Sonny Angara

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The Honourable
Sonny Angara
Senator Angara (cropped).jpg
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2013
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Local Government Committee
Assumed office
July 25, 2016
Preceded by Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Ways and Means Committee
Assumed office
July 22, 2013
Preceded by Francis Pangilinan
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Games, Amusement and Sports Committee
In office
July 22, 2013 – July 25, 2016
Preceded by Lito Lapid
Succeeded by Panfilo Lacson
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from the Lone District of Aurora
In office
June 30, 2004 – June 30, 2013
Preceded by Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo
Succeeded by Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo
Personal details
Born Juan Edgardo M. Angara
(1972-07-15) July 15, 1972 (age 46)
Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party LDP (2004–present)
Spouse(s) Tootsy Echauz
Relations Edgardo J. Angara (father),
Arturo "Arthur" J. Angara (uncle),
Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo (aunt)
Rommel Rico T. Angara (cousin)
Karen G. Angara-Ularan (cousin)
Residence Aurora, Philippines
Alma mater Xavier School
London School of Economics
University of the Philippines
Harvard Law School
Occupation Lawyer, Legislator, Columnist, Educator
Profession Law

Juan Edgardo Manalang Angara (Tagalog: [aŋˈɡara]; born July 15, 1972), most widely known as Sonny Angara, is a Filipino politician. Elected to the Senate of the Philippines in 2013, Angara placed sixth with 16 million votes.[1] In the Senate, he advocates lowering of taxes that would help workers and families save and promote social justice.

Early life and education[edit]

Angara was born on July 15, 1972 in Manila. He is the son of former Senator Edgardo J. Angara and Mrs. Gloria Manalang-Angara,[2] a former teacher and chairperson of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

He took up his basic education at Xavier School in San Juan, Metro Manila, and finished his undergraduate degree in International Relations with honors from the London School of Economics. He finished his law degree at the University of the Philippines College of Law, and earned his Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.

Political career[edit]


Sonny Angara on the campaign trail during the 2013 senatorial elections.

In the 17th Congress, Senator Angara currently chairs the following committees:[3]

  • Local Government
  • Ways and Means

As chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Angara has already worked for the enactment of:[4][5]

  • Republic Act 10653 that raises the take-home pay of Filipino workers by increasing the tax exemption cap for 13th month pay and other benefits from P 30,000 to P82,000.[6]
  • Republic Act 10708 or the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act (TIMTA) that aims to promote transparency and accountability in the grant and administration of tax incentives to registered business entities so as to encourage investors to bring more businesses to the country, generate more employment opportunities, and boost Philippine economic growth.[7]
  • Republic Act 10754 or the VAT Exemption for Persons with Disability. This law exempts persons with disabilities (PWDs) from the 12-percent value added tax (VAT) on land transportation, domestic air and sea travels; on fees and charges for medical and dental services; on cost of medicines; on funeral and burial services; on fees and charges in hotels and restaurants, among others.[8]

Angara is pushing for the passage of the income tax reform bill that seeks to update and adjust the levels of taxable income to inflation to ease taxpayers’ burden and to make the tax system more equitable and progressive. Furthermore, Angara has urged the government to make it easy for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to form a business and pay taxes by simplifying the process, reducing the steps and requirements, easing the formalities, and eliminating red tape.These key reforms are included in President Duterte's Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Bill otherwise known as the "TRAIN Bill"[9] currently pending bicam approval.

In the 16th Congress, Angara formerly chaired Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports where he is actively pushing for greater support for Filipino athletes and competitiveness of national sports teams competing in international competitions. Through this committee, he has authored and sponsored the following laws:

  • RA 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act that increased the amount of financial incentives and benefits given to national athletes, coaches and recognition of athletes with disabilities as national athletes.[10]
  • RA 10636 granting Filipino citizenship to Andray Blatche, the 6-foot-11 basketball player from the NBA, for eligibility to join the Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team.[11]
  • Republic Acts 10674, 10680, 10681, 10682 and 10683 which established sports academies and training centers respectively in Davao de Norte, Misamis Occidental, Talisay Cebu, Alfonso Cavite and Siargao Island to hone the skills and raw talent of young athletes from the provinces and jumpstart grassroots sports development.[12]

Angara was also formerly the acting chairman of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources. He is the sponsor of RA 10691 or the amended Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Act,[13] which aims to improve and strengthen PESOs’ employment facilitation services to help more Filipinos land a job especially in rural areas and poorer municipalities, and RA 10706 or the Seafarers Protection Act, which protects Filipino seafarers from ambulance chasers, particularly lawyers, who charge excessive legal fees arising from accident, illness, or death of seafarers in the course of their service.


