Bam Aquino Law

Labor organizations declare Sen. Bam as workers’ ally, back his candidacy

Various labor organizations have declared full support behind re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino, calling him an ally and defender of workers’ welfare in the Senate.

Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Anakpawis and Confederation for Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), which represent workers from public and private sectors, all committed to back Sen. Bam’s bid for a second term in the Senate.

According to SENTRO secretary general Josua Mata, Sen. Bam is reliable partner when it comes to welfare of workers and other labor issues in the Senate.

“Noon pa man, tumutulong na si Sen. Bam sa mga isyung may kinalaman sa ating mga manggagawa at sa sektor ng transportasyon,” Mata said during the group’s 7th general assembly where it expressed support for Sen. Bam.

Before filing his Senate Bill No. 174 or the Security of Tenure Bill, Sen. Bam worked closely with SENTRO in crafting the legislation that aims to end the practice of contractualization in the country.

If he wins a second term, Sen. Bam promised to push for the passage of the Security of Tenure Bill and other labor-related measures.

“Dapat sa 18th Congress, maipasa na ang Security of Tenure Bill. Na-file na po natin ang panukalang ito noong June 2016,” said Sen. Bam, a co-author and co-sponsor of the Security of Tenure Bill.

Sen. Bam also committed to work for the passage of his Trabaho Center Bill, which aims to solve the problem of jobs mismatch and high unemployment rate in the country.

Sen. Bam’s measure seeks to establish Trabaho Centers or job placement offices in public high schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs). The Trabaho Center will provide services such as Industry matching, career counseling, and employment facilitation.

According to Sen. Bam, the Trabaho Center Bill is the next best necessary reform after the Free College Law, which he pushed as principal sponsor during his time as chairman of the Committee on Education.

MFI NGOs back Sen. Bam’s candidacy for his work in strengthening sector

An overwhelming number of microfinance non-government organizations (MFI NGOs) want re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino back in the Senate for his solid track record in helping the sector develop and expand their capacity to extend assistance to more Filipinos.

SEDP-Simbag sa Pag-asenso, Inc., led by its president and CEO Fr. Jovic Lobrigo, was among the first to express support behind Sen. Bam, saying he was instrumental in passing Republic Act 10693 or the Microfinance NGOs Act benefiting millions of women and their families.

“Praying that he can continue his work in the Senate,” the group said in a statement posted on Facebook. 

Eduardo Jimenez, president of Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay, Inc. (KMBI), promised to definitely vote and campaign for Sen. Bam, who, he said, collaborated and supported microfinance players even before becoming a senator.

Jimenez added that Sen. Bam’s RA 10693 supported and strengthened the work of MFI NGOs that ultimately helped micro-entrepreneurs in the country.

Mercy Abad, president of Ahon sa Hirap, Inc (ASHI), said Sen. Bam has done a lot for the “common tao”, adding that the Microfinance NGOs Act has “helped our sector serve thousands of families.” 

“We in the microfinance industry cannot thank him enough for what he has done to assist us in our work,” said Abad, believing that the country needs leaders like Sen. Bam in the Senate.

“Intelligent, with integrity (naku sigurado kayong hindi kurakot), fearless, and hard working for our country, especially for the poor. Please include him in your vote,” added Abad.

Gomby Maramba, manager for Research and Development of the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, also expressed gratitude to Sen. Bam for pushing for the passage of RA No. 10693 as principal sponsor and co-author. 

“The impact of this bill is huge for the over seven million microfinance clients and their families in the Philippines,” said Maramba.

“It allowed us to continue with our non-financial services and at the same time, all microfinance NGOs are now regulated to better serve its clients,” he added.

The law sets performance standards and provides preferential tax treatment for MFI NGOs to enable them to continue to operate and serve poor Filipino communities through financing, financial literacy, livelihood, and entrepreneurship training.

Aside from the MFI NGOs Act, Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of other laws for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises, such as the Go Negosyo Act, Youth Entrepreneurship Act, Credit Surety Act and the Personal Property Security Act.

Sen. Bam vows to work for passage of Trabaho Center Bill to help ensure jobs for graduates

Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino has committed to pursue the passage of a measure that will help ensure job availability for K-12 and college students once they receive their diploma.

