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Sen. Bam welcomes top Catholic official’s backing for PCM bets

Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino welcomed the call of Manila Auxilliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo to the lay faithful to campaign for the senatorial candidates selected by the People’s Choice Movement (PCM).


“Ang simbahan ang konsensiya ng bayan, sana ay dinggin ng ating mga kababayan ang kanilang gabay,” said Sen. Bam, who topped the PCM’s list of 10 senatorial candidates that it will support and campaign for.


In a Facebook post, Bishop Pabillo lauded the PCM, composed of Catholic, Evangelical and Protestant groups, initiative to organize itself and discerned together the best senatorial candidates in the May elections.


Around 130 representatives from the different religious organizations selected the 10 candidates based on their character and honor, competence and abilities, faithfulness to public service and faithfulness to God, the Constitution and the laws.


After the PCM came out with its selection, Bishop Pabillo stressed that the task for all the lay faithful to campaign the deserving candidates so as to counter the money and the political machineries that the TRAPO politicians are using. 


“There are still two months for all to do this particular exercise of the Christian faith,” said Bishop Pabillo.


Aside from Sen. Bam, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former solicitor general Pilo Hilbay, former congressmen. Erin Tanada and Neri Colmenares, civic leader Samira Gutoc, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Cong. Gary Alejano, former Sen. Mar Roxas and Sen. Sen. Grace Poe also made it to the list.


“Napakalaking bagay ng pagkilala at tiwala ng mga taong simbahan kaya taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat,” said Sen. Bam, who garnered 120 votes during the selection process.


“Bilang Kristiyano, nagbibigay inspirasyon at pag-asa ang pagkapili nila sa amin lalo na dumaan ito sa matinding pagsusuri at pagninilay,” he added.

Veteran lawmaker Sen. Ping Lacson endorses Sen. Bam’s re-election bid

Veteran senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has endorsed the candidacy of re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino, saying a hard-working and productive lawmaker like him deserves a second term in the Senate.

“Kung ako ang masusunod, magandang makabalik si Senator Bam sa Senado,” said Sen. Lacson as he praised Sen. Bam’s determination to pass landmark legislations, such as the Free College Law.

Like Sen. Lacson, Sen. Bam is also an independent-minded lawmaker and is concerned primarily about helping the poor and the marginalized.

In an earlier statement, Sen. Lacson said that Sen. Bam, as principal sponsor and co-author of the free college law, persevered to make this landmark piece of legislation a reality.

After gathering dust in the legislative mill for years, Sen. Bam worked for the passage of the Free College Law as principal sponsor in the Senate during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

“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,” Sen. Lacson said.

As the law’s principal sponsor, Sen. Lacson said Sen. Bam had to defend the measure from the intense questioning and scrutiny of his colleagues.

“Iyong sponsor, siya iyong nagde-defend. Iyon ang mas mahirap na gawin, kasi tatayo ka doon, tatanungin ka ng mga kasamahan mo, idedepensa mo iyong bill, iyong panukalang batas na itinutulak mo,” explained Lacson.

“Iyong pagiging author, susulat mo lang iyon, ipa-file mo, pero ang magde-defend, yan ang napakahirap, kasi napakaraming  pilosopo kaming kasama doon, tatanungin ka ng kaliit-liitang detalye ng panukalang batas, o yung bill, na dinedepensa mo,” he added.

Volunteers embark on four-day trip around Northern Luzon to help Sen. Bam’s re-election bid

Campaign volunteers of Sen. Bam Aquino have launched a four-day trip around Northern Luzon from March 20 to 23 to consolidate support and garner additional volunteers to boost his re-election bid.


Dubbed as “Bamwagon”, the trip covers Pangasinan, Benguet, Mt. Province, Kalinga Apayao, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, where the volunteers hope to gain more support for Sen. Bam.


“Gagawin namin ito bilang tulong kay Sen. Bam na makabalik sa Senado. Kailangan ng taumbayan ang katulad ni Sen. Bam,” said Bianca Lacaba of Kaya Natin, one of the convenors of the trip.


