Bills by Bam Aquino

Bam: Senate OKs Bill Protecting Children Against Disasters

The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill creating a national program that will provide protection and assistance to Filipino children affected by disasters, calamities and armed conflicts.

According to Sen. Bam Aquino, a co-author of Senate Bill No. 3034 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, children will be given utmost priority during and after every disaster.

“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,” Sen. Bam said.

As an archipelago lying along the Pacific Ring of Fire, Sen. Bam stressed that the country is one of the most vulnerable to the threat of climate change.

“While we have already made big improvements in the field of disaster risk reduction on a national and local level, now we have the opportunity to target our Filipino children, one of the most vulnerable sectors during times of calamity,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Youth.

In filing the measure, Sen. Bam underscored the need to focus on Filipino children as they are the most vulnerable and are worst affected during disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flash floods.

During the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda, Aquino said an estimated six million children were affected, according to data from Save the Children. 

If enacted into law, existing policies will 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.

“A national program is crucial in the most vulnerable areas of the country, where the experience of prolonged displacement would have a profound impact on the children’s sense of security, physical and emotional well being,” Sen. Bam said.

The measure also pushes for 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.

“Providing the targeted needs of the Filipino children, specifically during times of distress, ensures the long-term security and health of our nation,” Aquino stressed.



Sen. Bam’s Sponsorship Speech on the Amendments to the Corporation Code

Senate Bill No. 2945 under Committee Report No. 247

An Act Amending Section 144 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 68 otherwise known as the Corporation Code of the Philippines

Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” A. Aquino IV
16th Congress, Senate of the Philippines
Sponsorship Speech, September 9, 2015



Good afternoon, Mr. President and my distinguished colleagues.  Mga kaibigan, mga kababayan, magandang hapon sa ating lahat!

I am honored to address you today in support of improving and developing the country’s business regulatory practices for the benefit of our local entrepreneurs, as I sponsor Senate Bill No. 2945, under Committee Report No. 247, entitled An Act Amending Section 144 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 68 otherwise known as the Corporation Code of the Philippines.

As the spotlight continues to shine on the country thanks to our robust economic growth, we are challenged to push policies that make investing and doing business in the Philippines easier, more efficient, and more fun.

Kagalang-galang na Pangulo, naipasa na natin ang Go Negosyo Act na siyang pagmumulan ng tulong at tukod para sa maliliit na negosyong Pilipino sa kanilang paglalakbay tungo sa pag-unlad.

Naipasa na rin po natin ang Philippine Competition Act na magbibigay ng pagkakataon sa mga bagong negosyante na makilahok at makipagsabayan sa mas malalaki at mas matatatag na kompanya sa merkado.

Ngayon, may panibagong pagkakataon na suportahan at padaliin ang paglaganap ng mga negosyo sa ating bansa.

Mr. President and esteemed colleagues, the next step in promoting entrepreneurship and supporting the growth of our local businesses is to rethink and reform the Corporation Code of the Philippines, which was enacted in 1980.

For 35 years, we have gathered lessons and insights in order to improve and streamline the country’s Corporation Code for the benefit of both businesses and government agencies.

To strengthen our efforts to catch up to global best practices for the business sector and improve the ease of doing business in the country, we must now make improvements and amendments to the decades-old Corporation Code of the Philippines.

These amendments include the creation of a one-person corporation, allowing for perpetual corporate existence, and stringent measures to ensure corporations are not used for graft and corruption practices – changes that benefit both implementing government agencies and entrepreneurs alike.


One-Person Corporation

At present, the law requires a minimum of five persons in order to incorporate, while entrepreneurs that choose to build a business on their own are left with one option – a sole proprietorship.

However, in a sole proprietorship, personal assets are considered property of the business entity allowing authorities to seize personal assets should the business go asunder.

In an attempt to protect their personal assets, individuals have learned to engage “dummy incorporators”, rendering the policy ineffectual; and thus, encouraging businesses to circumvent the law.

