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QUEZON CITY – In line with the government’s thrust to make the Philippines (PH) as one of the leading countries in creating startups, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed strong support to the country’s official attempt at the Guinness World Record’s largest hackathon in a single venue through the Impact Hackathon held on 30-31 October 2019.

Sec. Lopez likewise reiterated the role of the youth sector in developing startup communities as well as in creating solutions to address societal issues.

We want to build an entrepreneurship ecosystem that will push for innovation through more internet platforms and more new business models. And the Filipino youth has a unique advantage in this area. We have creative and very innovative youth who know how to keep up with the changing technology and use it in finding solutions to society problems,” said Sec. Lopez.

Participants of the 24-hour, on-the-spot coding marathon were asked to come up with technology-based solutions anchored on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on five themes: climate change, education, agriculture, smart cities, and health.

We are optimistic that more than the attempt to have the world’s largest hackathon, whatever will be developed by the participants may become useful to the country and to many Filipinos, while opening more opportunities to the startup developers,” the trade chief added.

The Secretary also highlighted landmark legislations that will further support the growth and development of startups in the country. He cited the Republic Act 11293 or Philippine Innovation Act and Republic Act 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act, which features a Startup Venture Fund and will set up Startup Ecozones.

The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is committed to support startup communities as we see technology and innovation as inclusive tools to promote income and job opportunities for many Filipinos,” said Sec. Lopez.

There are so many problems in the Philippines and in the region. And when there are problems, there’s an opportunity for entrepreneurship to rise,” said Impact Hub CEO Ces Rondario. Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte also expressed support and encouraged participants in the world record bid.♦

Date of Release: 4 November 2019

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