Education

Sen. Bam: Address jobs mismatch to help solve unemployment

Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino reiterated the need to connect workers to the available jobs in the market to help address the unemployment problem in the country.

“Kailangang pagtagpuin ang mga kumpanyang naghahanap ng empleyado at ang mga taong naghahanap ng trabaho,” said Sen. Bam, adding that he will push for the passage of the Trabaho Center Bill if he wins a second term in the Senate.

“Kaya pagkatapos ng Libreng Kolehiyo, isusunod natin isusulong ay ang batas para sa siguradong trabaho sa pamamagitan ng Trabaho Centers,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam said the Trabaho Center Bill is the necessary best reform after the Free College Law, which he pushed as principal sponsor, to ensure employment for all graduates.

“Ang bawat Pilipinong nakinabang sa libreng kolehiyo ay dapat may siguradong trabaho. Iyan ang sisigiruhin natin kung papalarin tayo ng isa pang termino,” said Sen. Bam.

The measure seeks to establish Trabaho Centers or Job Placement Offices (JPOs) in public high schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs) to address the skills mismatch and ensure employability of students upon graduation.

“Aayusin nito ang ugnayan ng mga kumpanya at industriya sa mga eskwelahan para tiyaking angkop sa pangangailangan ng employers ang edukasyon at training na ibinibigay ng mga academic institution,” said Sen. Bam.

Through the Trabaho Centers, Sen. Bam said college and K-12 students will be employment-ready by the time they receive their diploma.

Sen. Bam calls for effective implementation of TES program

As an important component of the Free College Law, the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program should be effectively implemented for the benefit of students in public and private colleges and universities, according to Sen. Bam Aquino

“Dahil mahalagang bahagi ito ng batas sa libreng kolehiyo, maraming estudyante ang makikinabang kung ito’y maipatutupad nang maayos,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of the Free College Law.

Sen. Bam issued the statement after receiving numerous complaints from several private learning institutions and student-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps about the delay in the release of TES funds.

Sen. Bam said the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) must ensure the smooth delivery of assistance under the TES to financially disadvantaged students for other cost of education, such as food, books and living expenses.

The TES also covers education expenses of poor but deserving students who choose to study in private colleges and universities.

“Sa hirap ng buhay, napakahalaga ng tulong na hatid ng TES sa ating mga estudyante sa kanilang gastusin sa pag-aaral. Malaking tulong din ito sa mga pamilyang may pinag-aaral sa kolehiyo,” said Sen. Bam.

Earlier, Sen. Bam called on CHED to immediately release the guidelines for TES to hasten its implementation and avoid confusion in schools and release the remaining P11.2 billion fund allocated for the TES in the 2018 national budget.

Initially, the CHED already released around P4 billion to around 200,000 TES beneficiaries in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs).

Duterte, Sen. Lacson acknowledge Sen. Bam’s role in passage of Free College Law

Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino thanked President Duterte and Sen. Panfilo Lacson for acknowledging his role in the passage of the landmark Free College Law even as he expressed willingness to help the government for the welfare of poor Filipinos.

“Salamat at kinilala ni Presidente ang tinrabaho natin para maisabatas ang Libreng Kolehiyo,” said Sen. Bam, who pushed for the passage of the Free College Law as principal sponsor during his time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

“Basta para sa taumbayan lalo na kung makakatulong sa mahihirap, handa tayong makipagtulungan tulad dito sa batas ng Libreng Kolehiyo,” added Sen. Bam, who also expressed gratitude to Sen. Lacson for recognizing his effort.

Sen. Bam’s reaction came after President Duterte mentioned in his speech in Koronadal City on Tuesday that the senator helped in the crafting of the landmark legislation.

“In fairness to him (Sen. Bam). Nagtulong siya in crafting the law,” Duterte said in his speech.

Duterte’s pronouncement solidified the statement of Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who reiterated the important role that Sen. Bam played in the passage of the Free College Law during Thursday’s media interview.

“Siya naman talaga yung nag-labor diyan para maipasa. Siya talaga nagtulak so, I corrected (them),” said Lacson, referring to his tweet giving credit to Sen. Bam for the passage of the important legislation.

