Bam Aquino Law

Bam: Microfinance NGOs Act to help eradicate “5-6”

The Microfinance NGOs Act will help the government’s plan to eliminate loan sharks or “5-6” as it will provide the poor with alternative low-interest, no-collateral financing, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.


“Sa Microfinance NGOs Act, may alternatibong malalapitan ang mahihirap at maliliit na negosyante para makakuha ng pautang sa mababang interes,” said Sen. Bam.


“Sa batas na ito, mailalayo ang mahihirap sa malaking interest na sinisingil ng loan sharks at masusuportahan ang pagnanais ng gobyerno na mabura ang 5-6,” the senator added.


During the 30th anniversary of 30th Anniversary of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions or CARD-MFI, one of the biggest MFI-NGO in the Philippines, Sen. Bam hailed the MFIs’ role in helping Filipino women entrepreneurs.


“When you look at the stories na lumalabas, apat na milyong kababaihan ang natutulungan na magnegosyo at makakuha ng tulong para sa kanilang, mas malaking income para sa kanilang mga anak,” said Sen. Bam.


“Maganda mapag-usapan ang kuwentong ito na nagdadala ng pag-asa sa kabila ng kuwentong patayan at tungkol sa drugs,” added Sen. Bam, who worked closely with MFIs as a social entrepreneur prior to being a senator.


Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of the Microfinance NGOs Act or Republic Act 10693 as co-author and principal sponsor in the Senate during his term as chairman of Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship in the 16th Congress.


In turn, MFI NGOs give Filipinos access to low-interest, no collateral loans to pay for housing, medical, and educational needs as well as loans for small businesses.


The law gives incentives to microfinance NGOs to continue helping Filipinos overcome poverty not just through financing but also through financial literacy, livelihood, and entrepreneurship training.


The law also provides microfinance NGOs needed support and incentives that includes access to government programs and projects, technical assistance and exemption from taxes.


“MFI NGOs aid our poor countrymen in times of inflation and price increases. They also provide financing and training for livelihood and small businesses so families can overcome poverty,” he said.


“Now that the MFI NGOs Act has been passed and the IRR signed, let’s push for its quick and effective implementation,” he added.


In 2013, MFI NGO members of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) had a gross loan portfolio of over 15.26 billion pesos catering to more than 2.7 million micro-entrepreneurs.


Bam: Look into state of children in conflict-torn areas

A senator has filed a resolution seeking to look into the state of the children affected by the recent military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan, Sulu and other conflict-areas while the country is under state of emergency.

Sen. Bam Aquino’s Senate Resolution No. 134 is aimed at ensuring the protection, safety and well-being of children, in accordance with Republic Act No. 10821, or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act.

​​“There is a need to ensure that all children in conflict-affected areas are protected from the crossfire, and that the comprehensive policies and programs envisioned in the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of children during this state of emergency,” Sen. Bam said in his resolution.

​​President Duterte signed Proclamation No. 55 last September 5, 2016, placing Mindanao under a state of emergency on account of lawless violence, following the bombing of a night market that killed 14 people in Davao City.

​​The proclamation directs the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to undertake measures to suppress all forms of lawless violence in Mindanao and prevent lawless violence from spreading elsewhere across the country.

​​Based on a report by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), that as of September 5, some 1,729 family heads with 6,218 dependents from the Basilan municipalities of Sumisip, Tuburan, Moh Ajul and Akbar, were evacuated to safer areas.

​​The agency is also assisting the affected LGUs in providing food and non-food to the families, distributing a total of 2,311 family food packs to the internally displaced persons, while the DSWD-Field Office-IX has delivered 6,000 family food packs to the province.

​​In Sulu, close to 4,000 families have been displaced from their homes because of the military’s recent intensified offensive against the bandit group.

 ​​The Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act provides for the establishment of a Comprehensive Emergency Program to protect children and support their immediate recovery in times of disaster and emergency.

​​According to Sen. Bam, the program includes the identification of safe locations as evacuation centers for children and families, and establishment of child-friendly spaces.

​​“It also provides for the immediate delivery of basic necessities, and health and educational services tailored to the needs of the affected children,” the senator added.

​​The law mandates the DSWD to engage all relevant government agencies and stakeholders for the implementation of the Comprehensive Emergency Program.

Bam: Look after children during state of lawlessness, armed conflict

A senator called on concerned government agencies to ensure the welfare and safety of civilians, especially the children, affected by the administration’s drive against the Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao and the perpetrators of the Davao bombing.

 “The welfare of our Filipino children should be the utmost priority since they are one of the most vulnerable sectors during these times of lawlessness and armed conflict,” said Sen. Bam Aquino.

 According to Sen. Bam, Republic Act 10821, or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act provides utmost protection to Filipino children during disasters, calamities and armed conflicts.

 “Kasabay ng ating kampanya laban sa Abu Sayyaf, huwag nating kaligtaan ang kapakanan, pangangailangan at kaligtasan ng mga taong naaapektuhan ng bakbakan, lalo na ang mga bata,” said Sen. Bam, a co-author of the measure, which he filed during his tenure as chairman of the Committee on Youth in the 16th Congress.

