By Adrian M. Reodique
Aug. 25, 2016
Photo from Senator Bam Aquino's Facebook Page
Senator Bam Aquino is urging concerned government agencies to provide necessary support to Filipino scientists and business startups.
Earlier this year, Aquino filed the Senate Bill (SB) No. 175 or the Innovative Startup Act, and the SB No. 679 or the Magna Carta for Scientists.
In a press release, Aquino cited strict regulations as a barrier for local startups to establish their business in the country.
With the Innovative Startup Act, the government will provide local startups with support in terms of business registration, financial assistance - through tax breaks and salary subsidies - technical assistance, accreditation and assessment.
Aquino said among those who expressed support for the bill were the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Pena, other government officials, and private stakeholders.
On the other hand, the SB No. 679 aims to amend the section 6 of the Republic Act 8439 or the Magna Carta Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and Other Science and Technology (S&T) Personnel in the Government.
The section 6 states that since the existing salary scales of government employees cannot be applied to determine the salary scale of S&T professionals, a new salary scale needs to be developed for them.
With SB No. 679, the set limits on additional salary or honoraria that S&T professionals can receive as compensation will be removed.
According to Aquino, aside from enticing Filipino scientists who work abroad to return to the country, the concerned government agencies must provide them with opportunities to thrive which is through giving proper benefits and support.