philippine economy, which posted an 8.3 percent growth in the first quarter of 2022, and poised to grow 5.7 percent year-on-year in 2022 and an average of 5.6 percent in 2023-2024, according to the World Bank. 

 

The Innovation Act and its implementing regulations add focus and depth to a rich body of laws promulgated in the recent years including, but not only, the Innovative Start Up Act of 2019 which injects a new momentum for entrepreneurs.

 

Taken as a whole, this re-energized policy framework provides a springboard to new arcs of socio-economic growth for the Philippines, arcs that are dynamic and game-changing as they are rooted, sustainable and inclusive.

 

There is much to be said about the rigor with which government agencies persevered through the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic to get the new structures in place as soon as possible.

 

The National Innovation Council created by the Innovation Act, which has 16 Cabinet Secretaries and soon, 7 executive members from the private sector, convened for the first time in March this year and has set to:

  • finalize a ten-year National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document
  • build the flesh-and-bones of the Innovation Fund, an annual allotment of 1 billion Pesos from the public budget
  • green-light grants under an initial 200 million Pesos fund this year for innovation projects of public agencies, local governments, and state universities
  • unleash new private-public partnerships by scaling up accessible innovation development credit and financing, and opening innovation loan facilities in public and private bank

 

True to the vision of Republic Act No. 11293, the distinctive spirit of Filipinnovation has thus embarked on driving inclusive development across the Philippine archipelago of 110 million people and more than 7,100 islands, putting emphasis on:

  • making Filipino small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) stronger and more competitive,
  • leveraging the innate creativity and high quality of our human capital,
  • a robust, globally-connected and resilient economy,
  • collaborative institutions offering reliable and efficient services to our people, and
  • long-term ecological sustainability.

 

A first for a national framework on innovation, the National Innovation Council (NIC) has tasked itself to enhance national capacities to succeed vis-a-vis the Global Innovation Index (GII), and other international indices, and develop related metrics in the coming years, for monitoring and assessing the country’s progress in innovation.

 

Filipinnovation, the Filipino approach to innovation, is decidedly participative. It gathers all stakeholders, from the national to the regional development councils, from the local government units to grassroots communities, public and private institutions, industry, incubators, universities and scientists, the youth, indigenous people and all sectors under one monumental enterprise. And this is an enterprise that is most profoundly about the Philippines determinedly meeting 21st century challenges, including climate change, while unlocking strengths and opportunities to spur growth and wealth-creation that serves all and leaves no one behind.

 

 

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