SPEAKER_AQUINOSenator Paolo Benigno “Bam” A. Aquino IV

Senator Bam Aquino, a former youth leader and world-renowned social entrepreneur, is the youngest senator of the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. He currently chairs the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship and the Senate Committee on Youth.

In 1999, Bam graduated summa cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Management Engineering. He was also the class valedictorian and student council president. Moreover, he became the youngest head of a government agency at 25 yrs. old when he was appointed as the Chairperson of the National Youth Commission.

In 2007, Bam co-founded the social enterprise The Hapinoy Program that helps lift Filipinos out of poverty through micro financing and enterprise development. For their innovative work with the poor, he received numerous awards, both locally and globally. He was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2006, one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in 2010, one of the Asian Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2011, and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2012.

Bam has dedicated his entire career to empowering the youth and the poor, helping thousands of Filipinos improve their lives through access to opportunities and crucial support systems.

In just two years as a Senator, Bam was able to have four of his measures into laws, namely the Philippine Competition Act, 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.

He also pushed for the passage of the Foreign Ships Co-Loading 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.

Moreover, the Philippine Lemon Law is his first pro-consumer legislation.

Lastly, he worked for the passage of the Go Negosyo Act, which 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 August 2015, 75 business centers have already been put up.