Start UP Pilipinas Act

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“An Act developing, supporting and providing various incentives to innovative start-up entrepreneurs and its investors.”

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

The private sector is a critical driver of economic growth. It generates employment and provides essential goods and services. The start-up industry, for one, is instigating a string of positive effects on the economy at large — encouraging investment, bringing innovation, creating jobs, and building a more vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The government plays a crucial role in creating a healthy environment for startups. As enshrined in the Constitution, the State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments. A thriving start-up ecosystem requires a close collaboration between the public and private sectors.

By 2020, the roadmap targets to achieve at least 500 Philippine startups. The continued growth of startups in the country benefits Filipinos who have innate talent for shaping contemporary ideas.

This re-filed version of the start-up bill takes inspiration from the Senate bill filed by Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” A. Aquino IV on 30 June 2016. Taking the vision for Philippine start-up further, it proposes online application and processing of documents for faster and paperless government transactions. It also seeks to broaden the definition of startups and provide more incentives to entrepreneurs such as streamlined business procedures, tax incentives, and easier immigration.

This bill takes into consideration experiences of nations with groundbreaking startups. Chile and Estonia are two examples of countries with start-up success stories.

1 Philippines. Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office). (2015). The Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startups: 2015 and Beyond. Retrieved from the Department of Science and Technology Web site: http://icto.dost.gov.ph/dost-icto-to-launch-philippine-roadmap-for-digital-startups-at-geeks-on-a-beach-3-eyes-more-startups-by-2020/

In Chile, entrepreneurs who are accepted in its start-up program are given seed capital, equity-free funding and residence visa valid for a year. The start-up program of Chile receives 200 to 250 applicants per year. It aims to attract early-stage, high-potential entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups using Chile as a platform to go global.

The Estonian start-up community, on the other hand, connects networks of investors and mentors, numerous business and innovation accelerators, starting and already succeeded enterprises. Estonia produces the biggest number of startups and seed stage investments per capita in Europe. Entrepreneurs can apply their business online, access several start-up accelerator programs and benefit from the zero corporate income tax.

By adopting the best practices in start-up communities and tailoring the same to fit the Philippine start-up ecosystem, the Filipino entrepreneurs can only be immensely benefited. Thus, the immediate approval of this bill is earnestly sought.

LUIS “LRAY” RAYMUND F. VILLAFUERTE, JR.