“Kasunod ng pagsusulong natin ng batas sa libreng kolehiyo, nais naman nating tiyakin na may siguradong trabaho ang mga graduate sa tulong ng Trabaho Centers,” said Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor of the Free College Law.

“Nakapaghain na tayo ng batas na maglalagay ng Trabaho Centers sa ating mga pampublikong paaralan. Mahalaga lang na masigurong maisasabatas ito sa susunod na Kongreso,” added Sen. Bam.

In the 17th Congress, Sen. Bam filed Senate Bill No. 1278 or Trabaho Center Bill, which seeks to establish job placement offices in public high schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs).

The measure mandates the establishment of a Trabaho Center in every public high school and SUC with main services that include: 1) Industry Matching, 2) Career Counseling, and 3) Employment Facilitation.

The legislation aims to address the skills mismatch and ensure employability of students upon graduation by using feedback from employers to better develop the school’s curriculum and training programs.
“Sa tulong ng Trabaho Centers, pagtatagpuin ang mga kompanya na naghahanap ng trabaho at mga estudyanteng naghahanap ng trabaho,” said Sen. Bam.

The senator believes that the passage of the Trabaho Center Bill is the next step to ensure employment for all graduates who benefitted from the Free College Law.

“Ang bawat Pilipinong nakinabang sa libreng kolehiyo ay dapat may siguradong trabaho. Iyan ang sisigiruhin natin kung papalarin tayo ng isa pang termino,” said Sen. Bam.

Fellow senators defend Sen. Bam’s role in free college law

Several senators came out to defend the important role of re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino in the passage of the free college law.

Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Joel Villanueva and Franklin Drilon all stressed the importance of Sen. Bam’s hard work in passing the landmark that is being enjoyed by millions of Filipino students.

It was Sen. Lacson who first recognized Sen. Bam’s work via a tweet, saying the young senator should be given credit for the passage of the free college law as he was the one who defended it from the thorough questioning of his fellow senators.

In an interview, Sen. Lacson lauded Sen. Bam for his determination in passing the Free College Law as its principal sponsor.

“Kapag napag-uusapan 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.

Sen. Drilon, for his part, said Sen. Bam was instrumental in making the free college law a reality to give the country’s youth a chance at a bright future.

“He’s a man who is sincerely concerned for our welfare- especially sa future ng kabataan,” said Sen. Drilon, who also recognized Sen. Bam as a dependable ally of the Filipino people in the Senate.

Sen. Villanueva also recognized Sen. Bam’s determination in pushing for the passage of the free college law.

Sa pagsusulong po ng Free Tuition Law, naging major major kasangga po natin si Senator Bam Aquino,” said Sen. Villanueva, adding that Sen. Bam deserves a second term in the Senate.

“Palaging handang magsilbi sa bayan. Iyan po si Senator Bam Aquino. Ibalik po natin siya sa Senado,” added Sen. Villanueva.

If re-elected, Sen. Bam has committed to push for the enactment of his Trabaho Center Bill, which seeks to address the problems of jobs mismatch and unemployment in the country.

The bill seeks to establish “Trabaho Centers” or Job Placement Offices (JPOs) in public high schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs) to address the skills mismatch and ensure employability of students upon graduation.

Sen. Bam calls for effective implementation of TES program

As an important component of the Free College Law, the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program should be effectively implemented for the benefit of students in public and private colleges and universities, according to Sen. Bam Aquino

“Dahil mahalagang bahagi ito ng batas sa libreng kolehiyo, maraming estudyante ang makikinabang kung ito’y maipatutupad nang maayos,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of the Free College Law.

Sen. Bam issued the statement after receiving numerous complaints from several private learning institutions and student-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps about the delay in the release of TES funds.

Sen. Bam said the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) must ensure the smooth delivery of assistance under the TES to financially disadvantaged students for other cost of education, such as food, books and living expenses.

The TES also covers education expenses of poor but deserving students who choose to study in private colleges and universities.

“Sa hirap ng buhay, napakahalaga ng tulong na hatid ng TES sa ating mga estudyante sa kanilang gastusin sa pag-aaral. Malaking tulong din ito sa mga pamilyang may pinag-aaral sa kolehiyo,” said Sen. Bam.

Earlier, Sen. Bam called on CHED to immediately release the guidelines for TES to hasten its implementation and avoid confusion in schools and release the remaining P11.2 billion fund allocated for the TES in the 2018 national budget.

Initially, the CHED already released around P4 billion to around 200,000 TES beneficiaries in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs).

Sen. Ping lauds Sen. Bam’s determination in pursuing free college law for poor Filipinos

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson lauded Sen. Bam Aquino’s hard work to make the free college law a reality, giving poor Filipino families a chance to have a bright future.

“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,” said Lacson in an interview.

“According to Sen. Lacson, Sen. Bam worked hard for the passage of the law as its principal sponsor and co-author, defending it from scrutiny of his fellow lawmakers.

“Iyong pagiging author, susulat mo lang yun, ipa-file mo. Pero ang magde-defend, iyan ang napakahirap, kasi napakaraming pilosopo kaming kasama doon, tatanungin ka ng kaliit-liitang detalye ng panukalang batas, o yung bill, na dinedepensa mo,” added Lacson, who also supports the re-election bid of Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam said the free college law gives Filipinos, especially the poor, an opportunity to obtain a better life through education.

“Ang libreng kolehiyo ay isang daaan para magkaroon ng magandang buhay at umangat ang kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang mahihirap,” said Sen. Bam, who worked for law’s passage during his time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

Sen. Bam said he pushed for the passage of the free college law after meeting with parents who dream of seeing their kids earn a college degree, but cannot afford to send them to school. 

“Maraming nanay, lalo na iyong mga nakasama ko sa mga Konsultahang Bayan, na nais mapagtapos sa kolehiyo ang kanilang mga anak ngunit kapos sa pera. Ang tanong nila sa akin, ano po ang inyong magagawa para kami’y matulungan,” said Sen. Bam.

“Kaya hiningi natin ang chairmanship of the Committee on Education at pinursige ang batas sa libreng kolehiyo para sa kanilang kapakanan. Ngayon, kahit kapos, makapagtatapos,” Sen. Bam pointed out.

Sen. Bam: Gov’t can fund free college even without TRAIN Law, Duterte being misled by economic managers

Sen. Bam Aquino believes the government can fund free college even without the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, insisting that President Duterte is being fed wrong information by his economic managers.

“Hindi po totooong walang pagkukunan ng pondo ang gobyerno para sa libreng kolehiyo at ibang serbisyo kung ititigil ang TRAIN Law,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who opposed the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

“Mali ang ibinibigay na payo ng economic managers ng gobyerno kay Pangulong Duterte,” added Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of the free college law.

In fact, Sen. Bam said that in 2017, the Senate allocated funds for the first year of implementation of the free college law for 2018, even before the TRAIN Law was passed.

Sen. Bam emphasized that the government economic managers are trying to divert funds for other purposes, based on an earlier pronouncement by Sen. Panfilo Lacson that he has identified around P410.98 billion from the 2019 national budget allotted for pork barrel.

“Sapat ang pondo ng gobyerno para sa mga proyekto. Ang problema, ang ibang pondo, nagagamit sa ibang bagay para sa kapakinabangan ng iilang tao,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam has been pushing for the suspension of excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law, filing the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill last May 2018 to help ease the burden of Filipino people on high prices of food and other goods.

Sen. Bam’s  measure seeks to suspend and roll back the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law once the country’s inflation rate exceeds the government’s target for three straight months.

“Tama na po dagdag-pahirap sa mga kababayan nating nalulunod sa taas presyo. Bigyan naman natin ang mamamayan ng ginhawa,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam welcomes Kris Aquino’s support behind free college law