“We will be using our own money and resources in this endeavor. This is our way to help Sen. Bam return to the Senate and continue his work for the welfare of the Filipino people,” said Atty. Julz Esquivas.


Esquivas stressed that Sen. Bam deserves a second term, given his track record and legislative accomplishments of more than 40 laws in less than six years as lawmaker.

Sen. Bam welcomes release of pay increase for gov’t workers, teachers

Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino welcomed President Duterte’s order to finally release the fourth and final tranche of the salary increase for government employees and public school teachers, saying the additional pay will help them cope with the high prices of food and other goods.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa Pangulo sa desisyon niyang ilabas ang huling bahagi ng pinakahihintay na salary increase ng mga manggagawa sa pamahalaan at ating mga guro,” said Sen. Bam.

“Malaking tulong ang umento sa sahod upang mabawasan ang pasanin ng mga empleyado ng pamahalaan sa mahal na presyo ng bilihin,” added Sen. Bam.

As early as January 9, 2019, Sen. Bam has been calling on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to use the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) to fund the fourth and final part of the salary hike

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

On January 14, 2019, Sen. Bam submitted Resolution No. 982 expressing the sense of the Senate that the DBM should use the MPBF to pay the final part of the salary hike for government workers. However, then Budget Sec. Ben Diokno did not heed the resolution, insisting that the move would be unconstitutional.

“Masaya tayo na nagbago ng isip ang DBM. Nakakapanghinayang lang na pinag-antay natin nang matagal ang mga empleyado ng pamahalaan at mga guro para sa dagdag-suweldo na matagal na dapat nilang napakinabangan,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam bats for creation of Department of Water to avoid repeat of water shortage

A re-electionist senator has filed a measure establishing a Department of Water to help avoid a repeat of the water shortage that burdened thousands of Metro Manila residents.

“Bilang isa sa pinakamahalagang pangangailangan ng taumbayan, importanteng hindi na maulit pa ang nangyaring water shortage na naging kalbaryo ng maraming residente ng Metro Manila,” said Sen. Bam as he filed Senate Bill No. 2216.

Sen. Bam explained that the recent water shortage underscored the immediate need to create the Department of Water, Irrigation, Sewage and Sanitation Resource Management.

“Ang pagbuo ng Department of Water ay isang long-term solution upang hindi na maulit na ang ganitong problema at hindi na maranasan pa ang water shortage, hindi lang sa kamaynilaan kundi sa iba’t ibang bahagi rin ng bansa,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam explained that the Department of Water, Irrigation, Sewage, and Sanitation Resource Management will rationalize water, irrigation, sewage, and sanitation resource management, including water rights.

Currently, several agencies are responsible for water, irrigation, sewage, and sanitation management, including the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, National Irrigation Administration, local water districts (LWDs) and rural waterworks and sanitation associations (RWSAs).

“With regulation and management of our water resources currently lodged with various units and agencies of the government, we are faced with challenges in terms of implementing national policies and plans on water, sewage, sanitation, and irrigation,” said Sen. Bam.

The senator said that the department will strengthen and coordinate water resource planning and policy-making to ensure sustainable and fair allocation and efficient use of water resources between competing water uses and users, including but not limited to domestic and municipal use, irrigation, power generation, farming, fisheries, commercial, and industrial use.

Sen. Bam to DTI: Help micro-businesses affected by water shortage

Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino called on concerned government agencies, led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to extend assistance to micro-businesses affected by the water shortage.

“Kadugtong ng krisis sa tubig ang kabuhayan ng mga kakababayan natin. Bawas kita ang dulot nitong krisis sa tubig sa mga kababayan natin lalo na mahihirap,” said Sen. Bam, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate.

In Metro Manila, Sen. Bam said there are around 150,000 registered micro-businesses, aside from those belonging to the so-called informal economy, that need immediate help due to the water shortage.

“Kailangan ng kagyat na solusyon para hindi mawalan ng kabuhayan ang maraming kababayan natin,” added Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Trade and Entrepreneurship in the 16th Congress.

