Education

Sen. Bam to champion 2 new reforms for Filipino teachers

In celebration of the World Teachers Day on October 5, Sen. Bam Aquino shared two new reforms to promote the welfare of teachers and recognize their contributions to the development of our country and the lives of students.

Sen. Bam will file a measure entitled National Teachers Day Act to make Oct. 5 a paid non-working holiday for all teachers.

“Non-stop ang trabaho ng ating mga guro. Sa dami ng kanilang ginagawa, para bang mayroon silang superpowers! But even superheroes need rest. Let’s give our teachers their own holiday so they can be appreciated and celebrated,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the measure is being pushed by the Teachers Dignity Coalition.

Sen. Bam is also set to submit the Teachers Compensation and Support Act to ensure reasonable working conditions and provide free legal assistance and free counselling services to educators.

“Sadly, marami pa ring guro ang nagrereklamo na maliit at hindi sapat ang natatanggap nilang suweldo sa pribadong paaralan kung ikukumpara sa pampublikong eskuwelahan,” said Sen. Bam.

“Tulungan at suportahan natin ang mga Filipino teachers. Siguraduhin natin na disente ang nakukuha nilang suweldo at patas ang suweldo at working conditions sa public at private schools,” added Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the Committee on Education.

The measure will also provide an education subsidy for qualified and financially disadvantaged teachers who want to pursue further education.

The Teachers Compensation and Support Act is being pushed by different stakeholders and organizations, which include: Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAPSCU), Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), National Alliance of Private Schools Philippines, Inc. (NAPSPHIL), and the PEAC-Fund Assistance to Private Education (PEAC-FAPE).

Sen. Bam, for his part, has passed 27 laws including Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act making education free in public universities and colleges.

Sen. Bam on issues hounding teachers

Hinihimok natin ang DepEd at GSIS na tugunan ang lumalalang problema ng loans ng ating mga guro.

Kasama po ang mga guro sa napakaraming Pilipino na nalulunod na sa taas presyo. Bigyan naman natin sila ng ginhawa.

Sa aming pakikipag-diyalogo sa Teachers Dignity Coalition, nagkasundo kaming pagtulungan ang pagpapabuti ng kalagayan ng ating mga guro.

Habang palapit ang World Teachers’ Day sa October 5, pakinggan natin ang mga guro sa kanilang mga hinaing.

Oras nang ipakita natin na nakikinig ang gobyernong ito sa ating mga mahal na guro at handa tayong tumulong. 

Sen. Bam: Quality education for all, key to prosperity in PH

Sen. Bam Aquino renewed his commitment to work on access to quality education for every Filipino and emphasized the important role that teachers play in achieving this goal.

“Kaya ipinaglaban at itinulak namin ang libreng edukasyon sa state universities and colleges (SUCs) at dagdag scholarship sa mga private university dahil naniniwala kami na napakahalaga ng edukasyon,” said Sen. Bam in his speech at the Carl Balita Review Center Ultimate Finale Coaching at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

“Ang isang mahalaga sa pagpapaunlad ng bayan ay edukasyon. Education for all. Mahalaga na mayroon kang dalang armas na edukasyon,” added Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

Sen. Bam then underscored the role of teachers in the further improvement of the quality of education in the country and in nation building

“Bilang senador, nakita namin na ang pinakamahalagang aspeto ng edukasyon ay ang ating mga guro. Batay sa pag-aaral, ang antas ng edukasyon sa isang bayan ay nakasalalay kung gaano kagaling at kasaya ang mga guro,” said Sen. Bam.

 “Kaya makakaasa po kayo sa tulong mula sa amin sa Senado para sa mga guro para sa lalo pang pagpapaganda ng kalidad ng edukasyon sa bansa,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of Republic Act 10931 during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

Republic Act 10931 provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees to students in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools.

Furthermore, the law allows students of both public and private college and universities can also apply for scholarship grants and student loans.

Earlier, Sen. Bam reminded SUCs that collection of mandatory and miscellaneous fees from students is illegal with the implementation of RA 10931.

Sen. Bam to SUC students: You have the right to free tuition and miscellaneous fees

Sen. Bam Aquino reminded students from state universities and colleges (SUCs) that the collection of tuition and miscellaneous fees is illegal.

“Isang taon na mula nang maisabatas ang Free College Law. Sa ilalim nito, karapatan niyong hindi magbayad ng tuition at miscellaneous fees sa SUCs,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

During dialogue with different sectors, Sen. Bam has received reports that some SUCs are still collecting miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students.

“Kahit mayroon nang batas, may naririnig pa rin tayong ilang SUCs na hindi sumusunod dito at patuloy ang paniningil ng mga bayarin na hindi na dapat pang kinokolekta mula sa mga estudyante,” Sen. Bam insisted.

During the Commission on Higher Education’s budget hearing, Sen. Bam warned SUCs against collecting fees from students.

“If there are mandatory fees still being collected by the schools, that is illegal now,” said Sen. Bam.

In addition, Sen. Bam called on the government to fully implement the Free College Law, saying it should not deprive poor students a chance at a better life through education.

