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Need for FOI program

  • Written by Peoples Tonight
  • Published in Newsdesk
  • Read: 117

IT is said that concerned government authorities find it hard to eradicate graft and corruption
without ensuring accountability in public service through an informed citizenry.

That’s why the Senate and the House of Representatives ought to speed up the passage of the
highly-controversial freedom of information (FOI) bill, according to various quarters.

And hopefully our senators and congressmen tackle the proposed FOI  law after the passage of
the Duterte administration’s tax reform bill and the 2018 national government budget.

In a message on the anniversary of the executive department’s FOI program, President Duterte
stressed that he institutionalized the state’s policy of full public disclosure and transparency in
the public service through Executive Order (EO) No. 2.
    
It will be recalled that the national government’s FOI program was launched on Nov. 25, 2016,
months after the Chief Executive from Davao City signed EO No. 2 on July 23, 2016.
    
“We have made great strides in providing access to relevant records, research, data, documents
and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions and decisions in the executive branch,” said
Duterte.
    
“It is by ensuring accountability in public service…that we can truly realize the
constitutional tenet that indeed, sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority
emanates from them,” said Duterte
    
Of course, we share the view of various sectors that pending the passage of the proposed FOI
law in Congress, the other branches of government come up with their own freedom of information
channels.
    
No less than Duterte has expressed the hope that the legislative and judicial branches of
government follow suit by instituting measures that would allow unfettered public access to relevant
information about their affairs.
    
Indeed, having a freedom of information law will go a long way in eradicating corruption,
which is pervasive and deep-rooted in this Southeast Asian nation of English-speaking and election-
crazy people.