MANILA -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have joined forces to help startups in the country.

The three departments signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday during the 2nd National Technology Business Incubator (TBI) Summit that the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) hosted at the Manila Hotel.

"We (the three agencies) have our own programs to support the startups. So, we will join hands in helping them, to give them better support," DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) at the sidelines of the MOU signing.

She said the DOST, for instance, has the Startup Ecosystem Development Program, and the two other agencies have their own programs as well.

"We could provide the necessary technical support, say, to those who will win in the DICT's program," she said.

With the MOU, Guevara said the three agencies have identified four strategic ways to help technology business incubators (TBIs) and startups -- collaboration, policy, promotion, and education.

The three departments will develop a five-year roadmap to identify how the government could better support the TBIs and startups.

For next year, they have already lined up various activities, Guevara said.

Among these are caravans and information campaign, so that startups would know where to seek legal help, and where to get resources, among others.

Storytelling will also be among the activities as Guevara said this aims to change the mindset of the graduates.

"Most graduates think of getting employed, instead of becoming an employer someday. So, we will have storytelling activities to change their mindset," she said.

The official added they will also partner with private TBIs and conduct regional educational activities for startup communities.

"There is a big potential for startups in the regions. We will also expose them to international events," Guevara said.

She clarified that even if the three agencies collaborate for this initiative, they will still continue their own programs for the startups.

The TBI Summit aims to help promote communication between startups and private and public partner agencies.

Several panel discussions were also held to showcase some of the best practices in business incubation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. (PNA)