“Ang daming claimants na nagki-claim ng credits. So, sabi ko, to set the record straight, si Sen. Bam iyan,” said Sen. Lacson, adding that Sen. Bam was the one who defended the legislation from scrutiny of his fellow lawmakers.

Sen. Ping lauds Sen. Bam’s determination in pursuing free college law for poor Filipinos

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson lauded Sen. Bam Aquino’s hard work to make the free college law a reality, giving poor Filipino families a chance to have a bright future.

“Kapag napapag-usapan ang libreng matrikula sa kolehiyo, ang unang naiisip ko, si Senador Bam Aquino. Alam kong siya ang nagtiyagang itulak ito sa Senado bilang author at Principal Sponsor ng Free Tuition Law,” said Lacson in an interview.

“According to Sen. Lacson, Sen. Bam worked hard for the passage of the law as its principal sponsor and co-author, defending it from scrutiny of his fellow lawmakers.

“Iyong pagiging author, susulat mo lang yun, ipa-file mo. Pero ang magde-defend, iyan ang napakahirap, kasi napakaraming pilosopo kaming kasama doon, tatanungin ka ng kaliit-liitang detalye ng panukalang batas, o yung bill, na dinedepensa mo,” added Lacson, who also supports the re-election bid of Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam said the free college law gives Filipinos, especially the poor, an opportunity to obtain a better life through education.

“Ang libreng kolehiyo ay isang daaan para magkaroon ng magandang buhay at umangat ang kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang mahihirap,” said Sen. Bam, who worked for law’s passage during his time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

Sen. Bam said he pushed for the passage of the free college law after meeting with parents who dream of seeing their kids earn a college degree, but cannot afford to send them to school. 

“Maraming nanay, lalo na iyong mga nakasama ko sa mga Konsultahang Bayan, na nais mapagtapos sa kolehiyo ang kanilang mga anak ngunit kapos sa pera. Ang tanong nila sa akin, ano po ang inyong magagawa para kami’y matulungan,” said Sen. Bam.

“Kaya hiningi natin ang chairmanship of the Committee on Education at pinursige ang batas sa libreng kolehiyo para sa kanilang kapakanan. Ngayon, kahit kapos, makapagtatapos,” Sen. Bam pointed out.

After free college, Sen. Bam focuses on solving unemployment, jobs mismatch

After pushing for the enactment of the Free College Law, Sen. Bam Aquino said he’s focused on addressing unemployment and jobs mismatch through the Trabaho Sigurado Bill.

“Pushing for the Job Mismatch Bill or addressing the job mismatch is the necessary best reform after the free college law,” Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of the free college law, said during the Rappler senatorial candidates’ forum held at the Ateneo de Manila University on Monday.

According to Sen. Bam, one out of five Filipinos are working in jobs that are not suitable to their courses.

“Iyong unang batas na ipa-file natin kung makabalik sa Senado ay ang Trabaho Sigurado Bill para ilapit ang mga estudyante sa mga trabaho na nababagay sa mga kurso nila,” pointed out Sen. Bam, who is seeking re-election under the Otso Diretso slate.

“Kailangan ay nagma-match iyong mga kurso at subjects sa mga pangangailangan sa lugar na kinalalagyan ng paaralan, guro, at estudyante,” he added.

In the 17th Congress, Sen. Bam filed Senate Bill No. 1278 or Trabaho Centers in Schools Act, which seeks to establish job placement offices in public high schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs).

The measure mandates the establishment of a Trabaho Center in every public high school and SUC with main services that include: 1) Industry Matching, 2) Career Counseling, and 3) Employment Facilitation.

The legislation aims to address the skills mismatch and ensure employability of students upon graduation by using feedback from employers to better develop the school’s curriculum and training programs.

Sen. Bam: Gov’t can fund free college even without TRAIN Law, Duterte being misled by economic managers

Sen. Bam Aquino believes the government can fund free college even without the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, insisting that President Duterte is being fed wrong information by his economic managers.

