Month: February 2015

Senate Bill No. 2465: Amending Sec. 6; Bp 68 (Corporation Code)

The Philippines is enjoying the best economic growth it has seen in years and has deemed to be a rising star in the region. But the challenge remains to enhance the local markets and business environment in order for investments to continuously come in. Updating pertinent laws is needed to keep up with the fast-changing business landscape and sustain this unprecedented progress.

This measure seeks to introduce key amendments to Batas Pambansa Blg. 68 or the Corporation Code, which was passed in 1980 or more than three decades ago.

Two key provisions aim to address the needs of entrepreneurs in the country.

Firstly, a sole proprietor presently needs to have incorporators of five to fifteen individuals to be able to register with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). The policy has created cases for dummy incorporators.

In addition, sole proprietorship exposes all the properties of the entrepreneur for the business’s liabilities. Such exposure risks all of the assets of the proprietor, even his family’s properties.

To address these, this measure recommendsthe recognition of the one-man corporation to encourage entrepreneurs to declare truthful and transparent information about their businesses, limit liabilities and spare family assets, and further grow their businesses.

Secondly, the law currently provides a limited corporate term of 50 years maximum. Many big firms forget to renew after 50 years and they end up dissolving the company, liquidating their assets and transferring their properties. This unfortunate event leads to loss of income and livelihood for families, and the loss of legacy and dreams for entrepreneurs and employees.

This bill seeks to allow corporations to have perpetual corporation existence but with renewal requirements every 25 years. Failure to comply with the requirements will not end corporate existence but penalties will be imposed. It allows a corporation to develop long-term plans and to look into more sustainable and far-reaching strategies for more economic growth.

Other related provisions have been proposed to make the policy relevant and attuned to present times, adopt best global practices, attract more investments and start-ups in the country, and specifically address the needs of entrepreneurs.

In view of the foregoing, the approval of this bill is earnestly sought.





Senate Bill No. 2466: Protection of Children During Natural Disasters and Calamities

As the Philippines lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, Filipino children are most vulnerable and are worst affected when disasters strike every year.

When Super Typhoon Yolanda hit Eastern Visayas, an estimated 6 million children were affected last November 2013. The children who survived the onslaught lost their loved ones and some became orphans; most of them experienced psycho-social trauma, difficulties in evacuation centers, loss of classroom time and access to social protection, among others.

It is then imperative to revisit policies that better support and provide services to our Filipino children, specifically during disasters, calamities or in armed conflict areas, to lessen the experienced trauma and bring normalcy back quickly.

Thus, the bill proposes the creation of a national program for the protection of children, especially of displaced children. This is particularly crucial in the most vulnerable areas of the country, where the experience of prolonged displacement would have a profound impact on the children’s sense of security, physical and emotional well-being, long-term health and nutrition, and access to education.

Moreover, the bill advances the child-centered training to disaster first responders, teachers, psychologists and eventually, other volunteers in disaster recovery, relief and rehabilitation. Modules are to be crafted specifically for the different stages of children and youth development.

Providing the targeted needs of the Filipino children, specifically during times of distress, ensures the long-term security and health of our nation. It is then urgent and important that this proposal is realized into fruition.

In view of the foregoing, the approval of this bill is earnestly sought.





Senate Bill No. 2467: Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund Act

For more than forty years, the coconut farmers have long been fighting for their rights – not just to have access to the Coco Levy – but their right to have the opportunity to develop their industry, and provide better lives for their families and communities as well.

The immense potential of the coconut industry to be a great contributor to the Philippines is largely untapped. With the advancement of farming technology and intercropping, there is a huge possibility to harness the coconut industry to address increasing demands and offer coco fiber, water, and oil, among others to new markets.

It is high time to change its narrative from one of the poorest sector in the country to a great economic driver and source of pride of the Filipino people.

This bill proposes to build the Coconut Levy Trust Fund for the growth of the industry and ultimately, for the benefit of the small coconut farmers and workers all over the country.

The proposal includes the financing of programs.for the increased productivity of coconut farms, capacity building of farmers, research and development of coconut- based enterprises, and implementation of poverty-alleviation programs.

The goal is to rehabilitate and revitalize the industry to stimulate production and attract investments that will make it again a viable, profitable and sustainable endeavor. The proposal seeks to modernize the farmers and stakeholders to make coconut production globally competitive and become a vital source of economic income for the country.

The challenge of inclusive growth is that as the Philippines grows, every Filipino should grow as well. This means that every family, every sector, and even the poor and marginalized should be able to experience this growth.

It is thus urgent and important to provide the coconut farmers the enabling environment and proper opportunity to thrive and flourish, and be able to participate in building this nation.

In view of the foregoing, the approval of this bill is earnestly sought.





Republic Act No. 10668: Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act

Currently, inter-island shipping is exclusively reserved for ships bearing the Philippine flag. Internationally, this principle is known as the Cabotage Principle, which is implemented to protect the country’s local shipping industry.

