28 October 2022 – The DTI and the local government of Quezon City (QC), through Mayor Ma. Josefina “Joy” Belmonte, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen collaboration on startup and innovation government initiatives which will spur the growth and support the development of innovators in the City. Through Ordinance No. 3109 S-2022, the Startup QC Program was launched to pave the way for a stronger startup business ecosystem in QC.
Startup QC Program is a rolling initiative intended to assist and support startups through the provision of acceleration activities, development of startup infrastructure, and funding of innovative startup ventures. This Program was created by the City government to foster inclusive growth by streamlining government and non-government initiatives to create new jobs and improve production and advance innovation and trade in the country.
This initiative also supports the Mayor’s 14-Point Agenda to: 1) make Quezon City the preferred destination for all businesses; 2) ensure long-term success through a two-year accelerator program; and 3) generate new jobs across more businesses.
Mayor Belmonte’s goal is to “create vibrant business hubs that will inspire and empower Qcitizens to create contemporary business models targeted to help provide creative solutions to social challenges.” She added that “from here, we [QC] can continue creating large-scale collaborations that would enable these startups to grow and we can encourage more to take on the challenge of becoming a startup.”
Under the MOU, the DTI will provide assistance to the Startup QC Program through knowledge-sharing, policy support, linkage with the other supporting innovation actors, and promotion of the initiative. The DTI sees this partnership as a good opportunity as it strives to be at the forefront of upgrading, upskilling and upsizing MSMEs and startups through the implementation and promotion of digital transformation programs that capitalize on Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) as prime components.
The DTI, through its Startup Pilipinas Program, continuously promotes and supports the development of the Philippine Startup Ecosystem in pursuit of bringing about new and innovative products and services that will drive for a more inclusive and resilient post-pandemic Philippine economy.
DTI Competitiveness Bureau Director Lilian G. Salonga stated that “national competitiveness is hinged on local competitiveness and by relying on science, technology, innovation, and essential digital technologies, industries will have higher leverage on both domestic and export markets that will lead to a greater economic impact and inclusivity in digital transformation.”
The MOU is aligned with the Innovative Startup Act which mandates the State to ‘provide incentives and remove constraints aimed at encouraging the establishment and operation of innovative new businesses to develop an ecosystem of businesses and government and nongovernment institutions that foster an innovative entrepreneurial culture in the Philippines.’ Given this, the MOU underscored strong collaboration on facilitating ease of doing business initiatives for startups and innovative businesses.
Director Salonga stated that “we have already known QC as one of the pilot LGUs to adopt streamlining of systems and procedures of government service, thus, it is time that we begin a [Startup Business One-Stop Shop] SBOSS with QC as a pilot site.”
On the other hand, Mayor Belmonte highlighted QC’s E-Services platform that digitizes all processes in business permit registration.
Dir. Salonga also mentioned that the DTI, together with its partner stakeholders, “shall continue to endeavor to sustain the efficient implementation of initiatives, programs, and projects that promote a culture of innovation, embed innovation and entrepreneurial mindset to our [the] stakeholders and foster the growth of a robust innovation and startup ecosystem.”
Meanwhile, the DTI also recognized the QC for bagging the Overall Most Competitive Local Government Unit in Highly Urbanized Cities award during the 2022 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Summit on 20 October 2022 at the Philippine International Convention Center. Achieving high scores in Economic Dynamism and Innovation Pillars, the QC has been consistently holding the title of Most Highly Urbanized City since 2016, earning the title “Hall of Famer” and “champion of innovation.”
The MOU-signing took place in the Executive Building of Quezon City Hall. The event was also attended by other government agencies, the academe, and prominent startup enablers.