THREE government agencies signed Friday the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Innovative Startup Act or Republic Act 11337, which provides tax breaks and removes registration barriers for startup companies.

In a statement, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that the next step for the government is to establish a one-stop shop to be known as the Startup Business One-Stop Shop (Startup BOSS), which will offer end-to-end registration for startups.

“We will coordinate as well with respective Local Government Units (LGUs) and other agencies through our field offices for the processing of application of permits and licenses,” he said.

Mr. Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and his counterparts from the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) Secretary (Fortunato T. dela Peña), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (Gregorio B. Honasan II) signed the IRR at the conclusion of the First Philippine Startup Week.

The Innovative Startup Act, which President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed on April 26, qualifies for incentives “any person or registered entity in the Philippines which aims to develop an innovative product, process, or business model.”

“This law will also help create new jobs, improve production, and advance innovation and trade,” Mr. Lopez said.

The three departments will develop the Philippine Startup Development Program (PSDP), which will outline programs, benefits, and incentives for startups and startup enablers, Mr. Lopez said.

“We will also coordinate with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) on the creation of Philippine Startup Ecozones to spur the growth and development of startups and startup enablers. Further, we will work with the Board of Investments (BoI) on a Startup Investment Development Plan (SIDP). This plan will develop short, medium, and long-term strategies to spur investment in, and promote the growth and development of startups and startup enablers,” he added.

The agencies are also in charge of the Startup Grant Fund “to provide initial and supplemental grants-in-aid” for qualified startup applicants.

“DTI will administer in coordination with the National Development Co. (NDC) a Startup Venture Fund (SVF) to be used to match investments by selected investors in startups based in the Philippines,” Mr. Lopez said.

Under RA 11337, the programs, benefits, and incentives include full or partial subsidies for business registration, application, and permit processing costs; endorsement of the host agency for the expedited or prioritized processing of applications with other government agencies; full or partial subsidy for the use of facilities, office space, equipment, and services provided by government or private institutions; full or partial subsidy in the use of repurposed government space and facilities of the host agency as the registered business address; and grants-in-aid for research, development, training, and expansion projects. — Arjay L. Balinbin