Month: August 2018

Sen. Bam: Equipment, livestock and other personal property now OK as bank loan collateral

Filipinos will soon be able to use their personal properties, and not just land titles, as collateral for bank loans, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

Sen. Bam said that President Duterte signed on Aug. 17 Republic Act 11057 or Personal Property Security Act, which he pushed in the Senate as principal author and co-sponsor.

With the law, Sen. Bam said micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will have better access to capital to grow their business since they’ll be allowed to use personal properties, like inventory and equipment, as collateral for loans.

“Sa batas na ito, mabibigyan na ang ating mga kababayan ng mas maraming paraan para makakuha ng pautang na maaari nilang gamitin para makapagsimula o di kaya’y magpalawak ng negosyo,” said Sen. Bam.

 “Sa tulong ng batas na ito, umaasa tayo na mas marami pang Pilipino ang makakapagsimula ng negosyo bilang pagkukunan ng ikabubuhay,” added Sen. Bam.

Usually, banks and other financial institutions prefer to immovable assets, like land, as collateral for loans. With this law, equipment, inventory, livestock, motor vehicles and receivables will now be accepted as collateral, creating a healthier loan environment for both MSMEs and banking institutions.

The law also provides safeguards to reduce the risk involved in accepting movable assets.

“This just one step towards inclusive finance in the Philippines. Tuloy pa rin ang aming pagtrabaho sa mga reporma para sa mga maliliit na negosyanteng Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam.

A known advocate of entrepreneurship and MSME development as a source of livelihood for poor Filipinos, Sen. Bam passed several laws to support the sector, including the Go Negosyo Act, Youth Entrepreneurship Act, Philippine Competition Act, Foreign Ships Co-Loading, Microfinance NGOs Act and the Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Act.

The Personal Property Security Act is Sen. Bam’s 27th law in his five years as senator.

Sen. Bam: Tulungan, ‘wag pahirapan ang mga mangingisda

Sen. Bam Aquino stressed that the government should first help fishermen increase their catch and reduce their expenses instead of just importing “galunggong” to lower the prices of fish in the market.

“Sana tulungan din ng pamahalaan ang mga mangingisda na madagdagan ang kanilang huli at babaan ang kanilang gastos sa petrolyo,” said Sen. Bam, referring to the Department of Agriculture’s intention to import galunggong.

The senator said fishermen are overwhelmed with the high operational costs, with half of it going to fuel, based on a study by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

“Nalulunod ang mga kababayan nating mangingisda sa taas ng operational cost kaya bumababa ang kita nila,” said Sen. Bam, who is pushing for a subsidy or support program for fisherfolk, similar to the Pantawid Pasada Program for jeepney drivers, to help them cover the cost of fuel and inputs.

Sen. Bam insisted that the government should find other means to lower prices of goods and services that will not be detrimental to other sectors.

Instead of importation and lowering tariffs, Sen. Bam said the government should support his Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo Bill, which seeks to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

Sen. Bam said the urgent passage of his measure is necessary since there is a scheduled second round of increase in excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law in January 2019.

“Kapag hindi naawat, panibagong bigat na naman ito para sa mga jeepney driver, tricycle driver at pati na rin sa mangingisda,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

