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Paolo Benigno Aguirre Aquino IV (born May 7, 1977), also known as Bam Aquino, is a Filipino politician and social entrepreneur. He currently serves as a Senator of the Philippines since 2013 and has advocated for the passage of bills focusing on entrepreneurship, culture and arts, and education and science and technology.
Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV
|Senator of the Philippines|
June 30, 2013 – June 30, 2019
|Chair of the Philippine Senate |
Science and Technology Committee
July 25, 2016 – June 30, 2019
|Preceded by||Ralph Recto|
|Chair of the Philippine Senate |
Education, Arts and Culture Committee
July 25, 2016 – February 27, 2017
|Preceded by||Pia Cayetano|
|Succeeded by||Francis Escudero|
|Chair of the Philippine Senate |
Trade and Commerce Committee
July 22, 2013 – July 25, 2016
|Preceded by||Manny Villar|
|Succeeded by||Juan Miguel Zubiri (as Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship)|
|Chairman of the National Youth Commission|
2003 – February 26, 2006
|Commissioner of the National Youth Commission|
|Senate Deputy Minority Leader|
|Assumed office |
February 27, 2017
Paolo Benigno Aguirre Aquino IV
May 7, 1977
|Political party||Liberal (2012–present)|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Fatima Gomez–Aquino|
|Relations||See Aquino family|
|Children||Anna Aurora Aquino |
Consuelo Victoria Aquino
|Alma mater||Ateneo de Manila University|
|Occupation||Politician, social entrepreneur|
Bam Aquino was born on May 7, 1977 in Manila. He is the son of Paul Aquino, a son of Benigno Aquino Sr., and Melanie Aguirre Aquino. His grandfather, Benigno Aquino Sr., served as a congressman from Tarlac's 2nd District (1919–28), a senator from the 3rd District (1928–34), and eventually became the 6th Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines (1943–44). Under President Ferdinand Marcos' regime, his uncle Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., a former senator (1967–72), was exiled in the United States from 1980 until 1983 when he returned to the Philippines and was assassinated at the Manila International Airport. In 1986, Marcos fled into exile and Ninoy's wife, Corazon Aquino, became the first female President of the Philippines. His uncle Butz and aunt Teresa also served as senators. His cousin, Benigno Aquino III, was elected the 15th President of the Philippines in 2010, which he served until 2016.
Aquino was a consistent honor student in Ateneo de Manila, Quezon City from grade school to college. During his grade school graduation, Aquino delivered the valedictory speech and graduated with first honors. He also graduated as the class valedictorian in High School in 1995. He continued to serve when he joined the Ateneo Catechetical Instructional League, where he spent three years teaching catechism at nearby public schools.
In 1999, Aquino graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Engineering. He took an Executive Education Program on Leadership and Public Policy, at the Kennedy School of Government in the Harvard University in 2008.
Aquino, as one of the founding members, became the Constitutional Chairman of the National Union of Catholic Student Councils, an association of student councils and governments of various Catholic universities and colleges in the Philippines. In that same year, he was the Student Council President at the Ateneo de Manila University.
After his graduation, Aquino joined the special projects group of the ABS-CBN Foundation. He was involved with rehabilitation centers for abused and neglected children, disaster management and relief operations, and volunteer recruitment. In 2001 he was appointed as NYC's commissioner-at-large.
TV and filmEdit
Aquino was also one of the hosts of the TV show Breakfast, a youth-oriented morning talk show at Studio 23. In 2006, Aquino hosted the youth-oriented debate show Y Speak in Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports & Action Ch. 23).
In 2009, Aquino played the role of his uncle Ninoy Aquino, in the documentary film The Last Journey of Ninoy. The film premiered on August 21, 2009 in commemoration of the 26th anniversary of the assassination of Ninoy. It was directed by Jun Reyes.
Before becoming a senator, Aquino became the President of MicroVentures, Inc., a social enterprise company that manages the Hapinoy Program which provides micro-financing, training and access to new business opportunities for women micro-entrepreneurs.
The project has helped 10,000 sari-sari stores to become successful and lifted thousands of poor families from poverty. The program bagged the UN's Project Inspire Award in 2011, besting over 400 enterprises all over the world.
For his efforts, Aquino was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in the category of Social Enterprise and Community Development. He was also chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2012.