Sen. Bam said the DTI and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to tap Negosyo Centers and microfinance institutions in Metro Manila to give micro-businesses access to micro-loans and micro-insurance to help them weather the effect of the water shortage.

During his tenure as chairman of the Committee on Trade, Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of several laws aiming to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including the Go Negosyo Act and the Microfinance NGO Act.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bam stressed that those responsible for the water shortage must be punished as he called on concerned stakeholders to work together to bring immediate relief to consumers.

“Mahalagang panagutin ang mga responsable sa krisis na ito pero mas kailangan magtulungan muna para mabigyan ng agarang ginhawa ang taumbayan,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam pointed out that short- and long-term solutions are needed to avoid a repeat of the water shortage problem, including the creation of a water agency and the appointment of a water czar who will focus on water resource management.

Also, the Metro Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) must continue its cooperation with Manila Water and Maynilad to speed up water sharing through cross-border sharing.

Sen. Bam added that plans for the activation of alternative water sources should be crafted immediately to enable affected household and local government agencies to prepare.

“Kailangan malinaw ang agaran at pangmatagalang plano upang hindi na maulit ang ganitong krisis, sa Metro Manila man o sa ibang bahagi ng bansa,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam to gov’t: Be vigilant against rice smuggling

SAN JOSE, Nueva Ecija — Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino advised concerned government agencies to be vigilant against smuggling following the enactment of the Rice Tariffication Law.

“Kailangang masiguro na hindi iiral ang smuggling. Mahalaga na hindi mangyari ito, dahil kapag may smuggling, mawawala ang taripa na dapat magpapatas doon sa presyo sa local price,” said Sen. Bam, who recently visited the province known as the “Rice Granary of the Philippines.”

Sen. Bam said the government must ensure that farmers will benefit from the 35-percent tariff imposed on imported rice from Southeast Asian neighbors to help make them more productive and competitive.

“Itong pagpasok ng bigas mula sa iba’t ibang bansa. Kailangang ma-manage nang maayos. Napakasakit naman kung ang kikita sa Pilipinas, magsasakang dayuhan at hindi magsasakang Pilipino,” added Sen. Bam.

As the law presents many concerns and challenges, Sen. Bam said the government must focus on ensuring the livelihood of Filipino farmers and their families amid the entry of imported rice in the market.

“Unang-una, in the short term, iyong nakalaan na P10 bilyong pondo para sa mga lugar na apektado ng rice tariffication, dapat makaabot sa kanila,” said Sen. Bam, referring to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

“Dapat matiyak na walang magutom, mabigyan ng subsidiya, at masigurado ang kapakanan ng kanilang pamilya,” he added.

The fund is earmarked to support mechanization, credit assistance, seed development and for extension services for farmers to help them become more productive and competitive against imported rice.

“In the long term, matulungan natin sila na maging produktibo upang mapantayan nila ang presyo ng papasok na bigas,” stressed Sen. Bam, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate.

Various religious groups support Sen. Bam’s re-election bid

Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino expressed gratitude to the People’s Choice Movement (PCM) for choosing him as one of the 10 senatorial candidates it will support and campaign for in the May elections.

“Taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa People’s Choice Movement sa kanilang pagkilala at tiwala,” said Sen. Bam, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate.

“Napakalaking bagay rin po sa akin na napahalagahan  po nila ang ating mga nagawa sa Senado. Ito po’y magbibigay lakas sa akin magpatuloy kahit sa gitna ng mga paninira,” added Sen. Bam.

Composed of various Catholic, evangelical and Protestant groups, the PCM recently held a convention where more than 100 select leaders participated in the selection process.

The delegates based their selection on character and honor, competence and abilities, faithfulness to public service, faithfulness to God, the Constitution and the law.

Sen. Bam topped the selection process with 120 votes, followed by fellow Otso Diretso bets Chel Diokno and Pilo Hilbay, who both got 118 votes, and Erin Tanada (112).

