laws by bam aquino

CHED commits to Sen. Bam 100% compliance to Free College Law

Thanks to Sen. Bam Aquino’s prodding, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will soon issue a memorandum prohibiting state universities and colleges (SUCs) from charging mandatory fees.
“Sa batas natin, bawal nang mangolekta ng mandatory fees ang mga SUC. Dapat ituloy ang laban para sa 100 percent compliance ng mga kolehiyo,” said Sen. Bam during the CHED’s budget hearing.
During interpellation of the CHED budget, Sen. Bam expressed his concern that a few SUCs may still collect miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students, despite the expressed prohibition under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
“Sa pag-iikot natin sa mga SUC, nalalaman naming may balak pa ang ilan na mangolekta ng miscellaneous fees,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education.
“Hindi dapat ito nangyayari dahil may batas nang nagsasabi na bawal ang paninigil ng miscellaneous at iba pang mandatory fee,” added Sen. Bam. “Sa batas na ito, sinisiguro na ang kapos, makapagtatapos.”
Sen. Bam insisted that the law should be properly enjoyed by students and their families so they can cope with daily expenses amid the high prices of food and other goods.
“Halos aabot din sa daan-daang piso ang kinokolektang miscellaneous fees sa mga estudyante, pera na dapat ginagamit nang panggastos ng pamilyang Pilipino na pambili ng pagkain at iba pang pangangailangan,” added Sen. Bam.
In response, CHED chairman Prospero de Vera agreed to issue a draft memorandum that will clarify and warn SUCs that students should not pay a single centavo to enroll in an SUC, LUC or TESDA-run TVI
In addition, Sen. Bam sought to expand the coverage of the free college law to cover on-the-job training, affiliation fees for nursing students, and other Related Learning Experiences (RLEs). 
Sen. Bam also pushed for the better support for SUCs through additional plantilla position for non-teaching personnel, such as security personnel, registrar, guidance counselors, resident ombudsman, among others.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), for its part, committed and allocated money for this endeavor and was simply waiting for the recommendation from CHED.
Sen. Bam said once the CHED gave its recommendation, SUCs can start hiring non-teaching personnel next year.

Sen. Bam files bill to empower OFWs to start businesses in the PH

Sen. Bam Aquino filed a bill to provide incentives and benefits to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who wish to start a business in the Philippines, following the suggestion of an OFW from Batangas City during a local consultation session.

“Ito’y isang reporma na hiniling mismo ng ating mga OFW. Marami sa kanila ay nais magkaroon ng kabuhayan sa Pilipinas at makapiling ang pamilya,” said Sen. Bam in his Senate Bill No. 2101 or the “Business Incentives for OFWs Act.”

“Isa sa mga pagkukunan ng kabuhayan ng ating OFWs ay ang pagkakaroon ng matagumpay na negosyo. Bigyan natin sila ng pagkakataong magkaroon ng kabuhayan sa Pilipinas upang makasama nila ang kanilang pamilya at makitang lumaki ang kanilang mga anak,” added Sen. Bam.

If enacted into law, OFW-owned enterprises will be given benefits and incentives once they decide to invest their hard-earned money in the Philippines, including exemption from payment of income tax for five years following registration.

Other benefits for an OFW-owned business enterprise include 50-percent reduction on real property taxes and tax and duty free importation of raw materials, capital equipment, machineries and spare parts exclusively used in the operation.

Enterprises owned by OFWs will also receive preferential access to financing from government financial institutions at rates below the market rates for five years following registration.

In the 17th Congress, Sen. Bam has filed several measures concerning the welfare of Filipino workers, including OFWs.

Sen. Bam filed Senate Bill No. 648 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Assistance Act to boost support for the OFW community and the families they leave back home.

If passed into law, the measure integrates programs on livelihood, entrepreneurship, savings, investments and financial literacy to the existing efforts of embassies to equip OFWs with knowledge to start their own business.

Sen. Bam has 35 laws to his name, including the landmark free college law and the Go Negosyo Act, which has now established almost 1,000 Negosyo Centers in different parts of the country.