“Hindi po totooong walang pagkukunan ng pondo ang gobyerno para sa libreng kolehiyo at ibang serbisyo kung ititigil ang TRAIN Law,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who opposed the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

“Mali ang ibinibigay na payo ng economic managers ng gobyerno kay Pangulong Duterte,” added Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of the free college law.

In fact, Sen. Bam said that in 2017, the Senate allocated funds for the first year of implementation of the free college law for 2018, even before the TRAIN Law was passed.

Sen. Bam emphasized that the government economic managers are trying to divert funds for other purposes, based on an earlier pronouncement by Sen. Panfilo Lacson that he has identified around P410.98 billion from the 2019 national budget allotted for pork barrel.

“Sapat ang pondo ng gobyerno para sa mga proyekto. Ang problema, ang ibang pondo, nagagamit sa ibang bagay para sa kapakinabangan ng iilang tao,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam has been pushing for the suspension of excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law, filing the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill last May 2018 to help ease the burden of Filipino people on high prices of food and other goods.

Sen. Bam’s  measure seeks to suspend and roll back the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law once the country’s inflation rate exceeds the government’s target for three straight months.

“Tama na po dagdag-pahirap sa mga kababayan nating nalulunod sa taas presyo. Bigyan naman natin ang mamamayan ng ginhawa,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam: May elections should focus on needs, welfare of Filipino people

The May elections should center on addressing the needs and other vital issues affecting the Filipino people, and not on President Duterte, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

“Ang nais sana namin sa kampanyang ito ay hindi lang maging tungkol kay President Duterte o tungkol sa aming walo. Tungkol ito sa taumbayan,” said Sen. Bam, who is running under the Otso Diretso coalition.

“Ang eleksyon na ito ay tungkol sa mga boses na matagal nang hindi napapakinggan. Panahon na para ang mga sinasabi ng mga boses na ito ay maging bahagi ng mga programa ng mga ihahalal natin,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam said the coalition is focused on crafting solutions to the everyday problems hounding the Filipino people, including high prices of goods, hunger, poverty, security and human rights, among others.

“Nagbabago ang kwento ng kampanya dahil lumalaki at tumitindi ang pangangailangan ng taumbayan dahil sa hirap ng buhay. Ang tanong nila, sino ba talaga ang makikinig sa pangangailangan namin?” said Sen. Bam.

“Ang uunahin namin ay ang taumbayan, at makikita niyo na ito ang nagbubuklod sa amin sa Otso Diretso,” the senator added.

As principal sponsor of the free college law, Sen. Bam said it opens up opportunities for Filipinos to have a brighter future through education and helps poor families cope with everyday needs.

“Sa halip na ipambayad sa tuition ang pinaghirapang pera, ngayon maaari nang magamit ito ng pamilyang Pilipino sa iba pang pangangailangan, lalo na ngayong mahal ang presyo ng pagkain,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam was one of four senators who stood up against the ratification of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law based on his firm belief that it will burden the Filipino people with high prices of food and other goods.

“Tumayo tayo kontra TRAIN Law dahil alam natin na ito’y malaking pabigat sa ating mga kababayan, lalo sa mga mahihirap,” said Sen. Bam, who has 35 laws to his name in almost six years as senator.

Sen. Bam: Don’t leave teachers hanging

The hard work and invaluable contribution of public school teachers should be properly recognized as they are essential to the success of the 2019 elections, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

“Dapat bigyang halaga ang pagsisikap at paghihirap ng mga teacher sa halalan. Sa totoo lang po, sila ang tunay na bayani ng darating na eleksyon,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam issued the statement after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) warned that teachers who will serve in the 2019 elections won’t receive their honoraria in case of a re-enacted budget in 2019.

Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the Committee on Finance and member of the Senate bicameral conference committee on the proposed 2019 budget, said Congress is determined to pass the General Appropriations Act next week.

In case of a re-enacted budget in 2019, Sen. Bam said Congress can pass a supplemental budget for the payment of the teachers’ honorarium.