 “Mahalagang matiyak natin na mayroon silang pansamantalang matutuluyan, pagkain, gamot, damit at iba pang pangangailangan habang naghihintay na maging normal ang sitwasyon sa kanilang lugar,” he added.

 The law gives priority to children during and after every disaster, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and man-made disasters such as war and armed conflict.

 It will also establish child-centered training to disaster first responders, teachers, psychologists and other volunteers in disaster recovery, relief and rehabilitation, with special modules for different stages of children and youth development.

 It mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to formulate a Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children and local government units to integrate the said program in their development and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (LDRRM) plans and budget.

According to Sen. Bam, existing policies will also be reviewed to give better support to Filipino children, especially during disasters, calamities or in armed conflict to help lessen trauma, restore normalcy quickly and build their resilience better.

 “We will continue to work in protecting our Filipino children during disasters, calamities, or armed conflict, but also to reduce trauma and build their resistance to these threats,” he added.

Senate Bill No. 1532: Innovative Startup Act

At the 2015 APEC Summit, the world saw a glimpse of Philippine innovation as Aisa Mijeno shared the story of her SALt Lamp, a lamp that is powered by saltwater, suitable for households along the rural coastal villages that have little or no stable access to electricity.

It is vital that we give all such ideas the chance to come to life. Through this bill, Filipinos with excellent startup business ideas will benefit by being given the necessary support—in terms of registration, incentives, subsidies, funding, technical assistance, accreditation and assessment, and a budding pool of talented workers that will aid them in the steep uphill one faces when putting up a business.

This bill aims to put in place the ecosystem necessary to cultivate startups in the Philippines.

By supporting the startup ecosystem from focal points, we ensure that startups have a reasonable chance at success and are given the opportunity to impact society with innovative business and products that can truly help us achieve our imperative of inclusive economic growth. 

By creating the ecosystem for startups to operate, we bring more citizens into the fold of inventive and socially conscious entrepreneurship.

In view of the foregoing, the passing of this bill is urgently sought. 



Bam: More support for poor Filipino families ​through Microfinance NGOs

Low-income households will be supported by more m​icrofinance non-government organizations (​MFI ​NGOs) with the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for Republic Act 10693 or the Microfinance NGOs Act.
​“This law will encourage more MFI​ NGO​s to ​help the poor through ​loans and​ ​training,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, who pushed for the law’s passage in the Senate as co-author and principal sponsor.
​​MFI NGOs give Filipinos access to low-interest, no collateral loans to pay for housing, medical, and educational needs​ as well as loans for small businesses.
“MFI NGOs​ aid​ our poor countrymen in times of inflation and price increases. They also provide financing and training for livelihood and small businesses so families can overcome poverty,” he added.
In 2013, MFI NGO members of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) had a gross loan portfolio of over 15.26 billion pesos catering to more than 2.7 million micro-entrepreneurs.
​According to Sen. Bam, the law ​incentivizes microfinance NGOs to continue helping Filipinos overcome poverty not just through financing but also through financial literacy, livelihood, and entrepreneurship training.
​​The ​law provides microfinance NGOs needed support and incentives that includes access to government programs and projects, technical assistance and exemption from taxes.
​​Republic Act 10693 was one of Sen. Bam’s 16 laws in the 16th Congress. It was passed under his watch as chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
​The ​law’s IRR is set to be signed today, August 16, 2016.

Sufficient Change for Consumers has Come

Consumers can better demand for sufficient change from establishments now that Republic Act 10909 or the No Shortchanging Act lapsed into law last July 21, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.
Sen. Bam sponsored the measure penalizing establishments that shortchange consumers in the 16th Congress, during his term as chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
In his sponsorship speech, Sen. Bam said the Act aims to promote a culture of decency, integrity, and professionalism among Filipino businesses.
By giving consumers what they are due, down to the last centavo, Sen. Bam said it breeds the values of precision and fairness that should permeate through all Filipino businesses, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“Naniniwala tayo na madadala at mapakikinabangan ng mga negosyanteng Pilipino ang kasanayang ito kapag lumaki at lumago ang kanilang negosyo,” Sen. Bam said.
The bill penalizes first-time violators with a 500-peso fine while the second offense will warrant a three-month suspension of the establishment’s license to operate along with a fine of 15,000 pesos.
The third violation will result in the revocation of the establishment’s license to operate and a fine of 25,000 pesos.
However, the law allows establishments to give more than the exact change, if situation calls for it.
With its passage, Sen. Bam now has 16 laws to his name, including the Philippine Competition Act, Go Negosyo Act, Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, Lemon Law, Microfinance NGOs Act, Youth Entrepreneurship Act and Credit Surety Act.
As chairman of the Committee on Youth in the 16th Congress, Sen. Bam co-authored and co-sponsored the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act, the first law in the country with an anti-political dynasty provision.
In addition, Sen. Bam authored or co-authored other laws, such as the Act Authorizing Punong Barangay to Administer Oath of any Government Official, Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, Election Service Reform Act, Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, Tax Relief for PWDs Act, Closed Caption Broadcasting for Television Act and the law establishing the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Bam: Barangay Captains Can Now Administer Oath to Next PH President

