BACOLOD City – The signing of the Philippine Innovation Act has made micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Negros Occidental optimistic about the growth and development of local entrepreneurs.
Mary Ann Colmenares, chairman of the Negros Occidental provincial MSME development council said the law would be a very good enabling mechanism for MSMEs to compete globally.
“Innovation is important as Filipinos are competing with the rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries. We need to be at par with the global directions of other countries and innovation is one essential component,” Colmenares added.
On April 17, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Republic Act 11293, or the Philippine Innovation Act, which would harness innovation efforts to help the poor and the marginalized and enable MSMEs to be part of the domestic and global supply chain.
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 a driver of sustainable and inclusive growth.
Under the law, “the government shall adopt a broader view in developing its innovation goals and strategies, covering all potential types and sources of innovation.”
The law establishes the National Innovation Council (NIC) to develop the country’s innovation goals, priorities, and long-term national strategy.
The NIC will be tasked to develop a National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD) to establish the country’s vision and long-term goals for innovation and provide a road map and the strategies for improving innovation governance.
In Negros Occidental, the Provincial MSMED Council is composed of 11 member associations, groups, and agencies.
The private sector associations include 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, members are the departments of science and technology, interior and local government, and agriculture, as well as the provincial government, among others.
Colmenares also expressed optimism that the law will help address the need to create “smart” MSMEs.
She added that 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.” (PNA)