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Paolo Benigno Aguirre Aquino IV (born May 7, 1977), who is more widely known as Bam Aquino, is a Filipino politician and social entrepreneur. He served as a Senator of the Philippines from 2013 to 2019. During his stint as senator, he 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
|Senate Deputy Minority Leader|
February 27, 2017 – 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|
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
Francesca F-Boi 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.
2013 Senatorial BidEdit
16th and 17th CongressEdit
Aquino chaired the Committee on Science and Technology from 2016 to 2019. He was 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 from July 2013 to June 2016.
- Republic Act 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
- Republic Act 10929, or Free Internet Access in Public Space
- Republic Act 10693, or Microfinance NGOs Act
- Republic Act 10911, or Anti Age-Discrimation Act
- Republic Act 10821, or Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act
- Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA)
- Republic Act 10909, or No Shortchanging Act
- Republic Act 10644, or the Go Negosyo Act
- Republic Act 10642, or the Philippine Lemon Law
- Republic Act 10667, or the Philippine Competition Act
- Republic Act 10668, or the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act
- Republic Act 10679, or the Youth Entrepreneurship Act
- Under Republic Act No. 10742, or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act
- Republic Act No. 10693, or the Microfinance NGOs Act
- Republic Act No. 10744, or the Credit Surety Fund Act of 2014
- Republic Act No. 10756, or the Election Service Reform Act of 2014
- Republic Act 10755, or the Act Authorizing The Punong Barangay to Administer the Oath of Office
- Republic Act No. 10844, or the Department of Information and Communication Technology Act of 2015
- Republic Act No. 10754, or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability
- Republic Act 10905, or Closed Caption Broadcasting of Television Programs Act
- Republic Act 11054, or the Bangsamoro Organic Law
- Republic Act No. 11106, or the Filipino Sign Language Act
2019 Re-election BidEdit
Aquino ran as one of the Otso Diretso Candidates of the Liberal Party. He failed to win in his re-election bid, placing 14th overall with 14,144,923 votes. Aquino was quoted that "There are 14 million people who voted for an Aquino during the time of Duterte. That's something". According to his wife, he might return to his social entrepreneurship initiatives after his term will end on June 30, 2019.
He is married to Mary Fatima "Timi" Gomez. They have two daughters together, Rory, Coco, and F-Boi.
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.
- Office of Senator Bam Aquino. 2014. http://www.bamaquino.com
- "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.
- Keh, By Harvey S. "2013 elections: Why Bam Aquino and Grace Poe are suddenly up". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- "9-3 win for Team PNoy in Senate race". Rappler. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV. https://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/sen_bio/aquino_bam_bio.asp
- Avendaño, Christine O. "LP members ousted from Senate majority". newsinfo.inquirer.net. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- "Halalan 2019 Philippine Election Results". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- Elemia, Camille. "14 million votes for an Aquino in time of Duterte still a feat, says Bam". Rappler. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- News, ABS-CBN. "Bam admits defeat, says love for Filipinos won't run out". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- News, ABS-CBN. "Bam Aquino, wife Timi welcome second child on Valentine's Day". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- 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