Bam Aquino

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Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV
SenatorBamPhoto.jpg
Senator of the Philippines
Incumbent
Assumed office
June 30, 2013
Chairman of the National Youth Commission
In office
2003 – 26 February 2006
Commissioner of the National Youth Commission
In office
2001–2005
Personal details
Born Paolo Benigno Aguirre Aquino IV
(1977-05-07) May 7, 1977 (age 37)
Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Liberal (2012–present)
Spouse(s) Mary Fatima Gomez–Aquino
Residence Quezon City
Alma mater Ateneo de Manila University
Occupation Politician, Social entrepreneur
Religion Roman Catholicism

Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aguirre Aquino IV (born May 7, 1977) is a Filipino politician and a social entrepreneur. He currently serves as the youngest Senator of the Philippines of the 16th congress.

Early life[edit]

1983-1986[edit]

Bam was born on May 7, 1977 in Manila. He is the son of Paul Aquino, youngest brother of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., and Melanie Aguirre Aquino. Ninoy’s death ignited the Filipinos’ sense of nationalism, resulting to a series of rallies against Marcos. Bam spent his formative years as a young street parliamentarian, speaking in rallies and other activities against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. During those rallies, the young Bam provided protesters with inspiration as he spoke his heart out against the oppressive government.

From 1983 to 1986, Bam delivered around 200 speeches all over the country, doing his share to help the people’s clamor for change. That change happened in 1986 when the Marcos dictatorship was toppled and his aunt, Corazon Aquino, made history by becoming the country’s first woman president.

Education[edit]

Bam Aquino was a consistent honor student in Mababang Paaralan ng Payatas, Quezon City from grade school to college. During his grade school graduation, Bam 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, Bam 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.

Bam 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, Bam 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. [1]

TV and Film Career[edit]

Bam Aquino was also one of the hosts of the TV show Breakfast, a youth-oriented morning talk show at Studio 23. In 2006, Bam hosted the youth-oriented debate show Y Speak in Studio 23.

In 2009, Bam 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.[2]

National Youth Commission[edit]

At the age of 25, Aquino was appointed as chairman of the National Youth Commission, the youngest person in Philippine history to head a government agency. His team has managed two projects which are implemented yearly: the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations and the Presidential Youth Fellowship Program (PYFP).

In 2007, Bam Aquino established Micro Ventures Incorporated, a social enterprise that engages in poverty alleviation through business development for the poor.

Hapinoy[edit]

Before becoming a senator, Bam 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, Bam 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.

Bam 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.

WEF (World Economic Forum)[edit]

Bam Aquino attended the World Economic Forum, “an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship”, held at Davos, Switzerland last January 22 to 25, 2014. He became a panelist in two topics that talked about “Changing the Game: Innovating Smartly in Organizations and Systems” and “Cracking the Emerging Market Code”. [3]

Senate[edit]

Road to Senate[edit]

Official profile photo of Sen. Bam Aquino during the 2013 senatorial campaign

Bam Aquino’s inclusion to Team PNoy became official on Oct. 1, 2012 making him the youngest candidate of the coalition. On Oct. 5, 2012, Bam Aquino filed his certificate of candidacy, together with Team PNOY candidates Risa Hontiveros and Ramon Magsaysay Jr.

When the campaign officially started on Feb. 12, 2013, Bam Aquino joined the entire Team PNOY in their proclamation rally at Plaza Miranda, Manila. In March 13, the BAMwagon, a vehicle that symbolizes the collective journey of the people towards change, was launched as part of Bam Aquino’s campaign.

On March 18, he was unanimously adopted by all the ten (10) tribes of Davao City as “Datu Matulangod”, meaning “the dependable, sincere and trusted leader”. Bam also attended major debates held on April 13 (Rappler), April 18 (Inquirer), and April 21 (ABS-CBN).

During the last leg of the campaign, Bam Aquino’s campaign team launched four (4) Rock The Vote 2013 concerts at Dagupan, Davao, Batangas and Cebu City, respectively. On May 17, Bam Aquino was elected as Senator of the Republic of the Philippines.

Senate Committee Chairmanships and Memberships[edit]

Bam Aquino currently chairs the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship and the Committee on Youth. 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[4]

Key Legislation[edit]

Go Negosyo Bill[edit]

Go Negosyo Bill 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.

As of February 24, 2014, the Go Negosyo Bill was already approved on the Third Reading and was already sent for approval of the House of Representatives.

Social Enterprise Bill[edit]

Bam Aquino introduced Senate Bill 1026 or the Social Enterprise Bill in July 2013.

The Social Enterprise Bill provides framework for the planning and implementation of a National Poverty Reduction Through Social Entrepreneurship (the PRESENT) Program. The SE Bill, or the PRESENT Bill provides a nurturing environment for the growth and burgeoning of strong and innovative Social Enterprises as tools to reduce poverty.

The bill has been approved on the first reading and is still pending on the committee it was referred to.

Youth Entrepreneurship Bill[edit]

Bam Aquino introduced Senate Bill 1032 or the Youth Entrepreneurship Bill in July 2013.

Youth Entrepreneurship Bill 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.

The bill has been approved on the first reading and is still pending on the committee it was referred to.

Other Bills and Resolution (Bullet Points)[edit]

  • S.B. 1356: People's Fund Bill
  • Resolution No. 100 - Ease of Doing Business
  • S.B. 1090: SK Reform Bill
  • S.B. 1027: Philippine Fair Competition Act
  • S.B. 1031: Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy
  • S.B. 1091: Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom
  • S.B. 1030: Micro Enterprise Institutions Development ("MicroDev") Act
  • S.B. 1029: Social Value Bill
  • S.B. 2122: Anti-Discrimination Bill
  • S.B. 2117: Filipino Sign Language Act in Broadcast Media of 2014

Awards, involvements, activities, programs attended[edit]

  • 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)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bam Aquino’s Achievements". January 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ Reyes, Paolo R. (July 24, 2009). "Ninoy Aquino’s last journey". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ World Economic Forum "World Economic Forum". Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ Senate of the Philippines "Official Website of the Senate of the Philippines". Retrieved May 29, 2014.