bam aquino bills

Sen. Bam continues education advocacy, dedicates new bills for Filipino teachers to his grandparents

Sen. Bam Aquino has filed two measures for the benefit of Filipino teachers and to celebrate their role in the country’s development. 
“Ang mga panukalang ito ay pagkilala sa halaga ng ating mga guro sa pagpapalago ng kaalaman ng mga Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of the law for free college education. 
“Dedicated kay Lola Vicky at Lolo Dondoy ang mga panukalang ito. Para ito sa lahat ng mga teacher na piniling ilaan ang kanilang buhay sa edukasyon para tulungan ang kabataan,” added Sen. Bam, referring to his grandparents from his mother’s side, Dondoy and Vicky Aguirre, who worked on establishing the University of Mindanao in Davao and worked as educators until their retirement. 
On Monday, Sen. Bam submitted Senate Bill No. 2057 or the Teachers Compensation and Support Act of 2018 and Senate Bill No. 2058 or the National Teachers Day Act. 
Senate Bill No. 2057 aims to ensure just salaries and ensure reasonable working conditions for private and public school teachers. 
The measure would create a Private School Teachers Salary Subsidy (PSTSS), which will allow government to ensure that the salaries of qualified teachers from accredited private basic education institutions match those of public school teachers. The PSTSS will prioritize private school teachers in schools and areas that primarily serve students from lower income families. 
There will also be free legal assistance, free counselling services, and an education subsidy for qualified and financially disadvantaged teachers who wish to pursue further education. 
The Teachers Compensation and Support Act has the support and participation of various organizations, including the 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). 
With the help of the Teachers Dignity Coalition, Sen. Bam also filed Senate Bill No. 2058 to make Oct. 5 a paid non-working holiday for all teachers. 10 Sen. Bam 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 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: Suspindihin, huwag dagdagan ang tax sa gasolina

Alarmed by the latest big-time oil price hike, Sen. Bam Aquino insists on implementing measures to suspend additional P2 excise tax on petroleum products scheduled for January 2019 under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law. 

“Kung pumatak o humigit sa $80 kada bariles ang global prices ng krudo sa susunod na tatlong buwan, nasa batas na dapat suspindihin ang pagtaas ng buwis sa Enero 2019,” said Sen. Bam. 

Sen. Bam was referring to a safeguard in the TRAIN Law where the excise tax on fuel will be suspended once the average Dubai crude oil price based on MOPS for 3 months prior to the scheduled increase reaches or exceeds $80 per barrel.

Sen. Bam added that the price of oil increased $80.8 per barrel today (Oct. 2).

“Bantayan po natin ang world prices at sumunod tayo sa nakasaad sa batas,” added Sen. Bam, who introduced the said measure of protection during deliberations on the TRAIN Law. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Bam expressed alarm over statements by Budget Sec. Ben Diokno downplaying the effects of inflation on high prices of goods, especially food. 

“Bigyan naman natin ng kaunting ginhawa ang mga kababayan nating nalulunod sa pagtaas ng presyo. Maghanap tayo ng paraan para arestuhin ang dagdag buwis sa petrolyo,” added Sen. Bam. 

Sen. Bam is also pushing for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo Bill, which will suspend the collection of excise tax on fuel once inflation rate breaches the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

Sen. Bam helped the administration pass the law making college education free in public universities and colleges. He is the principal sponsor of R.A. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. 

Sen. Bam sponsors 3 measures for welfare of start-ups, scientists and researchers

Sen. Bam Aquino recently sponsored three measures that aim to support Filipino scientists, engineers and innovative start-ups, believing that technology and innovative initiatives can help solve problems besetting the country. 

Recently, Sen. Bam sponsored Senate Bill No. 1532 or the Innovative Startup Act where he urged colleagues to pass the measure that provides different forms of assistance to over 200,000 innovative start-up businesses, giving them better chance of succeeding. 

If passed into law, it will provide support innovative startups through financial subsidies like tax breaks and grants and other forms of assistance such as ease of red tape in business registration. 

It will also give technical assistance and training programs, free use of equipment, facilities and support for patenting or licensing of their product through the Intellectual Property Office of thePhilippines, according to Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology. 

