Miriam wants full disclosure of SALN included in FOI bill

Posted at 02/25/14 3:29 PM

MANILA - Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has asked Senator Grace Poe to include in the Freedom of Information bill a provision that will direct public officials to fully disclose their statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth as well as their monthly incomes.

She said she will also push for a provision that will mandate government agencies to publish and make available for downloading on their websites their financial statements, budget and expenditure records and the SALNs of public officials with salary grade 27 and above.

She also wants published the performance review of government agencies.

“Government agencies should provide for and maintain their own websites which would allow the public to view and download public information on the plans, policies, programs, and relevant documents and records of their office,” said Santiago, who is the author of a separate bill on Internet freedom.

She also wants the government websites to allow the public to post feedback, complaints, etc. She said the websites should also carry posts from anonymous persons.

She also wants the agencies to take appropriate steps to protect persons making feedback, complaints, or reports from retaliation or persecution.

Santiago claimed her proposals have already met opposition from certain lawmakers. She is bent on pursuing these, however.

Amid the wide scope of her proposals, she said the bill should exclude from the coverage of the right to information sensitive issues such as an individual’s health records, sexual life, and religious, philosophical or political affiliations.