Legarda Renews Call to Mainstream Innovation in Government Programs through the Philippine Innovation Act

September 8, 2020

Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone District Representative Loren Legarda renewed today her call to scale up the mainstreaming of innovation as a vital component of the country’s national development and sustainable economic growth.

“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. In the 2020 Global Innovation Index ranking released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Philippines ranked 50th among 131 countries and ranked 11th among 17 economies in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania.[1] This is already an improvement from our overall ranking at 54th last year,” Legarda said.

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

Legarda, principal author of the Philippine Innovation Act, stressed that the national government should use science, innovation and technology in transforming the Philippines into a competitive nation and adopt a broader view in developing its innovation goals and strategies covering all potential types and sources of innovation.

Moreover, Legarda urged the national government to create an ecosystem that facilitates and supports innovation and entrepreneurial growth through efficient utilization of the provisions of the Philippine Innovation Act to help in addressing the pressing needs of the various sectors.

“We still have a long way to go, but the improvement in the Philippines’ 2020 Global Innovation Index ranking is already a good sign and should motivate us to further improve by putting 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 said.

Legarda pointed out that putting premium on innovation does not necessarily require additional funds. “Government agencies can very well work within their existing budget and, instead, pursue convergence with other agencies to add greater value to already existing program. One example is the convergence between DOST, and the University of Antique in my home province. Through DOST’s Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST), livelihood support hubs, also known as Technohubs, are established in UA campuses, while technology-based barangay economic enterprises (TechnoBEEs) were established in some municipalities to provide assistance and support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) depending on the existing agriculture produce of the municipality.”

Republic Act No. 11923 or the Philippine Innovation Act, which was signed into law on April 17, 2019, 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.#

[1] https://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_gii_2020.pdf