He also delivered his sponsorship speech for Senate Bill No. 1533 or the Balik Scientist Act and Senate Bill No. 1534 or the Magna Carta for Scientists. The two measures aim to promote the welfare of Filipino scientists, engineers and researchers. 

“The challenge for us today is to ramp up support for Filipino scientists, engineers and researchers, and to harness their talents, not just to boost industries and business, but to build a better Philippines for all,” said Sen. Bam. 

Currently, the Philippines has 189 scientists per million, far from the ideal target of 380 per million. “Our country still lacks 19, 000 scientists to meet the bare minimum that is essential and acceptable in the development of any country,” said Sen. Bam. 

Senate Bill No. 1533 aims to encourage scientists, engineers and innovators working in different parts of the world to return and help solve the country’s problems through financial incentives. 

The amendments to the Magna Carta for Scientists aim to streamline the process of providing benefits and incentives to S&T government personnel. 

“Pahalagahan po natin ang agham at teknolohiya, ang mga siyentipiko, mga inhinyero at mga researcher upang tuluyang umasenso ang Pilipinas,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam aims to promote welfare of Filipino scientists, researchers

In a move to recognize their contribution to the country’s growth in terms of research and development, Sen. Bam Aquino is pushing for two measures that will promote the welfare of Filipino scientists and researchers.

“Sad to say, the contribution and welfare of Filipino scientists and engineers and researchers are undervalued in the Philippines. That’s why many of them leave the country to look for greener pastures abroad,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

Sen. Bam is currently working on the passage of Senate Bill 1183 or the Balik Scientist Bill and Senate Bill No. 679 or the Magna Carta for Scientists to strengthen support for Filipino scientists.

 “As Chairman of the Committee on SciTech, we need to lay the foundation of a modern and prosperous society. Proper utilization of SciTech will be crucial in this aspiration and these measures could help in achieving our goal,” added Sen. Bam.

 The Balik Scientist Program provides financial incentives for overseas Filipino scientists and facilitates their return to work on either a short-term, medium-term or long-term basis.

  The measure aims to institutionalize the Balik Scientist Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which successfully encouraged some of our scientists to return and contribute to research and address development gaps in the Philippines.

 The amendments to the Magna Carta for Scientists aim to streamline the process of providing benefits and incentives to S&T government personnel.

During a committee hearing, it was discovered that the Philippines needs 19,000 more scientists working in both government and private sector to turn the country into a significant force in research and development.

Currently, the Philippines has 189 scientists per million, far from the ideal target of 380 per million. The number also pales in comparison with other countries as South Korea and United States have 5,300 and 3,500 scientists per million, respectively. Malaysia, for its part, has 2,000 scientists per million.

 “Sa tulong ng panukalang ito, mahihikayat natin ang mga Filipino scientist sa ibang bansa na bumalik sa Pilipinas at tumulong sa pagpapaunlad ng ating research and development,” said Sen. Bam, referring to the Balik Scientist Bill.

Bam pushes for learning resource centers for children with special needs

As part of his advocacy to provide quality education to everyone, a senator is pushing for the creation of learning resource centers for Filipino children with special needs to give them a chance to learn regardless of their circumstance.

“Sa edukasyon, importante na mabigyan ng sapat na pagkakataon ang lahat, maging anuman ang kalagayan nila sa buhay, upang matuto at makapag-aral,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, author of Senate Bill 1414, which seeks to make education inclusive and accessible to every Filipino child by establishing a framework for special needs education implementation nationwide.

Sen. Bam said the Department of Education (DepEd) reported an estimated 350,000 students with special needs while Save the Children revealed that only one of three Filipino children with special needs has a chance to go to school.

In addition, Sen. Bam said only one in seven of those children attending school has access to specialized education that caters to their varied needs.

“Sadly, our country’s education system is currently under-equipped to cater to the individual and unique requirements of students with special needs,” said Sen. Bam, adding that parents find it difficult to provide their children the education they need given only a few public schools have SPED centers.