Sen. Bam Aquino’s measure empowering barangay captains to administer the oath of office to the country’s next president has been signed into law by President Aquino.
The Chief Executive has signed Republic Act No. 10755 last March 29, 2016, which will give barangay chairmen power to administer oath of office of any government official, including the President of the Philippines.
“By empowering the Punong Barangay to administer oaths is an affirmation and recognition of its critical role in our society,” said Aquino, co-author of the measure.
Aside from carrying out government programs and projects in the barangay level, the Punong Barangay also serves as the leader and a source of legitimacy by its constituents,” the senator added.
The new law will amend Chapter 1, Section 41 of Executive Order 292 to include barangay captains among officers who have general authority to administer oath.
Barangay captains will join other officials who have the authority to administer oath to any government official, among them the President, Vice President, Members and Secretaries of Both Houses of Congress and Members of the Judiciary.
Under EO 292, officials who have the power to administer oath are Members of the judiciary, department secretaries, governors, vice governors, city mayors, municipal mayors, bureau directors, regional directors, clerks of court; registrars of deeds and other civilian officers in the government whose appointments are vested in the President and are subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
Other constitutional officers, public attorney’s office (PAO) and notaries public are also empowered to administer oath.
This is Aquino’s 10th law in less than three years as senator. Recently, Sen. Bam’s measure giving value-added tax exemption to persons with disabilities has been signed into law.

SBN-3208: Increasing Penalties on Erring Telcos


For years, Filipinos have been suffering from slow and expensive internet as they struggle to communicate with loved ones living abroad, forge deals with potential business partners and clients around the world or simply get work done and sent quickly and efficiently.


Our collective frustrations over our country’s internet quality has been justified by studies on Internet speed and cost per country, putting the Philippines as slowest and most expensive in the region.


Being the fastest growing economy in the ASEAN, this is clearly unacceptable and measures to improve our Internet quality while driving down its cost must be prioritized.


One of the many steps we must take is to update current policies to ensure that internet providers are held accountable for their activities.


Thus, this measure seeks to empower the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) by increasing the penalties and fines for violations against the authority of the NTC and its released certificates, orders, decisions, resolutions, or regulations. With heavier penalties, NTC can expect greater compliance from Internet providers to standards and regulations that have been set to advance Internet quality in the Philippines.


When it comes to public services, we must do more than just keep up with the development of our neighbors, but exceed them. Let us band together to significantly improve our Internet services in the Philippines.


In view of the foregoing, the passage of this measure is earnestly sought.



P-Noy Thanks ‘Kuya Bam’ for PH Competition Law

President Benigno Aquino III thanked Sen. Bam Aquino for his efforts to pass two crucial legislative measures that will further sustain the country’s economic growth and boost the government’s inclusive growth agenda.

In his speech, the Chief Executive lauded Sen. Aquino, whom he playfully referred to as “Kuya Bam”,  for working for the passage of the Philippine Competition Law and the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, now known as Republic Act 10667 and 10668, respectively.

The measures were signed by the Chief Executive during a ceremony at Malacanang Palace today (July 21).

“Partikular po nating pinasasalamatan, unahin ko na po, pasensiya na po kayo, ‘yung kuya ko si Bam Aquino, at ang marami pang ibang sponsor at may-akda ng dalawang batas na ito,” President Aquino said in his speech.

The President said the Philippine Competition Act, which took almost 25 years to pass into law, would help sustain the country’s ever-growing economy and ensure a climate that provides a level-playing field for all businesses.

“Sa pamamagitan ng dalawang panukalang batas na pinagtibay natin sa araw na ito, tinatanggal natin ang mga baluktot na kalakarang dulot ng kawalan ng kumpetisyon, na walang nadadalang pakinabang sa ating mamamayan,” said the Chief Executive.

The President also stressed the importance of the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, saying that it will lead to lower prices of logistics and lower prices of goods for consumers

“Sa mga amyenda po ninyo, malayang makakapagkalakal ang mga banyagang barko ng kanilang imported at exported na kargamento sa kanilang napiling port of destination. Dahil dito, mapapadali at mapapamura ang export at import ng mga produkto, na magbubunsod ng mas masiglang merkado,” he said.

“Sa pinagtibay nating Philippine Competition Act at Liberalization of Philippine Cabotage, ang pagbabagong tinatamasa natin ngayon ay magpapatuloy hanggang sa mga susunod pang henerasyon,” the Chief Executive stressed.

The Philippine Competition Act levels the playing field for all businesses by penalizing anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant players, aside from eliminating cartels.

Under the law, a Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) will be established with the Chief Executive appointing a chairperson, four commissioners and an executive director.

As an independent quasi-judicial body, the PCC will look into anti-competitive behaviors, abuses in dominant positions, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.

The Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act allows foreign ships carrying imported cargoes and cargoes to be exported out of the country to dock in multiple ports.

With the approval of these two measures, Sen. Bam now has four laws to his credit. Last year, the President approved the Go Negosyo Act and the Philippine Lemon Law.

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