Aquino's work in the Hapinoy Program gave him a first-hand view on how access to livelihood, capital, market, training, and mentoring helped lift poor families out of poverty. He was also a Board Member of Rags2Riches, Venture for Fundraising, and the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Senate Committee Chairmanships and MembershipsEdit
Aquino currently chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. He is also a member of the following committees:
- Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon)
- Committee on Agriculture and Food
- Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies
- Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization
- Committee on Cooperatives
- Committee on Cultural Communities
- Committee on Education, Arts and Culture
- Committee on Energy
- Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
- Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports
- Committee on Health and Demography
- Committee on Local Government
- Committee on National Defense and Security
- Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation
- Committee on Public Information and Mass Media
- Committee on Rules
- Committee on Science and Technology
- Committee on Social Justice, Welfare, and Rural Development
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Senate Electoral Tribunal
He was the former chairman of the Committee on Education Culture and Arts from July 2016 until his removal from the position on February 2017 due to his opposition on a Duterte-backed legislation. He was chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship and Committee on Youth July 2013 to June 2016.
Senator Aquino passed more than 40 laws during his first five and half years in office.
- Republic Act 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, seeks to promote universal access to quality tertiary education by providing for free tuition and other school fees in state universities and colleges, local universities and colleges and state-run technical-vocational institutions, establishing the tertiary education subsidy and student loan program, strengthening the unified student financial assistance system for tertiary education.
- Republic Act 10929, or Free Internet Access in Public Space, is an act that requires public places like hospitals, transport terminals, and government offices to provide free internet in main congregation points.
- Republic Act 10693, or Microfinance NGOs Act, is an act strengthening non-government organizations (NGOs) engaged in microfinance operations for the poor. It is hereby declared the policy of the state to pursue a program of poverty eradication wherein poor Filipino families shall be encouraged to undertake entrepreneurial activities to meet their minimum basic needs including income security. The state shall support and work in partnership with qualified ngos in promoting financially inclusive and pro-poor financial and credit policies and mechanisms, such as microfinance and its allied services.
- Republic Act 10911, or Anti Age-Discrimation Act, is an act prohibiting discrimination against any individual in employment on account of age. This aims to promote employment of individuals on the basis of their abilities, knowledge, skills and qualifications rather than their age. This act prohibit arbitrary age limitations in employment and promotes the right of all employees and workers, regardless of age, to be treated equally in terms of compensation, benefits, promotion, training and other employment opportunities.
- Republic Act 10821, or Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act, is an act mandating the provision of emergency relief and protection for children before, during, and after disasters and other emergency situations when children are gravely threatened or endangered by circumstances that affect their survival and normal development. Guided by the principles on survival and development, on child participation, and consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Children's Charter for Disaster Risk and Reduction, and the minimum standards for children in humanitarian action, the State shall establish and implement a comprehensive and strategic program of action to provide the children and pregnant and lactating mothers affected by disasters and other emergency situations with utmost support and assistance necessary for their immediate recovery and protection against all forms of violence, cruelty, discrimination, neglect, abuse, exploitation and other acts prejudicial to their interest, survival, development and well-being.
- Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), in an act that requires the state to protect and enhance government revenue, institute fair and transparent customs and tariff management that will efficiently facilitate international trade, prevent and curtail any form of customs fraud and illegal acts, and modernize customs and tariff administration.
- Republic Act 10909, or No Shortchanging Act, requires all business establishments, including sari-sari stores, and government-owned and -controlled corporations and government agencies performing proprietary functions, are mandated to give exact change to consumers and are prohibited from giving other forms of change like candy in lieu of monetary change.
- Republic Act 10644, or the Go Negosyo Act, seeks to further strengthen the MSME sector by providing this sector with better incentives and benefits, granting more access to focused support for enhanced business performance, promoting support to key growth industries, and facilitating financing support programs that are much-needed for growth. Further, the Act promotes more participation from the private sector in the MSME Development Council. The law mandates the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to establish Negosyo Centers all over the country that will provide access to linkages to bigger markets and financing, business development programs, and a unified and simplified business registration process. As of October 2, 2015, 101 Negosyo Centers have already been put up.
- Republic Act 10642, or the Philippine Lemon Law, provides car owners with a blanket of protection for their hard-earned investments and sets consistent standards of quality and performance in the auto industry. The law mandates the return to consumer the full value of money if the motor vehicle that was bought would not be of standard and quality, 12 months or 20,000 kilometers from date of original delivery.
- Republic Act 10667, or the Philippine Competition Act, is a landmark legislation that levels the playing field for all business, whether big or small, as it will penalize cartel-like behaviors, anti-competitive agreements, abuses of dominant position, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.
- Republic Act 10668, or the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, is an act which allows foreign ships carrying imported cargoes and cargoes to be exported out of the country to dock in multiple ports, leading to lower cost in logistics and prices of goods in the market.
- Republic Act 10679, or the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, is a law which seeks to integrate entrepreneurship into our secondary and tertiary education curricula; facilitate grants both for the teaching and the practice of entrepreneurship; and develop a national youth entrepreneurship program to provide support to young entrepreneurs.