Unfortunately, this exclusive right incurs an extra cost for our importers of raw materials and for Philippine exporters of goods. Thus, we are pushing today for allowing foreign ships coming from international ports to dock into multiple ports all over the country.

This reform will provide our producers and entrepreneurs the following benefits and these are: 1) the lowering of production costs; 2) the easing of doing business in the maritime transport industry; 3) the decongestion of the Manila Port; and 4) the further leveraging of our strategic location in the ASEAN market.

 PDFicon DOWNLOAD RA 10668

Senate Bill No. 2603: Mamasapano Truth Commission

On January 25, 2015, while on a mission to serve arrest warrants to two suspected terrorists – Malaysian Jemaah Islamiyah leader, Zulkifli bin tilr also known as “Marwan” and Filipino bomb maker, Abdulbasit Usman, forty-four (44) members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP SAF) died, With twelve (12) getting injured in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, during an armed conflicct with other armed elements, which allegedly included the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).”

The facts and Circumstances remain unclear as to how this unfortunate event occurred.

This bill creates a fact-finding commission, to be called the “Mamasapano Truth Commission,” that will have plenary powers to investigate and report upon this tragedy. This tragedy has far-reaching consequences and implications, which strike at the very heart of the Nation, and may impede the ongoing peace process between the National Government and the MILF. An Independent and Impartial Commission is therefore necessary to enable us to get to the bottom of this tragedy.

Forty-four of our bravest elite police force perished in the grisly encounter, and twelve (12) remain suffering because of their injuries. The creation of this Commission shall be our humble way of honoring our fallen heroes, who served the country with excellence, valor and patriotism. We should not allow their deaths or injuries be in vain.

In view of the foregoing, early passage of this measure is urgently sought.





Sen. Bam Aquino’s Answers during the Press Conference on the Truth Commission Launch

Q: Ano ang magiging scope ng iimbestigahan ng Truth Commission?


Bam: I think ngayon kasi ang daming misinformation na umiikot. Marami tayong nakukuhang mga text, mga post sa social media, contradictory, magkakaiba-iba and sometimes downright talagang misinformation.

Ang pinakamahalaga rito sa Truth Commission ay mailabas niya kung ano ba talaga iyong nangyari. What really happened, what really transpired and at the end, also go towards accountabilities. Kung ano ba ang accountabilities ng bawat grupo.

Right now, kung titingnan mo talaga iyong mga information na lumalabas, halu-halo tsaka magkaka-iba-iba.

The purpose of this is to really ferret out the truth and eventually deemed towards accountability. Makuha talaga ang hustisya na hinahanap ng taumbayan.

On the other hand, kung ano talaga ang nangyari doon sa operational matters of this Oplan Wolverine, so to speak, maganda talagang makita natin. We really need to find out the minutest detail what really happened and whose really accountable.


Q: With several bodies investigating, there might be confusion in the process and how would you deal with irreconcilable statements?


Bam: Unang-una, I’m of the mindset that these parallel bodies that will investigate, they really need to happen because iba’t ibang perspective iyan.

The PNP Board of Inquiry will of course report based on their perspective as policeman. The Senate will conduct its own inquiry and the House, at some point, will also conduct its own inquiry.

In fact, what we produce can be consolidated, can be verified, puwedeng ibangga sa output ng Truth Commission. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na isang Truth Commission, isa lang dapat ang nag-iimbestiga.

Different groups can investigate. Even the media is already investigating. I mean, it’s not a government body pero patuloy rin ang pag-iimbestiga ng media.

Mahalaga na lumalabas lahat ng mga perspektibong ito. Mahalaga na makita natin ang iba’t ibang signs but again this Truth Commission, if legislated, will be the body that is supposed out with finality doon sa fact-finding aspect of what happened.

I can probably imagine that the output of all these bodies will also be entered into the Truth Commission’s work. Kapag naglabas na sila ng fact-finding output o ng kanilang report, ganoon po ang lalamanin ng lahat ng government bodies na nagsagawa rin ng kanilang imbestigasyon.


Q: How critical is the result of this Truth Commission to the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law?


A: I think it’s quite critical. Mahalaga po talaga. I think all of us here are supportive of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Wala naman ho sa amin dito ang nag-withdraw ng aming suporta.

Pero ang hinahanap ng taumbayan ngayon hustisya. We need to find justice and the truth with regard to this issue upang pagbalik ng ating talks natin sa BBL, mas mapapalakas pa natin iyong BBL. Mas mapapalakas pa natin iyong kagustuhang magkaroon ng kapayapaan.

I predict that the BBL will probably have to be modified, or changed or amended based on what had happened.

Hindi naman puwede namang mawala na lang ito. I think iyong hangarin na magkaroon ng kapayapaan, hindi rin puwedeng mawala.

