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.
Senator Bam Aquino filed Senate Bill 2217, the Startup Business Bill, on May 7, 2014. The bill did not become law in the previous congress, but the senator will refile it after the 17th Congress opens later this month.
During the fourth GOAB, a unique conference that merges the latest tech developments with a fun environment, he will also give a keynote speech at the Bellevue Hotel in Panglao, Bohol, on August 25-26, 2016.
Tina Amper, founder of TechTalks.ph and lead organizer of GOAB, said that declaring the Startup Business Bill into law would be a superb follow-up to the creation of 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.
She explains that the senator’s proposed measure, which reduces taxes, aims to eliminate one more barrier and thus accelerate the growth of local startups, designed to expand rapidly. 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. The 2nd GOAB International Startup Pitching Competition also encourages startups to apply for the opportunity to match with mentors and investors.
For more information, to sponsor or purchase tickets, visit www.GeeksOnABeach.com; or contact Hello@GeeksOnABeach.com. Facebook: Geeks On A Beach and Twitter @GeeksOnABeach.