Sen. Bam Aquino’s message for Ninoy Aquino Day

Is the Filipino STILL worth dying for?
I get asked this question a lot these days from friends and relatives as if to say that these immortalized words from Tito Ninoy are no longer true.
Many of them are disillusioned and despondent with the state of our nation and the seeming lack of courage from the public and from public officials. Where is the anger at the thousands of deaths and the everyday violence in our streets? Where are the leaders of the country who vowed to speak for the poor, but are now so silent and even complicit to the worsening situation of our people? 
When they ask: ‘Is the Filipino still worth dying for?’, what they’re really asking is: ‘Are we Filipinos still worth the trouble and the struggle?’ 
But when Ninoy Aquino wrote these words, our country was not much different from today. 
It was 1983, more than a decade of the Marcoses in absolute power, corruption rampant, with the poor feeling the worst of it. 
Media was controlled and though there were pockets of resistance, the dictatorship reigned. People were afraid. 
I remember my parents saying that martial law showed us who our true friends were because nobody would want to be seen with those vocal against the government. 
My father lost clients; neighbors would avoid my mom at the grocery aisle. And Tito Ninoy was jailed for almost eight years. 
Ninoy Aquino went from being 1971’s Man of the Year and a promising Presidentiable, to being Martial Law’s Prisoner No. 1 and largely being forgotten by a once-supportive public. 
I asked my parents, ‘Kung mahal talaga siya ng mga tao noon, bakit ‘di sila nagprotesta o nag-rally?’  ‘Natatakot sila,’ they would say. 
Sentenced to death on fake charges and eventually (thankfully) exiled from the land he loved, student activists of the 80’s once told me they didn’t even remember who he was when he came home. 
He was 39 years old when they jailed him and 50 when they shot him. 
But in his last decade filled with loneliness, abandonment, disappointment and betrayal, it was in those times that he wrote, “The Filipino is worth dying for.”
In the end, he never lost that hope – in God, in himself and yes, in the Filipino. 
And if someone like Ninoy Aquino, stripped of popularity, power and potential, can keep his hope in the Filipino alive even at the darkest of times in his life and in our history, how can we lose hope today? 
Clearly the answer to the question, ‘Is the Filipino STILL worth dying for?’ is Yes! Yes! 
Yes, we are still worth dying for, we are worth the trouble and the struggle. No matter how difficult or dangerous times may get, let’s take the lead from Ninoy’s life. 
The Filipino is worth dying for, worth fighting for.  Tuloy ang Laban! 

Sen. Bam to gov’t: If fuel price is a major issue, support Bawas Presyo Bill

It is only logical for the administration to support his Bawas Presyo Bill after pointing to rising fuel prices as the reason for Filipinos’ perception that life worsened, according to a senator.

 “Ngayong umamin na ng gobyerno, siguro naman ay susuportahan na nila ang isinusulong nating panukala para sa suspindihin at i-rollback ang buwis sa petrolyo,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, referring to his Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo Bill.

 “Aksyon at solusyon ang kailangan ng taumbayan, hindi debate at palusot. Ipasa na natin ang Bawas Presyo Bill para tulungan ang mga Pilipinong nalulunod na sa taas-presyo,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam’s measure seeks to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

The senator made the pronouncement after Malacanang attributed the results of a latest survey showing more Filipinos believe their lives worsened during the second quarter of this year to rising fuel prices.

 In its June 2018 survey, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said that 32 percent of adult Filipinos claimed their lives improved while 27 percent said their lives worsened for a net gainers score of +5. The result was 15 percent lower than the 20-percent net score in March 2018.

During Thursday’s Senate hearing on the effects of the TRAIN Law, Sen. Bam criticized the Department of Finance (DOF) for not taking into consideration the indirect effect of the tax reform program on inflation.

An official of the DOF admitted that its earlier claim during Senate deliberation that 0.4 percent effect of the TRAIN Law on inflation was based only on direct effect.

  “Ang hirap tanggapin na hindi nag-forecasting ang ating economic managers. Kabuhayan at kalagayan ng mga pamilyang Pilipino ang maaapektuhan sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis dahil sa TRAIN Law,” said Sen. Bam, one of just four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

Sen. Bam: Bawas Presyo Bill, certified urgent by Filipinos

Filipino families, especially the poor, are pushing for the immediate passage of the “Bawas Presyo Bill”, saying the measure can help alleviate their suffering from high prices of goods due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“Kung ayaw man ito pansinin ng administrasyon, ang taumbayan na ang nagsasabi na certified urgent ang Bawas Presyo Bill. Hindi na raw sila makahinga sa taas ng presyo. Kahit anong kayod, hindi na makaahon ang mga pamilya,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, referring to his Senate Bill No. 1798.

Sen. Bam’s measure seeks to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

“Nasa harap na natin ang solusyon pero ayaw tumbukin ng economic managers ng gobyerno,” said Sen. Bam.

According to Sen. Bam, he has been receiving the same complaint from Filipino families about the burden of high prices of goods and services during his consultations with various sectors in different parts of the country.

