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Legarda: Innovation and Competitiveness should be mainstreamed through the Philippine Innovation Act

August 3, 2020

As the principal author of the Philippine Innovation Act, Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone District Representative Loren Legarda expressed that innovation and competitiveness should be mainstreamed as vital components of the country’s national development and sustainable economic growth.

“Innovation is a vital component of the country’s development policies. Thus, we have to mainstream innovation and competitiveness in all government programs. If implemented properly, this will help bolster active micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), produce a highly skilled workforce, and promote competitiveness through the use and adoption of technological advancements in our different industries and sectors,” Legarda said.

Legarda made the statement during the meeting of Arts and Culture and Creative Industries Bloc (ACCIB) of the House of Representatives with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), and Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) held last July 30, 2020 via Zoom online platform.

“Let us create an ecosystem that facilitates and supports innovation and entrepreneurial growth. Efficient utilization of the provisions of the Philippine Innovation Act will be of great help in addressing the pressing needs of the various sectors particularly the MSMEs, which will include coaching and mentoring in the areas of design, technology extension services, quality control, marketing and promotion, patents and other forms of intellectual property rights, among others,” Legarda said.

“I encourage the relevant government agencies to adopt the tenets and spirit of the law to encourage creative thinking and creative innovation in pursuit of competitiveness. DTI and DOST, among the other implementing agencies of the Philippine Innovation Act, must ensure that projects being funded such as the One Town One Product (OTOP) and Shared Service Facilities (SSF) of DTI and the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) and Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of DOST are being utilized well. Let us not just pursue inclusive growth and development. All together, let us aim to become one of the innovation leaders in Asia.” Legarda concluded.

Republic Act No. 11923 or the Philippine Innovation Act, which was signed into law on April 17, 2019, mandates the creation of the National Innovation Council (NIC) that will establish the country’s vision and long-term goals for innovation and provide a roadmap and strategies for improving innovation governance through clear-cut delineation and complementation of innovation efforts across agencies; deepening and accelerating innovation efforts, including inclusive innovation programs that are targeting the poorest of the poor; and integrating and fostering Public-Private Partnership (PPP), including those with large businesses, MSMEs, academe and research and development institutions.

The law aims to promote a culture of strategic planning and innovation to encourage creative thinking and knowledge creation and dissemination towards expanding and maintaining economic competitiveness; improve innovation governance in the country and compel the adoption of a long-term vision and focused priorities for innovation; ensure effective coordination and eliminate fragmentation of innovation policies and programs at all levels; strengthen the position of MSMEs in the innovation system; adapting the regulatory framework to support the creation of and diffusion of new knowledge, products, and processes; encourage entrepreneurial attitude; explore, promote, and protect potentials for innovation of traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, and genetic resources; and strengthen and deepen interactions and partnerships among different actors.#