Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship key for Philippine economic development

An announcement made by the Philippine Information Agency highlighted the how the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are looking into Filipino innovation (Filipinnovation) as the strategic tool for the country’s economic development.

Innovation is the key tool in changing and improving the country’s industries, in producing more jobs and attracting more investments in the Philippines according to DTI and DOST.

A public consultation entitled, “Gearing up the Regions for Industry 4.0 – Regional Validation Workshop,” was held in Davao City recently to present the strategies in implementing the Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap.

During the event, inputs and recommendations on the newly-adopted industrial policy were gathered. It was conducted by DTI’s Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research (DTI-BTIPR) in coordination with the regional offices of DTI and DOST.

Filipinnovation (Filipino Innovation) is a project for entrepreneurs. Sec Lopez said, “Innovation is when you fix something, even if it’s not broken. In entrepreneurship, continuous innovation in products, processes, business model, is the only way to survive.”

The aforementioned roadmap was initiated in 2017 when DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the two-day Inclusive Innovation Summit 2017.

To implement this, DTI created the following programs to help entrepreneurs, they are:

(1)    Shared Service Facilities (SSF), which is a machine-lending service to cooperatives.

(2)    Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), which is a low-interest collateral-free loan program to MSMEs.

(3)    Kapatid Mentor ME program is a coaching and mentoring approach where large corporations teach MSEs on different aspects of business operations.

(4)    SME Roving Academy (SMERA) is a continuous learning program for the development of MSMEs to become competitive in the domestic and international markets.

(5)    Go Lokal, which is a project that discovers and improves MSME products and helps them reach mainstream markets.

(6)    Inclusive, Innovation-led, Industrial strategy (i3s)—wherein the academe, industry, and government sectors collaborate to solve business innovation challenges.

DOST, on their part, provides the following services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs):

(1)    Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET UP), which provides machines and technology training to individuals or companies.

(2)    Science and Technology Expert Volunteers’ Program (STEVPP) which allows Science and Technology experts to provide free consultations and assistance to communities and cooperatives.

(3)    Testing and Calibration services to ensure that products reach health and quality standards

(4)    Packaging and Labelling assistance.

104 participants from different sectors attended the event. Representatives from the national government agencies, industry cluster communities, academic institutions, business groups, MSMEs, and business start-ups participated in breakout sessions to identify constraints and proposed actions.

DTI Assistant Secretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group (IDTPG) Ms Rafaelita M. Aldaba led the presentation of the Inclusive, Innovation Industrial strategy (i3s) framework.

The DTI-Board of Investments (BOI) formulated the i3s framework. It is an industrial policy aimed at growing innovative and globally-competitive manufacturing, agriculture and services sectors while strengthening their linkages into the domestic and global value chains.

Suggestions for government issues included implementing reforms or projects that would improve the ease of access to funding for MSMEs. Moreover, creation of an innovation governance body that would converge, coordinate and oversee the innovation initiatives and related activities would be ideal.

Establishing strong linkages between big companies and small enterprises to improve the support capability and identify domestic supply chains was the suggestion for industry issues.

As for the academe, it was recommended that there should be an establishment of facilities in the universities where students can develop or test their products and outputs before deploying it to the market.

DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said, “Through close coordination among government agencies and effective policy implementation, we could harness the potential of more Filipino innovators and entrepreneurs that will drive the country to a more competitive positioning in the global economic arena and improve the quality of life for all Filipinos.”

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