He has been a fierce advocate for entrepreneurship as a means to overcome poverty and provide livelihood to Filipino families.

Sen. Bam: Patibayin ang paghanga sa mga Pilipinong manunulat, ituro ang Panitikan sa kolehiyo

Sen. Bam Aquino questioned the Supreme Court’s decision excluding Panitikan and Filipino as core subjects in college, saying that we should strengthen our Filipino identity and appreciation for our national language.

 “Sa kolehiyo lumalim ang pagmamahal ko sa bayan. Kaya mahalaga na hanggang tertiary level, tuluy-tuloy ang pag-aaral at pagpapalalim sa ating pagiging Pilipino, at malaking bahagi dito ang ating literatura,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of the law granting free education in state universities and colleges.

Sen. Bam shared that it was in his college years that he became more aware of the country’s needs, and he emphasized that Filipino literature can help deepen the youth’s love and appreciation for the struggles, revolutions and victories of fellow Filipinos.

“Kilalanin at ipagmalaki natin ang mga kababayan nating makata’t manunulat na maaaring maging inspirasyon sa ating mga estudyante sa kolehiyo,” said Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the Committee on Education.

Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act as principal sponsor during his time as chairman of the Committee on Education.

Currently, Sen. Bam is also pushing for other education-related measures, including Senate Bill No. 1278 or the Trabaho Center in Schools Act.

The measure aims to establish a job placement office in every public high school and SUC in the country, which will provide industry matching, career counseling, and employment facilitation.

Trabaho Centers must also 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.

Overall, Sen. Bam has 35 laws to his name.

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: 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 to SUC students: You have the right to free tuition and miscellaneous fees

Sen. Bam Aquino reminded students from state universities and colleges (SUCs) that the collection of tuition and miscellaneous fees is illegal.

“Isang taon na mula nang maisabatas ang Free College Law. Sa ilalim nito, karapatan niyong hindi magbayad ng tuition at miscellaneous fees sa SUCs,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

During dialogue with different sectors, Sen. Bam has received reports that some SUCs are still collecting miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students.

“Kahit mayroon nang batas, may naririnig pa rin tayong ilang SUCs na hindi sumusunod dito at patuloy ang paniningil ng mga bayarin na hindi na dapat pang kinokolekta mula sa mga estudyante,” Sen. Bam insisted.

During the Commission on Higher Education’s budget hearing, Sen. Bam warned SUCs against collecting fees from students.

“If there are mandatory fees still being collected by the schools, that is illegal now,” said Sen. Bam.

In addition, Sen. Bam called on the government to fully implement the Free College Law, saying it should not deprive poor students a chance at a better life through education.

“Prayoridad dapat ang edukasyon. Ito ang susi sa kaunlaran ng pamilyang Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the Free College Law will provide poor families respite from the high prices of goods and services.

“Lalo na ngayong matindi and pagtaas ng presyo, bigyan ng ginhawa ang mga Pilipino,” added Sen. Bam, who worked for the measure’s passage during his time as chairman of Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

Republic Act 10931 provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees to students in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools.

Also, the law allows students of both public and private college and universities can also apply for scholarship grants and student loans.

Sen. Bam rallies support for Filipino deaf community, FSL Act

Deaf Filipinos will soon be empowered with their own national language after the Senate passed on third and final reading the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) Act, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

On Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1455 on third and final reading via 20 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and no abstention.

“We hope to build a society where every Filipino is valued and respected. Let’s support and empower the Filipino deaf community,” said Sen. Bam, who explained that the FSL Act seeks to recognize Filipino Sign Language or FSL as the national sign language and endeavors to bring it to the mainstream.

In his sponsorship speech as vice chairman of the Committee on Education, Sen. Bam said the FSL will give the deaf community better access to government services, information, education, and justice.

If enacted into law, the FSL will become the official mode of communication of the deaf for government services, calling for trained interpreters in various government offices. 

The measure also aims to make FSL as means of interpretation in broadcast media, delivering news and information consistently to the deaf community.

