THE NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will establish an office that will help implement a 2019 law designed to support research and fund enterprises geared towards developing “innovative solutions.”

“There is a national innovation strategy that we have prepared, and this will soon be presented to the national innovation council,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said at the Philippine Business Conference and Expo Wednesday.

Mr. Chua said the implementation of the Philippine Innovation Act or Republic Act (RA) 11293 signed in April 2019 “coincided with the pandemic.”

“In NEDA, we are reorganizing ourselves. There will be a full staff for the innovation office under the NEDA. We have met technically with several agencies, and we are just waiting for an opportunity for us to have a council meeting,” he said.

The national innovation council is chaired by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, with NEDA providing the vice-chair.

The Department of Trade and Industry in September said that it has not received funding for its innovation programs that are entitled to receive P1 billion annually under RA 11293.

The Philippines slipped one spot to 51st place out of 132 economies on an annual list that measures innovation performance, after the country’s information technology infrastructure scores sank.

The country’s performance in the Global Innovation Index 2021 had previously been improving significantly, hitting its highest rank so far last year after made the top 50. — Jenina P. Ibañez