House panel okays 2 pro-entrepreneurship bills

MANILA A House of Representatives' panel has approved the funding provisions of two bills designed to promote entrepreneurship in the country.

The House committee on appropriations passed House Bill (HB) No. 3335, known as the "Government Employees' Entrepreneurship Development Act", and HB 5158 or an "Act providing a socialized micro financing program for micro enterprises thereby promoting entrepreneurship".

Committee chairman, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, said the bills aim to nurture the "innate entrepreneurial spirit" among Filipinos.

"Both of these bills seek to promote the benefits of entrepreneurship, which sadly remains an unmastered art to most Filipinos. Despite this, we continuously strive to come up with the next breakthrough company or business, and these measures have been designed to make this dream more achievable," he said.

Nograles said the main feature of HB 5158 is the creation of an affordable micro-financing program called "Pondo sa Pagbabago sa Pag-Asenso" fund or the P3, with the goal of making financing more accessible to micro enterprises even in the poorest provinces.

These micro enterprises include market vendors, agri-businessmen and members of cooperatives, industry associations and cooperators, among others.

"Once institutionalized, the P3 will give prospective entrepreneurs a better source of capital than say, informal moneylenders or loan sharks, including those who use the burdensome '5-6' lending system," Nograles said.

"Through this fund, the state will truly be a partner in growing one's business or in simply helping make a good business idea come to fruition," he added.

Under the bill, the Small Business Corp. shall become the lead agency for the P3 fund, and will handle the fund delivery through direct lending to micro enterprises; and wholesale lending to conduits which shall on-lend to micro enterprises.

Meanwhile, HB 3335 seeks to promote the development of entrepreneurship skills among government employees to inspire innovativeness and to ensure their productivity even beyond government service.

The bill targets government retirees, as well as employees who are slated to retire from government service in five years' time.

Under the bill, all government offices and agencies are mandated to implement a post-service Government Service Entrepreneurship Development Program (GSEDP) for their employees based on guidelines to be prescribed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Nograles said the GSEDP would be used as a tool to introduce state employees to technology transfer systems, entrepreneurial training, and seminars as part of the agency's annual training plan.

"Intensive preparation activities and learning modules for retirees shall start five years prior their retirement date," he said.

All government agencies are also mandated to extend post-service assistance to their respective retirees and shall include this as part of their human resources development plan.

The CSC shall be the lead agency in the preparation, implementation, and monitoring of a comprehensive plan for the government employees' entrepreneurial development.

"That way, entrepreneurship becomes part of the culture of government work," Nograles said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency