PNoy promises passage of FOI bill

Posted at 07/15/14 5:02 PM

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III assured the public that he will see to it that the Freedom of Information Bill will be passed before the end of his term in 2016.

"There is a need for that. And we have suggested to Congress certain amendments of the proposed measures that we will make it really a doable activity for government," said President Aquino in response to a query made by Ramon Del Rosario, Chair of the Makati Business Club (MBC).

Aquino said he regrets that he cannot certify the bill as urgent "because the Constitution requires an emergency."

"But the assurance I think should be given, at this point in time, that it will be passed before the end of my term," he added.

Related to this, the MBC also pushed for the creation of an Executive Order that that will create a framework allowing departments to encourage or even require government departments particularly for entities that are seeking incentives from government or seeking ways by which their business transactions can be facilitated for them to be asked or strongly urged to participate in the Integrity Initiative.

Launched three years ago, the Integrity Initiative was able to gather signatures from some 3,000 CEOs from the business community.

The President said he understand it will be subsumed by this proposed year.

"There is an executive order on Presidential Inter-Agency Committee on the UN (United Nations) Convention Against Corruption. So this integrity portion-there will be a portion on the integrity initiative embodied in that proposed EO and I am just awaiting its arrival on my desk," he said.