“Tuwing bumibisita ako sa mga komunidad sinasabi ng ating mga kababayan na nalulunod na sila sa mataas na presyo ng bilihin,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

“Ang sabi ni Mang Siming na tricycle driver sa Isabela, ang mga suki niya dati, naglalakad na lang kahit tirik ang araw para makatipid. Kumokonti ang kaniyang kita, tumataas pa ang presyo ng gasolina,” said Sen. Bam.

“Si Mang Mike naman, na magsasaka at may dalawang anak sa high school at dalawa sa kolehiyo, nababawasan na ang binibigay na baon at pamasahe sa kanila araw-araw,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam stressed that the “Bawas Presyo Bill” could alleviate the plight of poor Filipino families, jeepney and tricycle drivers, farmers and fishermen.

“Sa Bawas Presyo Bill, bababa ang presyo ng diesel, gasoline at kerosene para mabigyan ng ginhawa ang mga Pilipino sa taas-presyo,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the government should address the rising inflation by supporting the passage of his measure.

Sen. Bam said the immediate passage of the measure is vital since the second round of increase in excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law will take effect in January 2019.

Sen. Bam on the 1st death anniversary of Kian delos Santos

Mabagal ang galaw ng hustisya para kay Kian at wala pa ring katarungan para sa libu-libong mahihirap na Pilipino na patuloy na pinapatay ng mga Death Squad.

Ilan pa ba ang kailangang mapaslang bago natin makita na ang lipunang dumadanak ang dugo ng mahihirap ay puno lang ng pagdurusa at hindi makalilikha ng maliwanag na bukas?

Huwag sana tayong maging manhid sa patayan at karahasan na nangyayari sa ating mga lansangan.

Matuto tayo mula sa kabataang Pilipino na pursigido sa bawat hamon at hindi nawawalan ng pagmamahal sa kapwa. Kapit lang! Ituloy natin ang laban.



Sen. Bam: Maximize Sci-Tech to address effects of storms, natural calamities

Our science and technology sector can strengthen the country’s mitigation and response to natural calamities and disasters, according to Senator Bam Aquino. 
“Malaki ang maitutulong ng science and technology sa pagsasaliksik, paghahanda at pagbuo ng mga hakbangin upang mapagaan ang epekto ng mga natural na kalamidad,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. 
One of Sen. Bam’s measures to strengthen the country’s response and mitigation during natural calamities and disasters is Senate Bill No. 1211 or the Philippine Space Act. 
Sen. Bam said the measure, if enacted into law, will beef up existing government programs on disaster prevention, including the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s disaster risk management, PAGASA’s astronomical science programs and National Mapping & Resource Information Agency’s satellite information gathering. 
“Makatutulong ito upang mapalakas pa ang kaalaman ng ating mga scientist at mananaliksik pagdating sa paghahanda at pag-aaral ng mga kalamidad na maaaring tumama sa bansa,” added Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam is scheduled to deliver his sponsorship speech anytime and present the measure for the consideration of the plenary. 
“The PhilSA would be responsible for developing space science technology policies, implementing research and education programs, establishing industry linkages between private and public sector stakeholders, protection of national territory, natural resources accounting, and capacity building for telecommunications,” Sen. Bam said. 
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), headed by Sec. Fortunato dela Pena, expressed hope that the bill would enacted into law this year.

Sen. Bam: Natatanggap ba ng mahihirap ang tulong pinansiyal ng gobyerno?

A senator urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to investigate whether the poorest of the poor families are benefiting from the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Sen. Bam Aquino made the call after the Commission on Audit (COA) reported that around P1.3 billion were left unclaimed by 1.9 million individual beneficiaries in 2017.

In its audit report, the COA stressed that the lapse of time that beneficiaries failed to claim their grants showed that they were not in severe need of the subsidy, which cast doubt on the eligibility of the listed beneficiaries. 

 “Sa totoo lang, imoral iyong may pondo pero hindi naibabahagi sa mga kababayan nating naghihirap,” said Sen. Bam, who plans to file a resolution to ensure that the poorest of the poor benefit from the 4Ps program.

