Innovation is Key to Inclusive Growth and Development —Legarda

February 6, 2019

Senator Loren Legarda today said that innovation is the key that will drive the Philippines not only to achieving inclusive growth and development, but also to becoming one of the innovation leaders in Asia.

Legarda made the statement as the Senate adopted and ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed Philippine Innovation Bill, which she principally authored. She also thanked Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, for sponsoring the measure.

The bill aims to place innovation at the center of the country’s development policies.

“We recognize the importance of science and technology in transforming the Philippines into a competitive nation, seeing how both played major roles in the development of other economies such as Korea, Taiwan, and Finland,” she said.

“Establishing a national innovation policy will produce a highly skilled workforce, build active micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and promote competitive technological advancement. By adopting this measure, we are not only providing an effective innovation governance system, but also harmonizing and aligning government innovation efforts toward a common national innovation goal,” she added.

Once the Philippine Innovation Bill is passed into law, a National Innovation Council (NIC) will be established which will develop the country’s strategic vision for innovation and long-term innovation goal, serve as a source of strategic intelligence for national research and innovation policymaking, and coordinate with various sectors and agencies to promote policy and program coherence.

The NIC will also be responsible for developing strategies, which will promote internationalization and participation in the local and global value chains among MSMEs, and research, development, and extension themes, which will be guided by the country’s innovation and development goals.

“MSMEs can help harness these opportunities if only their untapped potential for developing new products and processes can be fully developed. Various global economic reports, however, highlight weaknesses in the country’s innovation ecosystem,” Legarda said.

“These issues warrant policy intervention, to put innovation at the center of our development policies and adopt a clear, long-term view of the country’s innovation goals; improve the governance framework for innovation; and mandate key reform areas toward building a healthy innovation ecosystem for the country,” Legarda concluded.