- Under Republic Act No. 10742, or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act, relatives of elected or appointed officials up to the 2nd civil degree of consanguinity or affinity are prohibited from seeking SK posts. The law also adjusts age limit of SK officials from 15-17 to 18-24 years old and the SK Reform Act also mandates the creation of the Local Youth Development Council (LYDC), a council that will support the SK and ensure the participation of more youth through youth organizations.
- Republic Act No. 10693, or the Microfinance NGOs Act, provides microfinance NGOs needed support and incentives that includes access to government programs and projects, technical assistance and preferential tax treatment.
- Republic Act No. 10744, or the Credit Surety Fund Act of 2014, proposes the establishment of the Credit Surety Fund (CSF) mechanism to enhance the credit worthiness of MSMEs, broa~en their access to credit facilities, and sustain the continuous flow of credit in the countryside. This will generate more employment and alleviate poverty through increased investments and economic activities.
- Republic Act No. 10756, or the Election Service Reform Act of 2014, seeks to provide assistance to the teachers who sit as chairmen or member of the board during elections. The bill attends to the key problems of the BEl members; they are to receive a minimum honoraria, insurance, equitable legal package commensurate with their service, and voting privileges.
- Republic Act 10755, or the Act Authorizing The Punong Barangay to Administer the Oath of Office, seeks to authorize the punong barangay to administer the oath of office of any government official, including the president of the republic of the Philippines, amending for the purpose section 41 of Executive Order No. 292 otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, as amended by R.A. 6733.
- Republic Act No. 10844, or the Department of Information and Communication Technology Act of 2015, seeks to create the department of information and communications technology, defining its powers and functions, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purpose.
- Republic Act No. 10754, or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability, seeks to expand the benefits and privileges of persons with disability (PWD), amending for this purpose section 32 of Republic Act No. 7277, otherwise known as the magna carta for persons with disability, as amended, and section 35 (b) of Republic Act No. 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.
- Republic Act 10905, or Closed Caption Broadcasting of Television Programs Act, pushes to require all franchise holders or operators of television stations and producers of television programs to broadcast or present their programs with closed captions option, and for other purposes.
- Republic Act 11054, or the Bangsamoro Organic Law, provides for the establishment of an autonomous political entity known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, following the agreements set forth in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro peace agreement signed between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.
- Republic Act No. 11106, or the Filipino Sign Language Act, declaring the Filipino Sign Language as national sign language of the Filipino deaf as well as the official sign language of government in all transactions involving the deaf.
Awards and involvementsEdit
- Panelist, “Changing the Game: Innovating Smartly in Organizations and Systems”; Panelist, “Cracking the Emerging Market Code” World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland (2014)
- Manila 40 Under 40 Global Development Leader, Awarded by Devex (2013)
- Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (2012)
- Asian Social Entrepreneur of the Year with Mark Ruiz (World Economic Forum, 2011)
- United Nations Project Inspire Grand Prize (The Hapinoy Program, 2011)
- Awarded by MasterCard and The Singapore National Committee for UN Women
- Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (Community Development and Social Enterprise, 2010)
- GoNegosyo Inspiring Young Entrepreneur (2010)
- Co-Finalist, Ernst & Young (Entrepreneur of the Year 2010)
- PLDT Bossing Co-Awardee (Retail Financing Category, 2010)
- "Exile Begins". Ninoy Aquino: Fight for Freedom. Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation. 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- "The Death of a Hero". Ninoy Aquino: Fight for Freedom. Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation. 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- Gutierrez, Natashya (May 10, 2013). "Bam Aquino: What can a 6th Aquino bring to the Senate?". Rappler. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- "Bam Aquino's Achievements". January 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- Reyes, Paolo R. (July 24, 2009). "Ninoy Aquino's last journey". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- "Official Website of the Senate of the Philippines". Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV. https://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/sen_bio/aquino_bam_bio.asp
- Office of Senator Bam Aquino. 2014. http://www.bamaquino.com
- Official website
- Bam Aquino on Twitter (verified)
- Rags2Riches (Accessed on February 25, 2017).
- Arquiza, Yasmin D. “In new Cory-Ninoy docu: A lesson in letting go”. GMA News Online. (Accessed on October 23, 2012).
- Legaspi, Amita. “Bam Aquino files COC for senator, says he won't be lapdog of cousin PNoy”. GMA News Online. (Accessed on October 23, 2012).
- Sauler, Erika. “Bam Aquino: I can serve Philippines better as senator”. Inquirer News. (Accessed on October 23, 2012).
- Bida Ang Mamamayan Magazine. July 2013