Sen. Bam suggested that the DSWD should review the list of beneficiaries under the 4Ps program to make sure that they belong to the poorest of the poor or are really in need of government assistance.

“Hindi tama na nakatengga lang ang pondo para sa tulong habang nalulunod na ang marami sa taas-presyo,” Sen. Bam stressed. “Sayang naman ang pondo na maaaring pakinabangan ng iba pa nating mahihirap na kabababayan.

Also, Sen. Bam renewed his call to the government to fully implement the social mitigating measures under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

As of now, the government has yet to complete the roll out of the unconditional cash transfer (UCT) program for poor Filipino families and the Pantawid Pasada Program, which aims to help jeepney operators and drivers cope with the increase in oil prices.

 “Ngayong lalong tumataas ang inflation rate, higit na kailangan ng ating mahihirap na kababayan ang tulong mula pamahalaan. Huwag na natin silang pag-antayin pa,” stressed Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

In an effort to lower prices of goods, Sen. Bam has filed Senate Bill No. 1798 or the “Bawas Presyo Bill” to roll back and suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when average inflation surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

Sen. Bam to economic managers: Protektahan ang magsasaka’t mangingisda, suportahan ang ‘Bawas Presyo Bill’

The government must consider the welfare of farmers and fishermen when they tackle the proposed lower tariffs for meat, fish and rice, Sen. Bam Aquino insisted.

“Lowering the tariffs will lower the price. Pero sa pagbaba ng presyo ng imported, ang ating magsasaka at mangingisda naman ang masasagasaan,” said Sen. Bam during the briefing on the proposed 2019 National Expenditure Program.

“Kailangan natin protektahan ang mga Pilipinong nalulunod na sa taas-presyo,” Sen. Bam told National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director-general Ernesto Pernia, who assured the senator that there will be consultations with the sectors regarding the matter.

Sen. Bam also asked the government’s economic managers to ensure that mitigating measures are in place for millions of farmers before implementing rice tariffication.

“Rice tariffication will have a detrimental effect to 3.5 million Filipino rice farmers. Bago pa ito ipatupad, dapat nakahanda na ang tulong sa ating magsasaka,” said Sen. Bam, who said the delays in mitigating measures convinced him to vote “No” to the TRAIN Law.

The government plans to allot P10 billion in assistance to farmers to improve irrigation, establish small water impounding systems and provide them with better seeds and equipment.

Sen. Bam also urged economic managers to consider his “Bawas Presyo Bill” as a means to address the unprecedented inflation rate.

“My bill will institute a safeguard to allow us to rollback and suspend the excise tax on petroleum products,” said Sen. Bam, referring to Senate Bill No. 1798.

Sen. Bam’s measure seeks to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

“We need this safeguard before January. Kung hindi ipasa ang ‘Bawas Presyo Bill’, mamimilipit tayo sa paghahanap ng legal na paraan para pigilan ang pagtaas ng excise tax sa Enero,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

3-month financial assistance for endo workers, included in ‘End Endo’ bill

Sen. Bam Aquino’s “Pantawid Endo” proposal to give financial assistance to workers hired by subcontracting companies who are waiting for their next project was incorporated in Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act of 2018.
Under the Transition Support Program, Sen. Bam’s “Pantawid Endo” proposal will provide workers who are hired by subcontracting companies and are in between jobs with much needed financial assistance for three months.
“Makakatulong po ang probisyong ito sa pagsisigurado na hindi mawawalan ng kita ang mga pamilya ng mga manggagawa habang sila’y nag-aabang ng bagong kontrata at trabaho,” Sen. Bam said in his co-sponsorship speech.
Sen. Bam said the provision will provide workers with much-needed assistance amid the increase in prices of goods, such as rice, food and other basic needs. 
“Mas mahalaga pa po ito sa panahon ngayon na matindi ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bigas, pagkain at iba pang pangangailangan ng pamilya; ngayon na bawat sentimo na pumasok sa bulsa ng pamilya ay mahalaga,” Sen. Bam said.
In his co-sponsorship speech, Sen. Bam also asked his colleagues to support the Bawas Presyo Bill to relieve families of the burden of high prices.
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