”Napakamakabuluhan po ng kanilang suporta dahil mula sila iba’t ibang mga faith-based groups na ang pamantayan sa pagpili ay kung ano ang makakabuti sa bayan,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam assured PCM that he will continue defending the welfare, dignity and rights of the Filipino people.

“Magiging inspirasyon ko ang inyong pagtataguyod para patuloy na isulong ang kapakanan at karapatan ng ating mga kababayan lalo na ng mga mahihirap,” Sen. Bam said, adding “kasama nyo po ako sa pagtatanggol ang dignidad at buhay ng tao.”

Former Cong. Neri Colmenares (111), Samira Gutoc (103), Romy Macalintal (97), Gary Alejano (89), Mar Roxas (82) and Sen. Grace Poe (66) also made it to the list.

Sen. Bam: Debate best platform to enlighten voters, combat fake news and black propaganda

As a constant subject of fake news and black propaganda, Sen. Bam Aquino stressed that a debate would be a perfect stage to inform voters about candidates’ accomplishments and their platform and plans for the country.

Also, Sen. Bam said the debate will be an opportunity for him to address the fake news and other black propaganda being thrown at him online.

“Maganda itong paraan upang masagot natin ang lahat ng mga ibinabatong fake news at mga paninira sa atin sa social media,” said Sen. Bam, who is running for re-election under the Otso Diretso slate.

Sen. Bam and other Otso Diretso bets asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to arrange a debate with the administration bets, but the poll body turned down their request.

“Sana payagan na lang na ang mga kandidato na magdebate, iyong kandidato ang magpalitan ng talakayan para makita ng taumbayan, ma-compare ano ba ang mga plataporma namin,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam also shrugged off President Duterte’s criticisms against him and other Otso Diretso bets, saying it is part of the political process.

“Ganyan naman po iyan, that’s normal in any electoral process. May mga manok siya, may mga oposisyon. Pero sa kadulu-duluhan ng lahat, ang taumbayan naman ang pipili,” said Sen. Bam.

However, Sen. Bam maintained that the voters should elect candidates who will fight for their welfare and protect their rights.

“Dapat piliin ng taumbayan ang mga kandidato na kampi sa kanila, na magtatrabaho para sa kanila at walang ibang boss kundi sila,” said Sen. Bam.

“Ihalal natin ang mga kandidatong hindi mangungurakot, hindi pahirap, hindi sunod-sunuran lamang, at higit sa lahat kampi sa mga mamamayan,” the senator added.

Sen. Bam: Ensure fast implementation of subsidy for farmers affected by rice tariffication law

Sen. Bam Aquino urged the government to ensure the immediate implementation of subsidy to rice farmer as he expressed concern about the effects of the rice tariffication law on the livelihood of tillers and their families.

“Mahalaga na ang ating mga magsasaka, mayroong safety net para sa kanila dahil maraming lugar ang mahihirapan sa pagpasok ng imported na bigas,” Sen. Bam said during a meeting with farmers in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan yesterday.

“Ang challenge natin, ngayong na papasok na iyan in the next few months, kailangan ang programa para sa ating rice farmers ay naka-ready na,” the senator added.

The law includes a subsidy for farmers in the form of a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund to support mechanization, credit assistance, seed development and for extension services for farmers.

Sen. Bam believes the Department of Agriculture (DA) should immediately deliver the subsidy under the law so that the livelihood of rice farmers will not be affected by the expected deluge of imported rice in the market.

“In the short term, baka kailangan talaga ng subsidiya para hindi sila magutom at hindi mawalan ng hanapbuhay,” said Sen. Bam.

In the long term, Sen. Bam said the government should help rice farmers transition to other alternative crops that will help them compete in the market.

While the law paves way for steady supply of affordable rice in the market, Sen. Bam said the government should balance the situation by also ensuring the livelihood of Filipino farmers and strengthening the country’s food security.

“Importante na mababa ang presyo ng bigas sa merkado ngunit mahalaga rin na may sapat na produksiyon ng bigas sa ating bansa upang food secure tayo,” Sen. Bam explained.

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