Sen. Bam Aquino, the youngest senator of the 16th Congress, made an impact during the second regular session as he sponsored three out of the six major measures ratified during the period.
Foremost of Sen. Aquino’s bills was the Philippine Competition Act, a landmark measure seeking to level the playing field for all business, and eliminate anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant players in the market.
The Philippine Competition Act was finally passed under Sen. Bam’s watch as chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship after 25 years of gathering dust in the legislative mill.
Sen. Bam also co-authored and sponsored the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act and the Youth Entrepreneurship Act.
The Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act will now allow foreign ships carrying imported cargoes and cargoes to be exported out of the country to dock in multiple ports. This will reduce logistics costs and lead to lower prices for consumers.
In addition, it will also lead to more efficient port operations and a more competitive Philippines in the ASEAN integration.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Act, for its part, is seen as an effective tool to address the growing number of jobless young people in the country, which currently stands at 1.32 million.
Financial literacy and entrepreneurship courses will now be included in all levels of education to build an entrepreneurship culture among Filipinos. A youth entrepreneurship fund shall also be made available to cater to youth entrepreneurs in the country.
Last year, Sen. Bam’s Go Negosyo Act and the Philippine Lemon Law were enacted into laws and are now awaiting for the said three bills to be signed by the President. Once signed, Sen. Bam’s portfolio will consist of five laws in two years.
“Hindi mahalaga kung neophyte o beterano sa senado. Ang mahalaga ay kung makakagawa ka ng mga panukala na makakapagpabuti sa buhay ng nakararaming Pilipino,” Sen. Bam said.
Aside from these three measures, the 16th Congress also ratified measures ensuring the safety of children aboard two-wheeled motorcycles travelling along public and private roads, protecting the amateur nature of student-athletes in the country and the establishment of an open high school system in the country.