Sa panukalang ito, bibigyan natin ang mga negosyanteng Pilipino ng pagkakataong makapagpatayo ng mga one-person corporation bilang alternatibo sa sole proprietorship.

We aim to give the government less cause for speculation and no need for investigation while encouraging more individuals to invest in their business ideas.


Perpetual Corporate Existence

Mr. President, as we encourage a mindset of entrepreneurship among Filipinos, we also want to encourage them to think long-term, be in it for the long haul and embrace enterprise development as a life and career choice.

But currently, our Corporation Code limits a corporate term to a maximum of only fifty years.

To remedy this, the Amendments to the Corporation Code will allow corporate perpetuity in the Philippines, encouraging corporations to develop long-term plans and generate extensive and sustainable strategies to achieve economic or, more importantly, socio-economic growth.

On the other hand, government agencies need not attend to regular renewals of corporations, eliminating unnecessary workload and taking one less opportunity away from fixers.

This is one of our efforts to promote ease of doing business with government and to truly be a partner in the growth of our business sector.


Good Corporate Governance

Mr. President and respected colleagues, the passage of this bill is also an important step towards realizing our country’s commitment to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). 

It will promote good corporate governance by including stricter measures to safeguard companies from being used in aid of fraud, graft, and corruption.

These measures include imposing criminal liability against corporations, more stringent requirements for directorship, and whistleblower protection.

Ang pag-amyenda ng Corporation Code ay magpapatibay ng laban kontra katiwalian, hindi lamang sa gobyerno pero pati na rin sa mga nagnenegosyo.

These are only few of the many improvements in this policy that seek to update and redesign the current Corporation Code of the Philippines to suit our ever-changing and growing local and global business world.

With so many opportunities for business and commerce in our country, there is no better time to build a successful business in the Philippines; and there is no better time than now to streamline our policies.

Mga kaibigan, sa repormang tinutulak natin ngayon, binibigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang mga negosyanteng Pilipinong magtagumpay at makamit ang kanilang mga pangarap.

Sa repormang ito, mas magiging matapat at epektibo ang ating pamahalaan upang ituloy ang pag-unlad ng bansa para sa bawa’t Pilipino! 

Inaasahan po namin ang inyong suporta sa pagpasa ng Amendments to the Corporation Code!

Magandang hapon at maraming maraming salamat!




Senate OKs Microfinancing Non Profits that Help the Poor

A measure strengthening non-government organizations (NGOs) that provide micro financing to the poor who want to start their own business has been passed by the Senate on third and final reading Monday.

 Principally sponsored by Senator Bam Aquino, Senate Bill No. 2752 or the Microfinance NGOs Act was approved by the Senate with around 100 beneficiaries from different parts of the country in attendance.

 “The approval was a victory for all microfinance NGOs, which, for decades now, have been helping the government’s poverty alleviation program without getting anything in return” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

 “The passage of this measure is recognition of their crucial role in lifting our fellow Filipinos from poverty and enabling the poor to build their own businesses and create their own sustainable livelihood,” he added.

 Sen. Bam hopes that the Microfinance NGOs Act will also encourage more institutions to help in the promotion of the development of micro businesses all over the country.

 Sen. Bam said microfinance NGOs provide low-interest, no collateral financing to those who want to start their own small business, luring them away from loan sharks or more commonly known as “5-6”.

 Microfinance NGOs offer a variety of loans – from business, housing, educational and medical – to low-income households with an average nominal interest rate of 2 to 2.5% and a usual loan cycle of 6 months.

 “Mabigat po talaga ang mangutang sa 5-6 dahil halos lahat ng kinikita mo sa araw-araw, doon napupunta. Sa MFI NGOs, magaan na hulog, mahaba pa ang palugit,” said Resureccion Aquino, owner of “Angels” figurines and ceramic display and a beneficiary of a P75,000 from Kasagana-ka Development Center, Inc. (KDCI).