In his five years in the Senate, Sen. Bam has continuously worked hard for the welfare of persons with disabilities (PWDs). In the 16th Congress, Sen. Bam pushing the passage of Republic Act 10754, which exempts PWDs from paying value added tax (VAT), as co-author.

Sen. Bam also worked for the passage of Republic Act 10905 or the Closed Caption Law as co-author. It requires television networks to use the closed captioning system for news and current affairs programs and entertainment shows for the benefit of viewers with hearing impairment.

In the 17th Congress, Sen. Bam filed Senate Bill No. 967 requiring Filipino Sign Language insets for local news programs. He also filed Senate Bill No. 1249 seeking to mandate government offices and private companies to allocate a percentage of their workforce for PWDs.

Sen. Bam: Equipment, livestock and other personal property now OK as bank loan collateral

Filipinos will soon be able to use their personal properties, and not just land titles, as collateral for bank loans, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

Sen. Bam said that President Duterte signed on Aug. 17 Republic Act 11057 or Personal Property Security Act, which he pushed in the Senate as principal author and co-sponsor.

With the law, Sen. Bam said micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will have better access to capital to grow their business since they’ll be allowed to use personal properties, like inventory and equipment, as collateral for loans.

“Sa batas na ito, mabibigyan na ang ating mga kababayan ng mas maraming paraan para makakuha ng pautang na maaari nilang gamitin para makapagsimula o di kaya’y magpalawak ng negosyo,” said Sen. Bam.

 “Sa tulong ng batas na ito, umaasa tayo na mas marami pang Pilipino ang makakapagsimula ng negosyo bilang pagkukunan ng ikabubuhay,” added Sen. Bam.

Usually, banks and other financial institutions prefer to immovable assets, like land, as collateral for loans. With this law, equipment, inventory, livestock, motor vehicles and receivables will now be accepted as collateral, creating a healthier loan environment for both MSMEs and banking institutions.

The law also provides safeguards to reduce the risk involved in accepting movable assets.

“This just one step towards inclusive finance in the Philippines. Tuloy pa rin ang aming pagtrabaho sa mga reporma para sa mga maliliit na negosyanteng Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam.

A known advocate of entrepreneurship and MSME development as a source of livelihood for poor Filipinos, Sen. Bam passed several laws to support the sector, including the Go Negosyo Act, Youth Entrepreneurship Act, Philippine Competition Act, Foreign Ships Co-Loading, Microfinance NGOs Act and the Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Act.

The Personal Property Security Act is Sen. Bam’s 27th law in his five years as senator.

Sen. Bam: 900 Negosyo Centers now open to support small Filipino businesses

Residents of Carmen, Agusan del Norte can now visit their community’s Negosyo Center for help and support in starting a business or growing their family’s livelihood with the opening of the 900th Negosyo Center in the Philippines. 
“900 na ang mga Negosyo Centers na handang tumulong sa mga kababayan nating nais magnegosyo at magkaroon ng kabuhayan. Lahat po ay welcome kaya bumisita na kayo,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor and author of Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act. 
Located at the municipal grounds, the newest Negosyo Center was inaugurated by Carmen mayor Ramon Calo. He was joined by other local officials, Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya and other concerned stakeholders. 
Sen. Bam’s first enacted law in 2014, the Go Negosyo Act mandates the establishment of Negosyo Centers in all municipalities, cities and provinces that will assist micro, small and medium enterprises in the country. 
Negosyo Centers provide access to markets and financing for businesses, training programs, and a simplified business registration process, thus helping ease of doing business and fast-track government processes in putting up a business. 
According to Sen. Bam, Negosyo Centers provide a key role in fulfilling the dreams of many Filipinos who want to establish their own business as means of livelihood. 
“Malaking bagay ang ating Negosyo Centers para mabigyan ng karampatang tulong ang ating mga kababayan na nais magnegosyo,” said Sen. Bam. 
“Maliban pa rito, makatutulong din ang Negosyo Center para mabigyan ng suporta ang mga kababayan nating nais kumita ng extra, lalo ngayong mataas ang presyo ng bilihin,” added Sen. Bam, a long-time advocate of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) development.
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