Other Issues

Sen. Bam on the latest Pulse Asia senatorial survey

Dahil sa inyong patuloy na tiwala at suporta ang pananatili ko sa Magic 12 ng Pulse Asia survey.

Magsisilbi itong napakalaking inspirasyon sa ating pag-iikot at pag-abot sa ating mga kababayan upang maipaalam sa kanila ang ating nagawa at patuloy pang gagawin sa Senado para sa kanilang kapakanan.

Mahaba pa ang ating laban at mahalaga ang bawat tulong na ating makukuha upang maipagpatuloy ang ating hangaring maiangat sa laylayan ang mahihirap nating kababayan.

Sen. Bam thanks Senate President Sotto, fellow re-electionist senators for support

Nagpapasalamat tayo sa mga kasama nating re-electionist at kay Senate President Sotto sa tiwala, tulong at suporta. 
 
Taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa suporta nila sa pagsabatas ng libreng kolehiyo. 
 
Dahil po sa ating batas na bunga ng aming pagkakaisa, kahit kapos makakatapos.
 
Ibaiba man po ang aming partido kinabibilangan basta para sa ikakabuti ng bayan, kami po ay nagtutulungan at nagkakaisa.
 
Mahalaga na sa panahon na ito, sa kabila ng pagkakaiba sa politika, kaya nating magkaisa para sa bayan.

Sen. Bam condemns Maria Ressa’s arrest, says gov’t must follow rule of law

Sen. Bam Aquino condemned the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer (CEO) Maria Ressa, calling it a government ploy to silence its critics, including journalists.

“Malinaw na pananakot ito sa mga kritiko ng administrasyon,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the arrest of Ressa is a big blow to press freedom, which he calls as an important pillar of democracy in our country.

“Lubha akong nababahala sa dagok na ito sa malayang pamamahayag. Mahalagang haligi ng demokrasya ng ating bansa ang press freedom,” emphasized Sen. Bam, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate.

“Kapag napilay ang demokrasya, mamemeligro ang mga karapatan at kalayaan ng mamamayan,” the senator added.

Ressa was arrested by elements of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for cyber-libel for an article published by Rappler in May 2012 or four months before the Cybercrime Prevention Act was enacted.

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: Independent Senate to safeguard welfare of Filipino people

Sen. Bam Aquino warned against a rubber-stamp Senate, stressing that an independent Upper Chamber will ensure that the welfare and interest of the Filipino people are protected.
 
“Hindi ito kampihan sa administrasyon o oposisyon. Dapat kinakampihan natin ang mga Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam, who is running for re-election under the Otso Diretso banner.
 
“Kailangan po nating tiyakin independent ang susunod na Senado para sa kapakanan ng taumbayan,” added Sen. Bam.
 
Sen. Bam underscored the importance of an opposition in the Senate, saying the country and the Filipino people will suffer if the Upper Chamber will simply give in to every desire of the administration.
 
“Hindi po makakabuti sa bansa kung ang lahat ng nasa Senado ay susunod na lang lagi sa gusto ng administrasyon. Kailangan na may titindig para sa interes ng taumbayan,” Sen. Bam said.
 
In the case of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, Sen. Bam said he voted against its ratification despite the heavy pressure coming from the administration as he is convinced that it will burden the Filipino people with high prices of food and other goods.
 
“Hindi po ako tumutol sa TRAIN Law dahil nasa oposisyon tayo. Tumutol po ako dahil responsibilidad ko na bantayan ang kapakanan ng taumbayan na siyang pahihirapan ng batas na ito,” said Sen. Bam.
 
However, Sen. Bam clarified that he’s willing to work with the administration when the welfare of the Filipino people is at the forefront.
 
Proof of this is the free college law, which Sen. Bam pushed as principal sponsor during his time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.
 
