Sen. Bam lauds cross-party support for BBL, says teamwork can also protect Filipinos from price surge

Senator Bam Aquino lauded colleagues for crossing party lines to approve the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on third and final reading, adding that this type of teamwork can also alleviate Filipinos from the rise in prices.

“We are happy to see wide support for the BBL. We are hopeful that it will help usher in peace and development to the Bangsamoro region,” said Sen. Bam, who co-sponsored and co-authored the measure.

“Sisikapin pa ng bicam members na pagbutihin ang BBL at siguraduhin na makakatulong ito sa pag-unlad ng Mindanao,” said Sen. Bam, referring to some contentious provisions of the Senate version, which he hopes can be ironed out during the bicameral conference committee.

“With the BBL and even with the free college law, we’ve proven that we can work beyond political lines to pass reforms that will benefit the people. We should do the same to alleviate Filipinos from the rising prices,” added Sen. Bam, referring to his proposal to suspend the TRAIN law.

Sen. Bam filed Senate Bill No. 1798, which seeks to rollback of TRAIN’s excise tax on fuel when average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

“Nalulunod na sa taas ng presyo ang Pilipino ngunit walang nakahandang salbabida sa TRAIN Law,” said Sen. Bam, who hopes to strengthen safeguards in the law through his proposal.

Bam: Limit ML extension

Congress must perform its duty of limiting the duration of Martial Law to ensure that checks and balances in government remain.

This was stressed by Sen. Bam Aquino during his brief manifestation during the special session to discuss the Martial Law extension being requested by President Duterte.

“I would definitely try to move for a shorter period of time,” Sen. Bam told Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

 “Nakasaad sa Konstitusyon na kapangyarihan at tungkulin ng lehislatura ang magdesisyon ukol sa pag-extend ng Martial Law. Kaya’t ang mas maikling panahon na 60 days ay hindi deadline, bagkus isang pamamaraan na kung saan nagagawa ng lehislatura ang aming tungkulin,” the senator said.

“At hindi ba nararapat lang na humingi ng pagsang-ayon ang militar sa mga sibilyan na awtoridad?” he added.

The senator reiterated the Congress’ support for the military, saying lawmakers are ready to provide soldiers the necessary equipment and legislative reforms they need to quell the terrorism in Marawi once and for all.

  “Iyong Modernization Act kailangang ipagpatuloy, baka kailangang i-amend ang Procurement Act at iba pang mga batas upang magawa niyo ang trabaho nang maayos,” said Sen. Bam, to which Sec. Lorenzana agreed to.

However, Sen. Bam stressed the need to be prudent about the Martial Law extension to completely quell terrorism in Mindanao.

 “Let us not forget that it is robust development – education, jobs, business and livelihood – that will ultimately beat terrorism,” said Sen. Bam.

The senator added that Martial Law will not help achieve economic development and rehabilitation of the affected areas.

Senate Bill No. 2603: Mamasapano Truth Commission

On January 25, 2015, while on a mission to serve arrest warrants to two suspected terrorists – Malaysian Jemaah Islamiyah leader, Zulkifli bin tilr also known as “Marwan” and Filipino bomb maker, Abdulbasit Usman, forty-four (44) members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP SAF) died, With twelve (12) getting injured in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, during an armed conflicct with other armed elements, which allegedly included the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).”

The facts and Circumstances remain unclear as to how this unfortunate event occurred.

This bill creates a fact-finding commission, to be called the “Mamasapano Truth Commission,” that will have plenary powers to investigate and report upon this tragedy. This tragedy has far-reaching consequences and implications, which strike at the very heart of the Nation, and may impede the ongoing peace process between the National Government and the MILF. An Independent and Impartial Commission is therefore necessary to enable us to get to the bottom of this tragedy.

Forty-four of our bravest elite police force perished in the grisly encounter, and twelve (12) remain suffering because of their injuries. The creation of this Commission shall be our humble way of honoring our fallen heroes, who served the country with excellence, valor and patriotism. We should not allow their deaths or injuries be in vain.

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





Bam: BBL Should Be Pro-Poor, Pro-Business

Senator Bam Aquino calls on fellow lawmakers to focus on the provisions that will spur jobs and livelihood of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to ensure that the growth it expected to bring to the region will be inclusive to all Mindanaoans.

“The BBL’s economic provisions must be thoroughly scrutinized to make sure that all Mindanaoans will truly benefit from the growth that they’ve been waiting for a long time,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

If enacted into law, the BBL is expected to usher in lasting peace in Mindanao with the creation of a Bangsamoro entity, led by officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Aside from peace and order, Sen. Bam believes that the BBL will boost economic activity in the region, resulting in more jobs and livelihood for the poor people in the region.

“With the anticipated development in the region’s peace and order, local and foreign investors will see Mindanao as the next best business destination due to its untapped potential, hardowrking and innovative citizenry and vast natural resources,” Sen. Bam said.

Sen. Bam said the influx of investors will lead to fresh jobs and livelihoods in the region, giving Mindanaoans a chance to provide for the needs of their families and get out of poverty.

“The opportunity for every Filipino to earn for themselves and for their families must be realized through the BBL,” Sen. Bam emphasized.

In addition, Sen. Bam said the BBL will hasten agricultural development and modernization and address the looming power supply problem in the region.

Senate President Franklin Drilon earlier announced that it will prioritize the passage of the BBL, on top of other economic-related bills.

First Negosyo Center Launched in Cagayan de Oro

It’s all systems go for the Go Negosyo Act with the launching of the country’s first-ever Negosyo Center today (Thursday) in Cagayan de Oro City.

