DTI, JICA hold pitch event for Filipino, Japanese startup businesses
The Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency ( JICA), conducted on Thursday a "pitch event," which was participated in by Japanese investors and Filipino startup enablers.
The event, held in Makati City, was part of the DTI-JICA ongoing Project for the Industrial Competitive Enhancement Through Human Resource Development and Supply Value Chain Development, a four-year collaboration between the two agencies that was launched this April.
Yoshio Wada, JICA Philippine chief representative, described the pitch event as an "important milestone" for the project, citing the presence of representatives from Japanese investors Rakuten Capital, Spiral Ventures, and SBI Holdings.
The Filipino participants came from the Maria Health, Tangere, eCFulfill Inc., PearlPay, Inc., Washub Philippines, Mober Expensio Corp., Qwikwire, ISI Inc., and UPROOT.
He urged participants to use the opportunity to "effectively sell your ideas, widen your network, build a support system with a strong linkage that may serve as a stepping stone for you to move forward and be able to utilize your talent with a goal of becoming a contributor to the Filipino innovation that would possibly contribute to the development of local value chain in the Philippine manufacturing industry."
For her part, Trade Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Rafaelita Aldaba said government would release within the month the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 11337, otherwise known as the Innovative Startup Act.
"We hope to release it (IRR) soon. We're just finalizing some of the provisions," she told reporters after the event.
She cited that one important matter that concerned government agencies include in the IRR is the "coordination mechanism" to ensure the agencies would "collaborate" their work given limited resources.
For DTI alone, Aldaba said they were proposing P300 million budget for next year for the implementation of the new law.
Aside from DTI, the two other lead agencies are the departments of Science and Technology and of the Information and Communications Technology.
"There got to be coordination in place. If there's no mechanism in place to act as one body, it will be difficult. It (existing situation) won't change," she explained.
Under RA 11337, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte into law on April 26, 2019, a Philippine Startup Development Program was created.
The Program shall be composed of benefits, and incentives for startups and startup enablers promulgated through respective mandates of national government agencies and through additional mandates provided by the provisions of the Act.
The Program shall also include benefits, and incentives for startup and startup enablers extended by NGOs in partnership with any national government agency. Celerina Monte/DMS