Press Release
January 12, 2018

Sen. Bam Aquino demonstrates willingness to work on sound reforms of admin

Senator Bam Aquino has proven he is willing and able to work on reforms he believes will benefit the Filipino people, as he fulfilled his role as principal sponsor to two major laws passed last year - the free college law and the free WIFI in public spaces law.

"We owe it to the Filipino people to work on reforms that will help uplift families, while opposing policies that will hurt our countrymen," said Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor and co-author of the two main policies enacted into law during the Duterte administration.

These two major laws are the Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act and Republic Act 10929 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act.

"Mas mahalagang magtulungan para sa mga mahahalagang reporma na magsusulong ng kapakanan ng taumbayan, tulad ng dekalidad na edukasyon sa bansa," added Sen. Bam.

During his eight-month stint as chairman of the Committee on Education, Sen. Bam ushered in the passage of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary in the Senate, defending the measure in plenary as principal sponsor.

Sen. Bam also worked for the passage of Republic Act 10929 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act as chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

"I'm glad we can agree on prioritizing education in the Philippines and invest in providing free internet to give our countrymen a leg up in their studies, career, and business ventures," said Sen. Bam.

Recently, the Unified Student Financial Assistance for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST), led by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) with other education stakeholders, crafted the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act No. 10931.

In the 2018 budget, the administration approved a P40-billion budget for the full implementation of the law for school year 2018-2019.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), for its part, is planning to put up 250,000 Wi-Fi access points in public places throughout the country until 2022 to fulfil the mandate of Republic Act 10929.

Under the law, public places include all national and local government offices, public schools, public transport terminals, public hospitals and public libraries.

Sen. Bam is co-author and principal sponsor of both measures in the 17th Congress. Principal sponsors have the responsibility of prioritizing bills in their respective committees, conducting hearings on bills assigned to their committee, defending the measures during the period of interpellation, consolidating proposals and amendments to their reforms, and leading the bicameral conference before a bill is passed into law.

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