Definitely, there will be repercussions and changes in the BBL because of what happened not just because of the report of the Truth Commission.

Palagay ko, mahalaga na i-state natin na ang kapayapaan sa Mindanao, mahalaga po iyan, kailangan pong ipagpatuloy iyan. Kailangang ipagpalaban iyan but not at the expense of anything else.

Hanapin po natin ang hustisya dito sa isyung ito. Iyon naman ang hinahanap ng mga pamilya ng mga namatay na SAF 44.

Iyan din ang hinahanap ng taumbayan. Hanapin natin ang katotohanan.

Let’s hold accountable those who need to be held accountable so that if we resume the talks sa BBL or when we continue the push for peace, mas magiging malakas pa ang pagtulak natin sa kapayapaan.


Q: In the meantime, the passage of the BBL will be delayed?


A: Na-suspend po ang hearing sa BBL pero marami pong isyu na dapat talakayin doon. Senator Miriam is tackling constitutionality. Sa amin pong opisina, maraming pong naghikayat ng concerns ng indigenous people at kabataan.

A lot of these meetings and hearings can probably continue but the final output natin, talagang maaapektuhan po iyan nitong ating mga pinag-uusapan. Kasi hindi naman po siyan basta-basta ipapasa.

Marami pa pong kailangang gawing pag-aaral, hearings na tuluy-tuloy naman po ang pagsasagawa niyan.

I would suggest that we settle the issue on the SAF 44, iyong justice for SAF 44 as soon as possible so we can really get back to the BBL as soon as possible also.



Transcript of Sen. Bam Aquino’s Interview at the KOMPRe People’s Conference in San Fernando, Pampanga

On the Fallen 44 and the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Sisikapin naming magkaroon ng hustisya para sa mga kasamahan natin na pinatay. Of course, kasama ako sa sumuporta sa Bangsamoro Basic Law. Ang hangarin natin na magkaroon ng kapayapaan, tuluy-tuloy pa rin naman iyan.

In the meantime na nangyari na ang trahedyang ito, hanapin muna natin iyong hustisya. Tingnan natin kung sino ba iyong kailangang managot dito on both sides.

Sabi ko nga, both sides are accountable. Hanapin natin kung sino ba talaga iyong dapat ma-charge, dapat maaresto. 

Siguraduhin natin na mangyari ang hustisya.

Q: Iyong hearing po ba itutuloy?

A: Tuloy ang hearing. That’s going to be on Wednesday.

Gaya ng maraming Pilipino, gusto po nating malaman kung ano talaga ang nangyari. Sino ang nag-utos, bakit sila napunta sa ganoong klaseng perhuwisyo at bakit nagpatuloy ang bakbakan nang ganoong katagal.

Marami sa atin ang na-shock, nagalit, nagdalamhati dahil sa nangyari.

Ang taumbayan po natin, naghahanap ng hustisya para sa ating mga kapatid na namatay, hahanapin po natin iyan.

Q: Sa hearing, sino po ang ipatatawag?

A: Probably from both sides ang tatawagin. I think ilalabas pa nila ang invitations so we’ll find out.

 I’m hoping na lahat ng taong involved, nandoon talaga para malaman natin kung ano talaga ang nangyari.

Q: Sir, iyong sa pag-surrender ng arms ng MILF?

A: Hindi lang arms at personal effects ang hinahanap ng taumbayan. Ako nga I would even go as far as to say na kailangang i-turnover ang mga taong involved dito

Q: Gaano po ito makakaapekto sa Bangsamoro Basic Law?

A: Malaking epekto ito talaga. I’m sure the bill might be modified, amended or changed dahil sa nangyari.

But hindi ibig sabihin noon, kailangang pigilin natin ang proseso. We need to still push for peace.

At the end of the day, ayaw na nating maulit ito ulit. Kung maghihiganti tayo, kung lulusubin natin ang lugar, it will just create a cycle of violence.

Kailangan ng ating mga kapatid na namatay ay hustisya, hindi paghihiganti.

Q: Gaano po kahalaga ang BBL para ma-attain ang kapayapaan, compared po sa sinasabi ni Mayor Estrada na all-out war?

A: Sa all-out war ni Mayor Erap, di hamak na mas maraming namatay. Hindi lang 44 iyong namatay doon, mas marami pang namatay. Iyon ang ayaw nating mangyari.

I think if we push for the peace measures, ang kalalabasan niyan is hindi na mauulit itong ganitong klase ng massacre o ganitong klaseng trahedya.

Hinahanap ng taumbayan ngayon ang hustisya. Hinahanap niya ang totoong impormasyon sa totoong nangyari. Naririto ang Senado para matulungang makamit iyon.

At the end of the day, huwag sana nating pakawalan ang kapayapaan dahil sa kagustuhan nating magkaroon ng vengeance.

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