“The opening of the first Negosyo Center in the country eases the doing of business in the city, as it will help fast-track government processes in putting up a business,” said Senator Bam Aquino, author of Republic Act 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act.

“The Negosyo Center will boost the development of micro, small and medium enterprises, creating jobs and livelihood in the community,” the senator added.

Aquino said the Cagayan de Oro Negosyo Center will be the first of many, as RA 10644 mandates the creation of such in all provinces, cities, and municipalities in the country.

“We are closely working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to establish more Negosyo Centers all over the country,” Aquino said.

Aquino said Negosyo Centers will provide a unified and simplified business registration process, making it easier for entrepreneurs to register and start up their businesses, as well as gain access to sources of financing.

“By making business registration simpler and more efficient, we hope to encourage more Filipinos to start their own small businesses to stimulate the local economy,” Aquino added.

In addition, the Negosyo Centers will provide courses and development programs, training, advice on business conceptualization and feasibility, financing, management, capability building, human resources, marketing and other support services.

“We call on the businessmen and entrerpreneurs of Cagayan de Oro to engage with the Negosyo Center and give feedback on its operations so we can continuously improve its services to the public, as we replicate it nationwide,” Aquino added.

The DTI provincial office at the ground floor of Antolin Building in Cagayan de Oro City will house the first Negosyo Center in the country.

Aquino will attend the launch together with invited local officials, Cagayan de Oro City Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas, Misamis Oriental 1stDistrict Rep. Peter Unabia and Governor Vicente Emano.

Also attending the event are DTI undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, DTI Misamis Oriental provincial director Eliza Pabillore, assistant director Jerry Clavecillas of the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprises Development and assistant regional director Linda Boniao of DTI Region 10.

The DTI will also sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with several industry partners to provide technology enablement and coaching sessions for MSMEs.

Mindanao has 10 of 16 Poorest Provinces in the Region

Ten of the poorest provinces in the country are in Mindanao, with Lanao del Norte leading the way with a 67.3 percent poverty incidence.

Aside from Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Norte, Saranggani, North Cotabato, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Camiguin, Sultan Kudarat and Sulu also made the list of the top 16 poorest provinces.

The problem exists despite Mindanao’s vast natural resources, which remained untapped until now due to the decades-long conflict in the region.

However, Senator Bam Aquino believes that things will turn for the better for Mindanao with the imminent passage of the Bangsamoro political entity and the ASEAN Integration in 2015.

“The expected approval of the Bangsamoro political entity and the ASEAN Integration in 2015 will turn Mindanao into a magnet for businesses and investors,” said Aquino.

Aquino added that the 1st Mindanao Social Business Summit, which will be held from June 4-6 at the Central Mindanao University in Maramag, Bukidnon, will play a key role in addressing problems hounding the region.

Carrying the theme, “Wealth Creation with Justice and Peace through Social Entrepreneurship,” the summit’s goal is to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity in Mindanao thru social innovation and entrepreneurship.

The summit will advocate for partnerships among stakeholders the need for a holistic support mechanism towards inclusive growth to reduce poverty and discuss the implications of development in Mindanao for social entrepreneurship.

During the summit, Aquino will discuss the importance of inclusive growth and social entrepreneurship in reducing poverty.

A former social entrepreneur before becoming a lawmaker, Aquino will share his experience with the Hapinoy program, which he co-founded, to delegates from the business and government sectors, officials from different universities and other NGOs from Mindanao.

Aquino will also tackle his inclusive growth bills that will help boost micro, small and medium enterprises, leading to creation of jobs and other livelihood for millions of Filipinos.

Sen. Bam: Mindanao to Become Magnet for Investors

With the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), Senator Bam Aquino expects Mindanao to become a magnet for businesses and investments that will boost its long-awaited economic development.

“Now that the CAB is signed, sealed and delivered, Mindanao will be an attractive destination for businessmen who will provide jobs and other livelihood in the region,” said Aquino, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

Aquino also called the signing as “the start of the long-awaited development of the region known for its rich natural resources.”

“With peace and security now at hand, the region’s journey from decades of infamy to prosperity and economic growth now begins,” the senator said.

The senator believes that the expected economic development will help uplift the lives of our brothers and sisters in the region, especially those living in war-torn areas.

“The arrival of businesses and other investments in the area will give them a chance to revive lost opportunities and due to the conflict,” Aquino noted.

Aquino added that the government’s quest for inclusive growth would be achieved, with Mindanao on its way to economic development.

At the same time, Aquino emphasized the importance of his “Go Negosyo Act” in helping Mindanao in development, saying it will open opportunities for small businessmen and entrepreneurs in the region.

The Act, which was passed on third reading by the Senate, calls for creation of Negosyo Centers, under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in each city and municipality around the country.

Aquino said these Negosyo centers are designed to make it easier for entrepreneurs to register and start their own businesses, as well as gain access to sources of financing.

The Negosyo Centers will also provide courses and development programs, training, give advice on business conceptualization and feasibility, financing, management, capability building, human resources, marketing and other support services.

Photo source: Rappler.com

Senator Bam Aquino’s Statement on the Signing of the Bangsamoro Comprehensive Agreement

The signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signals the start of a new era of peace and economic development in Mindanao.

With this pact, we are hoping for an end to the decade-long conflict between the two sides that resulted in death of thousands and loss of homes and livelihood of millions more in Mindanao.

Also, this also marks the start of the long-awaited development of the region known for its rich natural resources.

If there is peace and security, Mindanao will become a magnet for business and investments that will provide jobs and other livelihood to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao.

With the help of this agreement, the government’s quest for inclusive growth will be easier to achieve.

Photo source: PNoy’s Official Facebook Page

Scroll to top