“The SPED program and most of our educators also lack the necessary skills and training to accommodate students with exceptionalities,” explained Sen. Bam.

In accordance with the mandate of our Constitution, Presidential Decree No. 603, and the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, Sen. Bam said the measure will push for the establishment of inclusive education learning resource centers.

These centers will serve as source of appropriate instructional materials, tools, devices, gadgets, and equipment that educators can use in their classrooms to ensure that students with special needs are properly supported and enabled to learn alongside their peers.

“It is our duty to become their partners in achieving this goal to provide a brighter future for our children and our country,” said Sen. Bam, who was chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress until February.

As Committee on Education chairman, Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1304 or the Affordable Higher Education for All as principal sponsor and co-author. The measure was approved by the Senate on third and final reading via an 18-0 vote.

If enacted into law, it will institutionalize free tuition in SUCs all over the country, giving underprivileged students a chance to earn a college degree.

It will also streamline and strengthen all Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAP), making it available to students who want to pursue higher education in private institutions, as well as subsidizing other expenses of SUC students.

Bam: Financially challenged students to benefit from free tuition in SUCs

Financially challenged students stand to benefit from the proposed free tuition in state colleges and universities (SUCs), according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

 Sen. Bam is the principal sponsor of Senate Bill No. 1304 or the “Free Higher Education for All Act”, which is currently being tackled in the plenary.

“Matutulungan ng panukalang ito ang mga estudyanteng gustong makatapos ng kolehiyo ngunit nakararanas ng problemang pinansiyal,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Education.

In most cases, Sen. Bam said the parents of these students are regular employees, who are having a hard time making ends meet for the needs of their families due to meager salaries.

 Sen. Bam added there are some students who work part-time to sustain their educational needs, such as tuition fees and other school expenses.

The senator cited the cases of Mary Ann Valimento and Cherry Mae Cabillo, who were among those interviewed by his office as case studies for the measure.

A business administration student at Bulacan State University, Valimento is having a hard time paying her tuition and other school fees after her father suffered a stroke and had to stop working.

A 3rd-year IT student at Philippine State College of Aeronautics, Cabillo was forced to drop out of school due to her parents’ lack of financial capability, with her father working as farmer and her mother a plain housewife.

“Ilan lang sila sa napakaraming estudyante na kulang sa pinansiyal na kakayahan na dapat nating tulungan para magkaroon ng tsansa sa magandang buhay,” Sen. Bam stressed.

 According to data from Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), around 77 percent of students from majority of SUCs come from a family earning minimum wage income or less.

 Furthermore, the Annual Poverty Indicator Survey (APIS) 2014 report indicated that up to 71 percent of students in SUCs come from families with monthly family income of approximately P29,000 or less, and are struggling to send their children to school.

Earlier, Sen. Bam countered the position of several government agencies that the measure is anti-poor, saying the government must invest in education for the youth.

 Along with Sen. Bam, other authors of the measure are Sens. Ralph Recto, Joel Villanueva, Sherwin Gatchalian, Francis Pangilinan, Sonny Angara, Loren Legarda, Leila de Lima, Cynthia Villar, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Richard Gordon.

Bam seeks to stop ‘Endo’

In a move to strengthen the rights of workers and promote security of tenure, a senator filed a measure that seeks to end the unjust “Endo” (end contract) practice in the country.

 On Thursday, Sen. Bam Aquino filed the End Endo Act, amending Sections 106 to 109 of the Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines.

 It will put a stop to fixed term employment or hiring of workers based on a limited and fixed period without regularization so more Filipinos are assured of job security and steady compensation.

 Employers are also limited from contracting or subcontracting more than 20 percent of their total workforce.

 The End Endo Act will further professionalize the service contracting industry by prohibiting labor-only contracting and establishing industry standards.

 It will also guarantee contracted workers of reasonable compensation even in between assignments through a Transition Support Program.

 “If approved, tapos na ang nakasanayang 50 o 100 percent ng workforce ay contracted o subcontracted,” said Sen. Bam.

 In addition, the measure requires the mandatory posting of bond that will serve as a safeguard for the employee’s claims in case of violation by the contractor or subcontractor.

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