“Ganyan po ang ginawa natin kaya naisabatas ang Free College Law. Dahil sa pakikipagtulungan, kahit kapos makakatapos,” said Sen. Bam, who has 35 laws to his name in almost six years as legislator.

Sen. Bam: Set aside politics, prioritize welfare of children at risk

Let’s set aside politics and focus first on the welfare of children at risk.

Sen. Bam Aquino issued this call amid the measles outbreak in different parts of the country.

“Tama na po ang turuan at sisihan. Tama na po ang pamumulitika. Unahin po ang mga bata dahil nasa matinding panganib ang ating mga anak,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam made the appeal after the  Department of Health (DOH)  expanded the outbreak declaration to other regions such as Calabarzon, Western Visayas and Central Visayas, in addition to Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

“Kailangan din po tayong matuto sa trahedyang ito na hindi dapat pinupulitika ang kalusugan ng ating mga kabataan,” added Sen. Bam, who called on the government to establish an inter-agency task force that will immediately address the measles outbreak.

The senator said the inter-agency task force should be led by the DOH and joined by other agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

“The inter-agency task force will address the needs of the victims and conduct an aggressive and sustained health promotion drive to get parents to have their kid vaccinated,” said Sen. Bam.

The lawmaker also called on the public to cooperate with the government and help it stop this public menace.

“May mga anak din po ako na bata pa, umaapila po ako sa mga kapwa ko magulang na pabakunahan agad ang ating mga anak,” Sen. Bam said.

Sen. Bam: Ensure enough funds for BOL transition

Sen. Bam Aquino called on fellow lawmakers to allot enough funds for the full implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to ensure the fulfilment of its mandate to bring peace and order in Mindanao.

“Dapat tiyakin na sapat at hindi kulang ang suporta para sa BOL,” said Sen. Bam, a co-author and co-sponsor of the BOL.

“Ang tagal na nitong pinangarap at inilaban ng mga kapatid nating Moro. Dapat hindi mabinbin ang transition dahil sa kakulangan ng budget,” added Sen. Bam, whose mother grew up in Mindanao, particularly Davao City.

Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law mandates that the current appropriation for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) shall be transferred to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

Sen. Bam said the ARMM’s 2019 approved budget of P31.1 billion won’t be enough as the transition to BOL needs around P59 billion. 

The Senate version of the 2019 budget has allotted around P30 billion additional budget for the BOL, which Sen. Bam hopes to hurdle the bicameral conference committee.

If there will be a re-enacted budget for 2019, the President can issue a supplemental budget, subject to the certification of the Treasurer of the Philippines that there’s enough fund for the purpose.

“Sayang naman kung hindi natin bibigyan ng tamang pondo ang BOL. Itodo na natin ang suporta upang maabot na ng mga kababayan natin sa Mindanao ang inaasam nilang kapayapaan at kaunlaran,” said Sen. Bam.

“Kinakailangan ang sapat na budget para makalikha ng iba’t ibang trabaho para sa mga kababayan natin doon,” the senator added.

Sen. Bam breaks into top 12 in SWS survey

Sen. Bam Aquino improved significantly in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, climbing to 11thspot from 14th place in December.

Sen. Bam garnered 33 percent, up from 24 percent last month, in the SWS survey conducted from January 23 to 26, 2019.

The SWS survey marked the second straight time that Sen. Bam made it to the top 12.  The incumbent senator placed 10th to 16th in the Pulse Asia poll conducted from Dec. 14 to 21, with 32.6 percent.

In a statement, Sen. Bam thanked his supporters for his significant improvement in the SWS poll, but stressed that the fight still has a long way to go.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa mga patuloy na nagtitiwala at sumusuporta sa atin. Subalit mahaba pa po ang ating laban na ating susuungin,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam also underscored the importance of scrutinizing the track record and accomplishments of all the candidates so they select the right candidate in the 2019 elections.

“Mahalagang suriin ng ating mga botante ang mga nagawa ng isang kandidato upang mapili nila ang tamang tao na titingin sa kanilang kapakanan,” added Sen. Bam.

