The House committee on small business and entrepreneurship development chaired by Rep. Peter Unabia (1st District, Misamis Oriental) has approved a substitute bill which seeks to provide an alternative for employees who opt to retire from the government to venture into entrepreneurial activities.
In a meeting presided by committee vice chairperson Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (1st District, Negros Oriental), the panel approved the unnumbered bill entitled “An Act Promoting The Development Of Entrepreneurship Skills Among Government Employees To Inspire Innovativeness And To Ensure They Are Productive Even Beyond Government Service.”
Limkaichong said that the representatives of concerned stakeholders namely, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation, and the Phil Government Employees Association, presented their comments and recommendations on the bill which warranted the need for more discussion and deliberation.
The bill substituted House Bill 3335 authored by Rep. Victoria Isabel Noel (Party-list, AN WARAY). Noel said a technical working group (TWG) chaired by Rep Dennis Laogan (Party-list, ANG KABUHAYAN) met on May 4, 2017 to fine-tune the provisions of the bill, taking into consideration the comments of the concerned agencies who had been invited to the meeting.
Noel said she filed the bill to help retirees from the government service by honing their entrepreneurship skills while still in service.
“This will prepare them to engage in an undertaking that will provide them with alternative source of income after retirement because as we all know, the pension of retirees, more often than not, is not enough to sustain their needs,” Noel said.
The substitute bill, otherwise known as the “Government Employees’ Entrepreneurship Development Act,” declares it is a policy of the State to enhance the human and intellectual capital of the government and to ensure a health productive life for government employees after they have been retired from public service.
Moreover, the State shall afford post-service assistance to allow retirees to further discover, evaluate and exploit ideas and opportunities which may be translated into business ventures.
The bill aims to ensure the continuous flow of innovative and development-oriented government programs and projects for entrepreneurial development and promote the utilization of the creativity of highly competitive and resourceful government retirees and those who will retire from the government service within a period of five years.
The bill mandates all government agencies and offices to prepare and implement a post-service Government Service Entrepreneurship Development Program (GSEDP) for their employees based on guidelines to be prescribed by the CSC.
The GSEDP shall be designed in such a manner as to help employees learn what they need to know to develop ideas and actualize them into successful businesses and how to increase entrepreneurial opportunities in their respective municipalities, provinces and regions.
Intensive preparation activities and learning modules for retirees shall start five years prior to their retirement date. The post-service assistance may be given on a consultancy basis to strengthen the proposed programs to be implemented under the Act.
To generate financial resources and develop employees’ entrepreneurial skills as part of their objectives, the bill instructs all government agencies to promote and support the establishment of cooperatives, with the assistance of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and of savings and loans associations, by recognizing, protecting and upholding the rights of employees to organize cooperatives and savings and loan associations in their respective offices.
Likewise, the heads of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) concerned, shall coordinate with existing government financial institutions (GFIs) to provide sources of financing for the viable income-generating entrepreneurial projects of their retired employees, subject to the mandate of the GFI concerned and applicable banking laws and regulations.
The bill directs the CSC to be the lead agency in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of a comprehensive plan for the government employees’ entrepreneurial development.
It also tasks all government agencies to extend post-service assistance to their respective retirees and shall include this as part of their human resources development plan.