“Prayoridad dapat ang edukasyon. Ito ang susi sa kaunlaran ng pamilyang Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the Free College Law will provide poor families respite from the high prices of goods and services.

“Lalo na ngayong matindi and pagtaas ng presyo, bigyan ng ginhawa ang mga Pilipino,” added Sen. Bam, who worked for the measure’s passage during his time as chairman of Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

Republic Act 10931 provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees to students in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools.

Also, the law allows students of both public and private college and universities can also apply for scholarship grants and student loans.

Sen. Bam to SUCs: Collecting mandatory fees is now illegal

Sen. Bam Aquino cautioned state universities and colleges (SUCs) from collecting fees from students amid the implementation of the Free College Law.
 
“If there are mandatory fees still being collected by the schools, that is illegal now,” said Sen. Bam during the budget hearing of the Commission on Higher Education.
 
“Mag-ingat sila sa kinokolekta nila kasi nasa batas iyan. If it is a mandatory fee, that should not be charged to the students,” added Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
 
Sen. Bam made the pronouncement after receiving complaints from students and parents about mandatory fees being collected by SUCS despite the implementation of the free college law.
 
“May natatanggap pa rin tayong reklamo ukol sa di makatwirang paniningil na ginagawa ng ilang SUCs. Di na ito dapat ginagawa,” said Sen. Bam, also the vice chairman of the Committee on Education.
 
Republic Act 10931 provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees to students in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools. 
 
Also, the law allows students of both public and private college and universities can also apply for scholarship grants and student loans.
 
The measure was languishing in the legislative mill for years before it was passed during Sen. Bam’s time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

Sen. Bam questions P100B DepEd budget cut for new classrooms

Sen. Bam Aquino questioned the Department of Budget and Management’s move to cut the Department of Education’s budget for construction of classrooms from P116 billion to just P10.2 billion.
 
“Napakalaking kapabayaan ang tapyasan ng halos 90 porsiyento ang budget para sa pagpapagawa ng classroom. Ang ating mga anak at kanilang edukasyon dapat ang prayoridad ng gobyerno,” said Sen. Bam as he presided the hearing of the DepEd’s budget as vice chairman of the Committee on Finance.
 
Sen. Bam said the amount earmarked by the DBM is enough to build just around 4,000 classrooms. Originally, the DepEd asked DBM for funds to build around 47,000 classrooms for 2019.
 
“Ang mga batang estudyante at ang kinabukasan ng bayan ang magbabayad sa maling pagpaprayoridad ng gobyerno,” Sen. Bam pointed out, adding that the welfare of students is important than the government’s intelligence funds.
 
“Hindi tayo papayag na ipagkait sa kabataang Pilipino ang pondo na dapat ay sa kanila,” said Sen. Bam, who briefly served as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.
 
Sen. Bam suggested to increase funding to around P15 billion for construction of 10,000 new classrooms in 2019, instead of just 4,110. Sen. Loren Legarda, chairperson of the Finance Committee, committed to bring the issue up with the DBM.
 
“Ilagay natin ang numero sa mga kayang gawin at tapusin bago matapos ang 2019,” said Sen. Bam, with the assurance from concerned government agencies that the 10,000 classrooms will be finished by the end of 2019.
 
In addition, the senator stressed that the DepEd needs additional budget for the repair of classrooms destroyed by Typhoon Ompong amounting to almost P1 billion.
 
“Kailangang gawin ding prayoridad ng pamahalaan ang pagsasaayos ng mga silid-aralan at mga gusali na sinira ng Bagyong Ompong upang hindi maantala ang pag-aaral ng ating mga estudyante,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam lauds passage of law for feeding programs in public day care, kinder and elementary schools

Senator Bam Aquino welcomed the enactment of the law that aims to eradicate hunger and undernutrition by providing free nutritious meals to public day care, kindergarten and elementary school students.

“Napakalaking tulong nito para mabigyan ng sapat na nutrisyon ang ating mga estudyante upang sila’y lumaking malusog at matalino,” said Sen. Bam, referring to Republic Act 11037 or the Masustansiyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act.

 Sen. Bam was the principal sponsor and co-author of the measure in the Senate. He pushed for the measure’s passage during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education.

 The law is Sen. Bam’s 23rd in his five years as senator. Recently, Republic Act 11035 or the Balik Scientist Act, which Sen. Bam pushed as principal sponsor and principal author, was signed into law.

 Aside from addressing malnutrition and hunger among schoolchildren from day care, kindergarten to Grade 6, the law aims to provide additional livelihood to local farmers, where the needed supplies for the feeding program will be sourced from.

 “Maliban sa pagtugon sa problema sa malnutrisyon, mabibigyan din ng dagdag na kabuhayan ang ating mga magsasaka sa tulong ng batas na ito,” said Sen. Bam.

Aside from Sen. Bam, other co-authors of the measure are Senators Grace Poe, Gregorio Honasan II, Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Loren Legarda, Cynthia Villa, Joel Villanueva, Sherwin Gatchalian, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senate Minority Leader Franklin

Sen. Bam: Don’t hold free tuition hostage to justify TRAIN Law

Don’t hold free college education hostage, government can afford free tuition even without the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

This was Sen. Bam Aquino’s reaction to the government’s statement that the free college education will be affected once the TRAIN Law is suspended.

