The Philippine startup ecosystem is fairly young but it has seen rapid growth and development in producing technology-based companies. It is an opportune time for the country to boost this sector by developing entrepreneurs and creating businesses that can contribute to economic prosperity.
The Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 recognizes the need to enable the industry and services sectors to contribute significantly to economic growth and employment. Specifically, the National Economic Development Authority or “NEDA” emphasized the importance of “developing and [pursuing] strategies to help raise the competitiveness of industries by improving the business environment; raising productivity and efficiency and inculcating quality consciousness among the manufacturers and producers to offer quality goods and services comparable with global brands”.
In order to increase productivity and efficiency, NEDA advocates “government intervention in key priority areas, provide firm level support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises or “MSMEs”, increase market access, expand industry cluster development and intensify the culture of competitiveness”.
The MSME Development Plan 2011-2016 expands on this and creates the overall framework to guide the formulation of action plans for a more harmonized approach to MSME development.
The Philippine Export Development Plan 2015-2017 explains further and confirms that exports generated from the digital economy, particularly those produced by MSMEs, is a priority for government intervention due to the high growth capacity of the industry powered by the internet and technology.
Finally, and aligning with the goals of the startup industry contained in the Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startups launched by the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office, the Department of Industry or “DTI” launched the Philippine Startup Ecosystem Program 2016-2021 during Slingshot 2016 or the two (2) day National Summit on Innovation and Startups
Five Point Action Plan: Proposed Programs and Incentives
Action No. 1: Increase culture and collaboration
Action No. 2: Address legal and regulatory barriers
Action No. 3: Support through government services, capital and resources
Action No.4: Create a national startup business council
Action No. 5: Establish a Philippine startup economic zone