He was first elected to public office in 2004 as the representative to Congress for the lone district of Aurora, where he succeeded his aunt, Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo, a three-term representative and erstwhile governor of Aurora. Elected at age 31, he was one of the youngest members of the 13th Congress. He was a member of the House minority and served as House deputy minority leader, thereby becoming an ex officio member of all standing and special committees of the 13th Congress. He authored a number of laws of national significance and was able to focus on work in his constituency, where he used the funds allotted to his office to build over 100 classrooms and provided funds for indigent constituents in 12 government hospitals and hundreds of scholarships to deserving students at various state universities and colleges (SUCs). He also worked together with socio-civic groups on various projects and funded the creation of the Gawad Kalinga villages for the homeless in three of Aurora's municipalities and the provision of computers and Internet access to Aurora's public high schools, together with the GILAS Foundation, and access to vocational, skills, and livelihood training through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other groups.

He was elected to a second term as congressman in 2007, when he ran unopposed under the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), the same political party as in 2004. He served as deputy majority leader and vice chairman of the committee on rules, also as an ex officio member of all standing and special committees in the House during the 14th Congress (2007–2010).

He was one of the remaining congressmen who offered aid to some of the wounded persons and personally took some of the survivors to the nearby Far Eastern Hospital along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City for treatment when a bomb was planted by still-unknown suspects at the premises of the House of Representatives in 2008 which resulted in the death of Congressman Wahab Akbar and the death and serious wounding of other congressmen and congressional staffers.

He topped the list of "prolific and hardworking members of the House of Representatives" for filing the most number of bills of national importance that were enacted into law in the 14th Congress. A report by the House Indexing and Monitoring Group of the Bills and Index Department showed that in the 14th Congress of 2007-2010, he, then deputy majority floor leader, filed 10 national bills that eventually became laws of the land.[14]

He was elected to a third term as congressman for Aurora In 2010.

He was one of the signatories of the impeachment complaint against then-Chief Justice Renato Corona, which was signed by the 188 members of the Philippine House of Representatives in December 2011,[15] was eventually adopted as the Articles of Impeachment, and was passed for consideration of the Senate impeachment court. He acted as deputy spokesperson of the House prosecution panel, together with Marikina Representative Romero Federico "Miro" S. Quimbo and Quezon Representative Lorenzo "Erin" R. Tañada III, in the impeachment trial of the Chief Magistrate.[16]

As a three-term congressman, he authored several measures signed into law by the President of the Philippines, such as:

  • Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710)[17]
  • Pre-Need Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 9829)[18]
  • Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007 (Republict Act No. 9490)[19]
  • Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners Law (Republic Act No. 9504)[20]
  • Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9586)[21]
  • Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9497)[22]
  • Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) Act of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9505)[23]
  • Tourism Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9593)[24]
  • University of the Philippines Charter of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9500)[25]
  • An Act Providing for the Legitimation of Children Born to Parents Below Marrying Age, Amending for the Purpose the Family Code of the Philippines, as Amended (Republic Act No. 9858)[26]
  • National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10066)[27]
  • Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (Republic Act No. 9994)[28]
  • Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA) of 2010 (Republic Act No. 10142)[29]
  • Kindergarten Education Act (Republic Act No. 10157)[30]
  • Credit Information System Act (Republic Act No. 9510)[31]
  • Health Workers' Day Act (Republic Act 10069)[32]
  • Domestic Workers Act (Republic Act No. 10361)[33]

In his three terms as congressman, he funded through his priority development assistance fund the construction of over 300 classrooms, the education of over 3,000 scholars, and the treatment of over 12,000 patients in 11 government hospitals.[34]


Like his father, former Senate President Edgardo Angara, he is a known advocate for education, having authored laws such as the Universal Kindergarten Law, Early Years Act, Anti-Bullying Law, the University of the Philippines Charter, Ladderized Education Act, Open Learning and Distance Education Act, Open High School System Act, Youth Entrepreneurship Act, and the recently enacted RA 10687 or the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Higher and Technical Education (UNIFAST) Act to ensure that scholarship programs really benefit the poor and most deserving students in the country. He also sponsored laws that would create state universities and colleges in less developed provinces such as Catanduanes, Quirino, Negros, Cotabato, Kalinga, Compostela Valley, among others, in the firm belief that the best way out of poverty and towards a good life is quality education.