“Gagawin natin ang lahat para masigurong mababayaran ang ating mga guro sa kanilang trabaho sa darating na halalan. Biyan natin sila ng karampatang pagkilala at huwag ibitin ang mga kompensasyon at benepisyong itinakda ng batas para sa kanila,” said Sen. Bam.

“Sayang naman ang batas na ating isinulong kung hindi mapakikinabangan ng mga guro,” Sen. Bam added, referring to Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act (ESRA) that he pushed as principal author in the 16th Congress.

The law increases the honorarium and other election service benefits and makes election service optional for public school teachers. It also increases honoraria for board of election inspector (BEI) and their support staff.

Under the law, compensation for BEI chairman will be increased to P6,000 from P3,000 while BEI members will receive P5,000 from P3,000.

From P3,000, DepEd supervisor/official will earn P4,000 while support staff will receive P2,000 from P1,500.

The teachers and all persons who rendered election service would also be entitled to a travel allowance of P1,000 each.

All government officials and employees serving as members of the electoral boards, DepEd supervisor/official and support staff will be given five days of service credit.

The ESRA also increases the death benefits from P200,000 to P500,000 and the medical assistance in such amount as may be “sufficient to cover for medical and hospitalization expenses until recovery” of injuries sustained while in the performance of election duties.

Sen. Bam: Free college law not affected by re-enacted budget

Sen. Bam Aquino assured that the implementation of the free college law will not be hampered by the re-enacted budget.

“Walang dapat ipangamba ang mga estudyante at mga magulang dahil tiniyak ng Kongreso na mayroong pondo ang libreng kolehiyo, kahit sa ilalim pa ng re-enacted budget o ng 2019 budget,”  said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

Sen. Bam made the clarification to allay fears of students and parents after different government agencies experience funding issues due to the re-enacted budget.

 “Dahil tuluy-tuloy ang pagpapatupad ng libreng kolehiyo, makatutulong ito para kayanin ng mahihirap na pamilyang Pilipino ang pasanin ng mataas na presyo ng bilihin,” added Sen. Bam, who pushed for the law’s passage during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education.

 Earlier, Sen. Bam called for the full implementation of the free college law in 2019, where students in public universities and colleges won’t have to shell out a single centavo on tuition, miscellaneous and other mandatory fees.

This, after Sen. Bam received a commitment from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that it will issue a memorandum prohibiting state universities and colleges (SUCs) from charging mandatory fees.

Sen. Bam is also pushing for the full release of the budget for the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program to student-beneficiaries in both public and private education institutions.

Sen. Bam to DBM: Don’t hold salary increase hostage, use MPBF now!

Don’t hold hostage the salary increase of government employees and public school teachers!

Sen. Bam Aquino issued this call to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), saying the agency can tap the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) to finance the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law in January 2019.

“Bakit kapag dagdag buwis mabilis pero pahirapan kapag dagdag sweldo ang usapan?” said Sen. Bam as he questioned the DBM’s continued refusal to use the fund for the salary increase of government workers. 

“Huwag naman po sanang gamiting hostage ng gobyerno ang umento sa sahod ng ating kaguruan para iratsada ang pagpasa ng budget sa Senado. Hindi po totoo na walang pagkukunan ng pondo para dito,” added Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the Committee on Finance.

The lawmaker said there’s no reason for the DBM not to release the salary increase, which can help government employees deal with the prevailing high prices of food and other goods.

”Dapat ibigay na ngayon ang dagdag sweldo sa ating public servants at public school teachers. Walang dahilan para ipagpaliban pa ito, lalo ngayong mahirap ang buhay dahil sa taas ng presyo ng bilihin,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam intends to file a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that DBM can disburse the MPBF for the salary increase of government workers.

According to Sen. Bam, the 2018 re-enacted budget provides for a MPBF, which can be used to fund authorized personnel and benefit items, including pay increases.

“Ibig sabihin, maaari nang ibigay ng DBM ang umento sa sahod kahit wala pang clearance mula sa Kongreso. Hindi rin lalabag ang DBM sa Saligang Batas kapag ginamit ito sa dagdag-sahod ng ating mga lingkod bayan,” said Sen. Bam.

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