 Aside from loans, microfinance NGOs also provide training programs and seminars to enhance the entrepreneurial skills and financial literacy of their borrowers.

 “Nakakuha na kami ng pautang, nabibigyan pa kami ng libreng insurance at mayroon pang training para sa dagdag na kaalaman,” said Rosana Santos, owner of J-Anmos Homemade Products and a recipient of a P50,000 loan from KDCI.

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

 “With this Act, we will be able to reach more Filipinos in poor communities, enabling us to fulfill our mission as an institution – lifting the poor out of poverty and bringing our nation towards development,” said Dr. Aris Alip, founder and managing director of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development – Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD-MRI).

 CARD-MRI is the biggest MFI NGO in the country, with around 1,780 branches in different parts of the Philippines.

 “The support that the bill accords to microfinance NGOs would ultimately benefit the enterprising poor in terms of greater affordability, accessibility, and variety of micro finance programs and services geared towards the expansion of their livelihoods and furthering their transformative contributions to community development,” the Microfinance Council of the Philippines said in a statement.

 With the House version of the measure already approved, a bicameral conference committee meeting will be held in the coming days to consolidate and finalize the provisions before it will be transmitted to Malacanang for President Aquino’s approval.

Bam: SSS Coverage for Working Poor

The working poor will now be covered by the government’s social protection program through the Social Security System (SSS) once Sen. Bam Aquino’s bill is enacted into law.

Sen. Bam has filed Senate Bill No. 2746, seeking to provide the farmers, fishermen, market and street vendors, tricycle drivers and millions of micro business owners the social protection they need.

“As they earn below P100,000.00 annually, the working poor’s contributions, unfortunately, are not regular, thus depriving them of a chance to enjoy social protection from the SSS,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. “The proposed measure seeks to provide the working poor the much-needed help in order for them to grow,” said Sen. Bam.

While the poorest of the poor are covered by the government’s social protection programs, Sen. Bam said only 6.5 percent of the 12 million self-employed Filipinos are paying their SSS contributions.

Under the Working Poor Protection Act of 2015, the government will match every contribution of the working poor to SSS, the same way an employer matches the contribution of their employees.

This will enable the working poor to access loans and other benefits from SSS, giving them the opportunity to get out of poverty and succeed on their own.

In addition, they will also be given a chance to avail of social protection packages that SSS provides, such as disability, sickness, maternity, old age, and death benefits.

“Let us ensure that the Filipino dream is realized – that all Filipinos are being provided with the right opportunity, the break that they need to succeed on their own and the environment where they are able to help themselves,” said Sen. Bam, who worked with micro businesses before he became a senator.

“Wala dapat maiiwan tungo sa tinatamasa nating kaunlaran,” he added.

S.B. 2370: An Act Providing for a Magna Carta for the Poor

The country’s economic performance in recent years has been impressive and unprecedented. Our 7.2% GDP growth in 2013 was the highest in the ASEAN earning the country improved investment grade ratings. Its economic climate is now attractive, viable and profitable for investors to come in.

Despite these accomplishments, our country still faces a myriad of challenges – millions of ~ilipinos do not have jobs and a fifth of the populace is still poor.

The daunting task for the State is how to capitalize on its outstanding growth, the critically acclaimed reform efforts and the renewed global confidence, in order to make growth more inclusive and felt by all of the one hundred million Filipinos.

In the midst of this economic progress, it is essential for the State to craft policies so that every Filipino family is recognized regardless of the socio-economic status of its members, and their needs be taken cared and provided for.

The proposed measure thus seeks to ensure the protection and promotion of five basic rights of every Filipino: the right to food, employment, education, shelter and basic health care. It supports the creation of a just and dynamic environment where prosperity is shared through the provision of adequate social services, enabling a rising standard of living and improved quality of life for everyone.

As the Philippines grows, no Filipino should be left behind.

In view of the foregoing, the approval of this bill is earnestly sought.


  DOWNLOAD S.B. 2370: PDFicon






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