Speaking in the Cebu press launch of the upcoming Geeks on a Beach (GOAB) international tech conference, Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV announced that he is refiling a bill exempting startups from taxes on their first two years of operation. Senator Bam Aquino has consistently shown support to startups or innovation-driven enterprises based on apps, saying proper support for the homegrown startup community may yet produce the next Facebook or Twitter.
“The bill encourages the growth of more Filipino startups by giving them enough time to stand on their own. This reaffirms the government’s recognition of the importance of startups and commitment to innovation,” said Senator Bam Aquino.
Filed by Senator Bam Aquino last May 7, 2014 as Senate Bill 2217, the Startup Business Bill which was not made into law in the previous congress will be refiled by the senator after the opening of the 17th Congress later this month. He will also be giving a keynote speech during the fourth GOAB, a one of a kind conference that combines the latest tech development with a fun environment which will be held in Bellevue Hotel in Panglao, Bohol this August 25-26, 2016.
TechTalks.ph founder and GOAB lead organizer Tina Amper said getting the Startup Business Bill declared into law will be a superb follow up to the passing of the law creating the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) last May.
“The startup community is happy to have found a champion in the Philippine senate in the person of Senator Bam Aquino. We express our support to his endeavors that build towards the provision of adequate state support for startups,” said Amper.
Since startups are designed to grow very fast, she explains the senator’s proposed measure cutting back taxes would remove one more barrier to faster growth of local startups. While there is a lot more work to do, this may also bring in more venture capitalists and foreign direct investments in the industry.
“It’s a great help for startups if they no longer pay taxes for its first two years. This landmark legislation that will not only create a favorable business atmosphere for the spawning of new startups but also inspire more growth in the country,” added David Overton, CEO of Sym.ph and Chief Geek of GOAB. Both Amper and Overton expressed optimism that building the local startup ecosystem can seize the new opportunities opened up by the hi-tech revolution and ultimately bring in more jobs and stimulate the entire economy in general.
Global internet users have surpassed the 3 billion mark or 42 percent of the world’s population while the Asia-Pacific region remains the largest smartphone market with 52 percent of all the world’s users, according to the Internet Trends 2016 Code Conference.
GOAB is organized by TechTalks.ph, co-organized by Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and co-presented by PLDT SME Nation, Ideaspace and SmartDevNet.
GOAB is held in partnership with HappyGaraje, Sym.ph, and PR Works. This year’s Silver Sponsors are Zalora, Mynimo, Teradoor, PouchNation, and A Space while Bronze Sponsors are Yoyo Holdings, Payoneer, Eurekloud, USAID-STRIDE, US Embassy, Launchgarage, and StarTechUp Inc. GOAB organizational partners are Philippines Software Industry Association, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines., UP CebuInit.org, CedFIT.org, Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines, Developers Connect, STAC Silicon Valley and GoNegosyo. Media partners are Auza.Net, Tech in Asia, Geeks in Cambodia, Hubnob.tv, InnoPub Media, Mytechisland.com, Zerothreetwo.com, Jumpstart Magazine, Mobile Ecosystem Forum, Asian Journal Publications, Balikbayan Magazine, Innovation is Everywhere, e27, Newsdesk Asia, WazzupPilipinas, Escooped.com, Istorya.net, Expat Philippines, PayPerClick.ph and TopTen.ph. GOAB founding sponsors are Smart, Smart Bro, Smart Devnet, Ideaspace, Mynimo.com, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, STAC Silicon Valley, Islands, Istorya.net, GT Cosmetics, Chef on Demand and Ng Khai Development Corporation.
GOAB is offering 15% discount on its tickets and 40% discount for group of 5 of more until July 31. Startups are also encouraged to apply to the 2nd GOAB International Startup Pitching Competition for opportunity to be matched with mentors and investors.