In almost six years as lawmaker, Sen. Bam has 35 laws to his name, including the landmark free college law and the Go Negosyo Act.

Sen. Bam to DBM: Recognize urgency of releasing ASAP wage hike

Sen. Bam Aquino urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) not to leave government workers and public school teachers behind after it granted the fourth tranche of salary hike for employees of government owned- and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and local government units (LGUs).

“Nagpapasalamat kami at parang unti-unti ay gumagawa na ng aksiyon ang DBM para ma-release na ang last tranche ng salary increase,” said Sen. Bam, referring to Budget Sec. Ben Diokno’s order to allowing the implementation of the salary adjustments for personnel of LGUs and GOCCs.

“Pero nalulungkot din kami dahil kawawa naman ang mga public school teachers at kawani ng gobyerno dahil bigo pa rin silang makuha ang nakatakdang umento,” added Sen. Bam.

 Sen. Bam said the DBM should not take the welfare of government workers and public school teachers for granted as they are also burdened by the high prices of food and other goods as well.

“Hindi sila dapat ma-etsa pwera sa dagdag-sweldo dahil matindi rin ang pangangailangan nila sa taas ng presyo ng mga bilihin ngayon,” said Sen. Bam, hoping that the DBM will soon release the final part of the salary increase under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

 Sen. Bam reiterated his call to the DBM to utilize the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) for the fourth and final part of the salary hike for government workers under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

“Ilang beses na nating sinabi na maaaring gamitin ng DBM ang MPBF para sa umento sa sahod ng ating mga manggagawa sa gobyerno. Ano ba ang pumipigil sa kanila para gawin ito?” Sen. Bam said.

 Sen. Bam recently submitted Resolution No. 982 expressing the sense of the Senate that the DBM should utilize the MPBF for the fourth instalment of the salary increase for government workers.

 Fellow members of the opposition, including Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes, Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, supported Sen. Bam’s view and signed the resolution.

 In his Resolution, Sen. Bam insisted that the DBM is authorized to release and pay the salaries immediately, without the need for further approval from Congress.

Sen. Bam to DBM: Don’t resort to delaying tactics, use MPBF to cover 1st month of salary hike

Instead of resorting to delaying tactics, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) must look for ways to deliver the government’s obligation to increase salary of its workers, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

“Kung ayaw may dahilan, kung gusto may paraan,” said Sen. Bam as renewed his call to the DBM to use the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) for the salary hike of government workers.

“Delay is not an option. The Budget Department should find ways to deliver on its duty to implement the fourth tranche of salary increase for public servants,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam contended that the MPBF is enough to cover the first month of the fourth and final part of the salary increase for government workers under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

In the 2018 budget, the MPBF is close to P100 billion while the salary increase requirement for January 2019 is less than P5 billion.

“Hindi naman natin hinihingi sa DBM na pondohan ang buong taon kundi ibigay lang ang unang buwan ng umento sa sahod habang inaantay na maipasa ng Senado ang 2019 national budget bago matapos ang Enero,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam said the salary increase could ease the burden of Tuesday’s oil price hike due to increase in world oil prices that could lead to further rise in prices of goods.

“Huwag na sanang pag-antayin ng DBM ang mga manggagawa sa gobyerno. Napakalaking tulong ng salary increase para sa ating government workers para kayanin ang pagtaas ng presyo ng langis at lalo pang pagmahal ng presyo ng bilihin,” added the senator.

On Monday, Sen. Bam filed a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the DBM should utilize the MPBF for the fourth instalment of the salary increase for government workers.

Aside from Sen. Bam, fellow opposition senators –Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes, Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros – signed Resolution No. 982.

In his Resolution, Sen. Bam insisted that the DBM is authorized to release and pay the salary increase immediately, without the need for further approval from Congress.

Scroll to top