Since his days in the Lower House, he has been pushing for the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to combat corruption and foster good governance in the country.

Personal life[edit]

He worked as a trainee at the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank) in Makati in 1991. He worked as a news reporter for The Philippine Star in 1992. He served as an apprentice and member of the delegation in the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York in 1994. He worked as an associate attorney at the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala and Cruz (ACCRA) law firm from 2001 to 2003. He taught as a professor at the New Era University (NEU) College of Law and at the Centro Escolar University (CEU) School of Law and Jurisprudence.[35]


He married Tootsy Echauz in 2003; they have three children.[36]


He was one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines awardees for 2010, along with Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano, 2009 CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida, and a cousin of President Benigno S. Aquino III. He received his trophy from President Aquino in a ceremony held at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan.[37] He was also a recipient of the Tanglaw ng Bayan 2011 award, the highest award given by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila to individuals with exemplary achievements in their respective fields.[38] He was conferred honorary doctorate in law (honoris causa) by the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University (RMTU) in Iba, Zambales in November 2011. He was one of nine recipients of the Outstanding Manilan Award in 2017.[39]


  1. ^ "Comelec proclaims Senate Top 6". Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  2. ^ "Philippines, Manila, Civil Registration, 1899-1984," database with images, FamilySearch( : accessed 7 June 2016), Juan Edgardo Manalang Angara, 15 Jul 1972; citing Birth, Manila, Metropolitan Manila, Philippines, Civil Registry Office, City Hall of Manila; FHL microfilm 1,717,677.
  3. ^ Sonny Angara Official Facebook Page
  5. ^ Sonny Angara Official Facebook Page
  6. ^ PNoy signs into law higher tax exemption ceiling on bonuses and 13th month pay - See more at:
  7. ^ Tax Incentives and Management Act now a law
  8. ^ Angara thanks Aquino for signing PWD law
  10. ^ Filipino para-athletes get cash incentives
  11. ^ It's Official: Aquino signs Blatche Filipino citizenship papers
  12. ^ Senate approves 5 bills creating sport academies, training centers Archived 2016-10-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ PNoy to sign law increasing public employment service offices
  14. ^ Angara, De Venecia most prolific members of Congress in recent years
  15. ^ List of 188 signatories to the Verified Complaint for the Impeachment of the Honorable Renato C. Corona (Chief Justice – Philippine Supreme Court)
  16. ^ House prosecution panel spokesperson Sonny Angara with fellow spokespersons
  17. ^ Republic Act 9710 - The Magna Carta of Women
  18. ^ Republic Act No. 9829 - An Act Establishing the Pre-Need Code of the Philippines Archived 2013-09-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ Republict Act No. 9490 - The Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007
  20. ^ Republic Act No. 9504 - The Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners Law Archived 2008-09-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Republic Act No. 9586 - The Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Act of 2009
  22. ^ Republic Act No. 9497 - The Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008
  23. ^ Republic Act No. 9505 - The Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) Act of 2008
  24. ^ Republict Act No. 9593 - The Tourism Act of 2009[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Republic Act No. 9500 - The University of the Philippines Charter of 2008
  26. ^ Republic Act No. 9858 - An Act Providing for the Legitimation of Children Born to Parents Below Marrying Age, Amending for the Purpose the Family Code of the Philippines, as Amended
  27. ^ Republict Act No. 10066 - The National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 Archived 2012-09-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ Republic Act No. 9994 - The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010
  29. ^ Republict Act No. 10142 - The Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA) of 2010
  30. ^ Republic Act No. 10157 - The Kindergarten Education Act[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ Republic Act 9510 - The Credit Information System Act
  32. ^ Republic Act 10069 - The Health Workers' Day Act
  33. ^ Republic Act No. 103610 - The Domestic Workers Act
  34. ^ Sonny Angara Official Facebook Page
  35. ^ Sonny Angara on education
  36. ^ Every dad raises his son differently, and it’s not always rosy
  37. ^ 2 lawmakers, CNN hero, Noy's cousin top TOYM awardees
  38. ^ PUP Awards Tanglaw ng Bayan to House Speaker Belmonte and Representative Angara
  39. ^ Clapano, Jose Rodel (2017-06-25). "Araw ng Maynila: Erap honors outstanding citizens". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2017-08-13. 
House of Representatives of the Philippines
Preceded by
Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo
Representative, Lone District of Aurora
Succeeded by
Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo