By Mariela Angella Oladive
The National Development Company (NDC) is gearing up to extend its Philippine Innovation Hub both across and outside the country, with Iloilo being a prospective site alongside Cebu and Tacloban in the Visayas region.
NDC General Manager Anton Mauricio revealed the plans during the 26th General Meeting of the Rotary Club of Manila at the Manila Polo Club on Thursday where he emphasized the initiative’s goal to strengthen the digital landscape for Filipinos both domestically and internationally.
With the objective of establishing regional hubs in 10 regions in the country, the state-owned enterprise is committed to preventing provinces outside Metro Manila from being left behind in terms of innovation.
“We don’t want the provinces outside of Metro Manila to be left behind with innovation, so there has to be a physical space for the start-up MSMEs to go to and have access to incubation, acceleration, government support, and potential funding. They can talk directly to the command center outside Metro Manila,” Mauricio stressed, highlighting the institution’s commitment to inclusivity.
In Luzon, the innovation hubs are slated for Naga City, Batangas, La Union, and Nueva Ecija, while for Mindanao, the identified locations are General Santos, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.
For its international expansion, the NDC plans to establish offices for the innovation hub in Singapore and Hong Kong and is exploring possibilities in Dubai, London, and Kuala Lumpur.
These international offices aim to provide valuable support to Philippine businesses venturing into global markets, offering government support, temporary office addresses, and connections with potential investors.
The move aligns with NDC’s broader vision of decentralizing innovation efforts, ensuring that regions outside major urban centers actively contribute to the technological advancement and economic growth of the Philippines.
The NDC has already laid the groundwork for the Philippine Innovation Hub, housing the Ph iHub (Philippine Innovation Hub) at its Startup Venture Fund headquarters in Makati City.
The initiative involves actively engaging knowledge partners to contribute to the Philippine Innovation Registry, which will serve as a central repository of information on innovation projects beneficial to the country.
The inclusion of Iloilo in the expansion plan underscores the NDC’s commitment to fostering innovation beyond major urban centers, ensuring that different regions can be key players in the technological and entrepreneurial growth of the Philippines.