In­no­va­tion bill to boost Ne­gocc MSMES

Sun Star Bacolod - - Business -

THE Provin­cial Mi­cro, Small and Medium En­ter­prise Devel­op­ment (MSMED) Coun­cil of Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal is up­beat that the re­cently signed Philip­pine In­no­va­tion Act will drive growth and devel­op­ment among lo­cal en­trepreneur­s, its top of­fi­cial said.

Mary Ann Col­menares, chair­man of the Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Provin­cial MSMED Coun­cil, said the mea­sure is a very en­abling mech­a­nism for MSMES.

Col­menares said in­no­va­tion is im­por­tant as Filipinos are com­pet­ing with the rest of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (Asean) coun­tries.

“We need to be at par with the global direc­tions of other coun­tries and in­no­va­tion is one es­sen­tial com­po­nent,” she added.

On April 17, Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte signed Repub­lic Act (RA) 11293 or the Philip­pine In­no­va­tion Act in the bid to pro­mote growth and na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness of MSMES.

The law, a copy of which was made pub­lic on July 16, seeks to gen­er­ate and scale up ac­tion in all lev­els and ar­eas of ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing, re­search and devel­op­ment to­ward pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tion and in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion ac­tiv­i­ties of MSMES as driver of sus­tain­able and in­clu­sive growth.

In line with this ob­jec­tive, the law man­dates the gov­ern­ment to adopt a broader view in de­vel­op­ing its in­no­va­tion goals and strate­gies cov­er­ing all po­ten­tial types and sources of in­no­va­tion.

“While the coun­try’s in­no­va­tion goals shall be di­rected at de­vel­op­ing new tech­nolo­gies, it shall like­wise seek to har­ness global knowl­edge and tech­nol­ogy that will aid in de­vel­op­ing new pro­cesses or ser­vices for in­creas­ing its pro­duc­tiv­ity and for pro­mot­ing over­all pub­lic wel­fare,” the law stated.

The Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Provin­cial MSMED Coun­cil is cur­rently com­posed of 11 mem­ber-as­so­ci­a­tions, groups and agen­cies.

The pri­vate sec­tor as­so­ci­a­tions are the As­so­ci­a­tion of Ne­gros Pro­duc­ers, Ba­colod-ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Fed­er­a­tion for Informatio­n and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy, Philip­pine Coun­cil of Women, Chi­nese Cham­ber of Com­merce, and Ho­tel and Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion of Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal.

For the gov­ern­ment sec­tor, the mem­bers in­clude the Depart­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, Depart­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Depart­ment of Agricultur­e and the Provin­cial Gov­ern­ment of Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, among oth­ers.

Its chair­man also ex­pressed optimism that the law will also help ad­dress the need to create “smart” MSMES.

Col­menares said be­ing smart means “we all have to latch into the in­ter­net of things and em­brace dig­i­tal­iza­tion while keep­ing what is gen­uine and unique to the Philip­pines to be­come smarter MSMES.”

An ini­tial P1 bil­lion will be ap­pro­pri­ated for the first year im­ple­men­ta­tion of the law.

Under which, the Na­tional In­no­va­tion Coun­cil (NIC) to be chaired by the Pres­i­dent is cre­ated to de­velop the coun­try’s in­no­va­tion goals, pri­or­i­ties, and long-term na­tional strat­egy.

The coun­cil is tasked to de­velop a 10-year Na­tional In­no­va­tion Agenda and Strat­egy Doc­u­ment, which will es­tab­lish the coun­try’s vision and long-term goals for in­no­va­tion and pro­vide a road map and strate­gies for im­prov­ing in­no­va­tion gov­er­nance.

The NIC is like­wise di­rected to de­velop strate­gies to pro­mote the cre­ation of new ideas that will be de­vel­oped into new and qual­ity prod­ucts, pro­cesses, and ser­vices aimed at im­prov­ing the wel­fare of low­in­come and marginal­ized groups.

The law also orders the coun­cil to de­velop strate­gies to­wards pro­mot­ing MSME in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the lo­cal and global value chains.

“A com­pre­hen­sive sup­port pro­gram, from in­cor­po­ra­tion to in­ter­nal­iza­tion, shall be de­vel­oped by the NIC and im­ple­mented by the agen­cies con­cerned,” it said.

These pro­grams shall in­clude coach­ing and men­tor­ing in the ar­eas of design; tech­nol­ogy ex­ten­sion ser­vices; stan­dard busi­ness prac­tices in con­tract­ing, ac­count­ing and project man­age­ment; qual­ity control; stan­dard-set­ting; busi­ness ser­vices such as com­mer­cial­iza­tion and man­age­ment; patents; among oth­ers.

Also, the law in­structs the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try to look for high pro­duc­tiv­ity in­no­va­tive busi­nesses to help them iden­tify and ex­ploit op­por­tu­ni­ties in over­seas mar­kets.

More­over, under the law, among the pri­or­ity ar­eas of in­no­va­tion to be con­sid­ered in­clude food se­cu­rity and sus­tain­able agricultur­e, ‘blue econ­omy’ or ocean re­sources, hu­man cap­i­tal, and dig­i­tal econ­omy, among oth­ers.

“All of these pri­or­ity ar­eas are timely and rel­e­vant in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal as many of our lo­cal en­trepreneur­s are within these lines of busi­nesses,” she said, adding that in­no­va­tions in these ar­eas would re­ally re­sult in growth and devel­op­ment of Ne­grense MSMES.

Mean­while, to pro­mote pub­lic aware­ness and na­tional sup­port for in­no­va­tion, RA 11293 de­clares April 21 of every year as Na­tional In­no­va­tion Day.

For Col­menares, how­ever, the coun­try al­ready has a lot of hol­i­days which can make en­ter­prises less com­pet­i­tive. “Pay­ing em­ploy­ees with­out work is an added cost,” she added./

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