“May iba namang pagkukunan ang gobyerno ng budget. Sa totoo lang malaki pa ang hindi nagagamit na pondo,” said Sen. Bam, one of the four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

“Bakit kailangan i-hostage ang libreng kolehiyo? Tama na ang pagpapahirap sa taumbayan na nalulunod na sa pagtaas ng presyo,” added Sen. Bam who is principal sponsor of the Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

Sen. Bam insisted that the government has enough funds for the continued implementation of the free college education, even without the P70 billion expected revenue from the rollback of the excise tax on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law.

Sen. Bam also reminded the administration that underspending, or the allotted funds that were left untouched by government agencies, reached P390 billion for 2017. The budget for free college education was set at P41 billion for 2018.

“Mahalaga na alam ng pangulo ang totoong numero. Mahirap nang magdesisyon kapag mali mali ang binibigay na impormasyon,” Sen. Bam stressed.

Sen. Bam recalled that government economic managers told the Senate during TRAIN deliberations that inflation will not breach the four-percent mark. Last month, the country’s inflation reached 4.6 percent.

“Ang paglalaan ng pondo ay batay sa mga prayoridad ng gobyerno. Kung hindi nila bibigyan ng pondo ang libreng kolehiyo, ibig sabihin, hindi ito mahalaga para sa kanila,” Sen. Bam maintained.

“Isa pa, hindi namin hahayaan sa Senado na hindi mapondohan ang batas na ito, na layong suportahan ang mahihirap ng Pilipino na umasenso sa tulong ng edukasyon,” added Sen. Bam. 

Sen. Bam: Pati pag-aaral ng kabataan nasagasaan ng TRAIN

Senator Bam Aquino expressed fear that high prices of goods and services due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law might force poor families to sacrifice the education of their children.

“Dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo, maraming mahihihirap na estudyante ang maaaring hindi na makapag-aral,” said Sen. Bam, one of our senators who voted against the TRAIN Law.

“Tumaas na ang cost of living pero hindi pa rin nadadagdagan ang kita ng mga manggagawa. Dahil kulang na ang suweldo, maaaring masakripisyo na ang pag-aaral ng mahihirap na estudyante,” added Sen. Bam.

“Ilang kabataan kaya ngayon ang di na nakapag-enroll dahil hirap ang mga magulang sa pagtustos ng mga gastusin dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin,” the senator queried.

Due to the high prices of goods and services, Sen. Bam said the value of government’s assistance programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the free college education, to the poor has eroded.

“Hindi na sapat ang tulong ng 4Ps para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mahihirap na Pilipino. Buti na lang at may libreng kolehiyo na,” said Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor of the free college law in the Senate.

Aside from filing a resolution seeking to review the unconditional cash transfer program under the TRAIN Law, Sen. Bam has filed a measure seeking to roll back TRAIN’s excise tax on fuel when average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

Also, Sen. Bam also renewed his call for the full implementation of the unconditional cash transfer program, which will help alleviate the increase in high prices of goods and services caused by the TRAIN Law.

During a Senate hearing on the TRAIN Law in Legazpi City, Sen. Bam also pushed for the full implementation of the Pantawid Pasada program, which aims to help jeepney operators and drivers cope with the increase in price of diesel fuel.

Also, Sen. Bam wants the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to expand the Pantawid Pasada to other means of transportation, such as UV Express, tricycles and to fishermen as well.

Sen. Bam continues productive streak, even in minority bloc

Senator Bam Aquino once again proved his willingness and ability to pass significant reforms, even after his removal as chairman of the education committee and confinement into the minority bloc.

“Kahit tayo’y nasa minorya at oposisyon, hindi ito hadlang para magtrabaho para sa ikabubuti ng bansa at ng lahat ng Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam.

Hard at work as chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology, measures to support scientists and researchers are now closer to becoming law.

One is the Balik-Scientist Act, with the bicameral conference committee report now ratified by both Houses of Congress and waiting to be transmitted to Malacanang for President Duterte’s approval.

Another is Senate Bill No. 1534, which seeks to amend Republic Act 8439 or the Magna Carta for Scientists to give scientists commensurate benefits.

The measure has been approved by the Senate on third and final reading and will be tackled by the bicameral conference committee anytime soon. 

The Open Access in Data Transmission Bill was sponsored in the Senate before session adjourned on Wednesday (March 21) while the Innovative Start-up Act is already being tackled in the plenary. Sen. Bam is the principal sponsor of all four measures.

Also, Sen. Bam spearheaded investigations into the National Broadband Plan, the Philippine Rise issue and the “nakaw load” controversy that has affected millions of prepaid mobile phone subscribers.

Sen. Bam also led the passage of Senate Bill No. 1698 or the Reservist Employment Rights Act.  The bill was approved by the Senate on third and final reading via a 16-0 vote.

Sen. Bam has 19 laws to his name, the latest being Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which he passed as principal sponsor during his 8-month stint as chairman of the Committee on Education, Culture and Arts.

Scroll to top