Sen. Bam Aquino expressed gratitude to his cousin, actress/TV host Kris Aquino, for supporting his push for free college law that would give a better opportunity for Filipino students to have a better life through education.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako kay Ate Kris at sa mga kababayan nating naniniwala sa ipinaglalaban natin sa Senado na dapat may oportunidad na makatapos ng kolehiyo ang bawat Pilipino ano man ang kalagayan sa buhay,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of the free college law.
Sen. Bam echoed Kris’ statement that education is the best gift to Filipino children, which is now possible through the free college law.
“Tama po si Ate Kris, mahalagang pamana sa ating mga anak ang makatapos sila. Dati pangarap lang po ito para sa mga kababayan nating mahirap pero ngayon ay posible na dahil sa Free College Law,” said Sen. Bam.
Kris quickly sent a statement after Sen. Bam was asked about his cousin’s support in his re-election bid during a television debate last Sunday.
Sen. Bam emphasized that the support of the Filipino people behind the free college law serves as inspiration amid the fake news and black propaganda being thrown his way.
“Malaking bagay po ang tiwala ninyo lalo na sa gitna ng kabi-kabilang paninira at fake news na ibinabato sa akin at sa trabaho natin sa Senado,” Sen. Bam pointed out.
“Nagpapalakas po ng loob ang suporta ninyo. Inspirasyon po ito na ilaban na tiyaking ang bawat graduate ay magandang trabaho,” he added.
As he seeks re-election under the Otso Diretso slate, Sen. Bam said he will work to ensure employment for all graduates and push other education reforms such as improvement of facilities and benefits for teachers.
In his almost six years as lawmaker, Sen. Bam has 35 laws to his name.

Sen. Bam seeks additional P1,000 social pension for senior citizens

A senator wants to increase the social pension of senior citizens as gratitude to their valued contribution to the development of the country and to provide them with additional income to help them deal with the prevailing high prices of goods.

In his Senate Bill No. 2142, Sen. Bam Aquino seeks to mandate the government to give a social pension of P1,000 to all senior citizens who do not have social pension or to those receiving a pension not exceeding P3,000.

 “Kailangang-kailangan ng ating senior citizens ang dagdag na pensiyon para makatugon sa kanilang araw-araw na pangangailangan at makatulong sa gastusin ng kanilang pamilya. Mahalaga ito lalo na’t mataas ang presyo ng bilihin,” said Sen. Bam.

 “Napakalaki ng kontribusyon ng ating senior citizen sa pagpapaunlad ng bansa. Panahon na para bigyan natin sila ng karampatang kalinga at pag-aala bilang pagkilala sa kanilang sakripisyo para sa bansa,” said Sen. Bam.

According to Sen. Bam, a study conducted by the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE) indicated that social pension contributed on average almost a third of household income.

 However, Sen. Bam said that the same study showed that only 32 percent of eight million senior citizens in the country receive social pension of P500 a month, while 38 percent do not receive any pension at all.

 When it comes to the 1.5 million Social Security System (SSS) pensioners, less than half receives not more than P3,400 per month.

“With no or inadequate pension for many Filipino senior citizens, they are forced to rely on the modest incomes of their families who are also struggling to make a living,” said Sen. Bam.

 “Giving them social pension will greatly help to address their daily needs, and provide some relief to their households,” the senator added.

 Aside from additional social pension for senior citizens, Sen.Bam is also working for the creation of a National Commission for Senior Citizens (NCSC) through his Senate Bill No. 674.

 The bill seeks to amend Section 11 of Republic Act 7432 or the Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010, abolishing the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board and replacing it with NCSC.

 The council will be spearheaded by a chairperson and commissioners from a list submitted by senior citizens organizations and associations.

Sen. Bam: Free college law not affected by re-enacted budget

Sen. Bam Aquino assured that the implementation of the free college law will not be hampered by the re-enacted budget.

“Walang dapat ipangamba ang mga estudyante at mga magulang dahil tiniyak ng Kongreso na mayroong pondo ang libreng kolehiyo, kahit sa ilalim pa ng re-enacted budget o ng 2019 budget,”  said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

Sen. Bam made the clarification to allay fears of students and parents after different government agencies experience funding issues due to the re-enacted budget.

 “Dahil tuluy-tuloy ang pagpapatupad ng libreng kolehiyo, makatutulong ito para kayanin ng mahihirap na pamilyang Pilipino ang pasanin ng mataas na presyo ng bilihin,” added Sen. Bam, who pushed for the law’s passage during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education.

 Earlier, Sen. Bam called for the full implementation of the free college law in 2019, where students in public universities and colleges won’t have to shell out a single centavo on tuition, miscellaneous and other mandatory fees.

This, after Sen. Bam received a commitment from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that it will issue a memorandum prohibiting state universities and colleges (SUCs) from charging mandatory fees.

Sen. Bam is also pushing for the full release of the budget for the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program to student-beneficiaries in both public and private education institutions.

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