On the first day of the 16th Congress: BAM AQUINO FILES 7 PRO-POOR BILLS

On the first day of the 16th Congress, Sen. Bam Aquino filed seven bills that aim to empower the poor through jobs and livelihood opportunities.

These are the following:

1.     The Social Value Bill, which redefines “value for money” in government procurement as going beyond products and services with the lowest price, but also those which offer “the greatest collective benefit to the community;”

2.     The Fair Competition Bill, which aims to “protect consumer welfare, advance domestic and international trade and sustained economic development by… regulating monopolies, anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant power, and anti-competitive measures.” It also establishes the Philippine Fair Competition Commission;

3.     The “Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy” Bill, which proposes that local feeding programs for kindergarten- and elementary-level students source their food products from local producers and agricultural communities;

4.     The Go Negosyo Bill, which expands Republic Act 9184, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and supports MSMEs with incentives and makes it easier for them to start up. It also strengthens the MSME Development Council, among others;

5.     The Microenterprise Development Institutions (“MicroDev”) Bill, which supports micro-finance and micro-enterprise support groups in order to help the poor start up their own micro-businesses, in Aquino’s words, “para kumita at umasenso (to earn and to thrive).”

6.     The Youth Entrepreneurship Bill, which proposes the inclusion of entrepreneurship in secondary and post-secondary education curriculum, as well as the creation of a national program to promote youth entrepreneurship; and

7.     An expansion of the Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship Bill (PRESENT), filed in the 15th Congress, which supports the creation of social enterprises and offers incentives and benefits to business that genuinely help the poor.

Sen. Aquino is the only social entrepreneur-senator, and has won local and global awards for his pioneering work in helping the poor through social enterprise and for advancing the Philippine social enterprise sector.

According to Aquino, these bills aim to: (1) generate more jobs through the growth of more micro and small businesses; (2) “level the playing field” for smaller businesses by opening access and promoting fair competition; (3) “develop a new breed of entrepreneurs” by supporting youth and social entrepreneurship; (4) promote ease of business and cut red tape in business registration processes and the like; and (5) and support more local entrepreneurs, farmers, fisherfolk, and local producers by pushing for a more “inclusive supply chain” and redefining “value for money.”

 “The bottomline of these bills is that we have to create more support for micro and small businesses because they are the ones that create jobs for our people,” Sen. Aquino points out.

“Let’s work together to create a nation of entrepreneurs and help solve poverty,” the lawmaker adds.

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