Senate hearing on FOI bill resumes Wednesday
MANILA, Philippines - The Senate will resume today, Wednesday, the public hearing on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill.
Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, will lead the discussions on the measure’s final hearing.
Invited guests include Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Presidential Communications and Operations Office Assistant Secretary Jess Anthony Yu, Civil Service Commission Assistant Commissioner Ariel Ronquillo, former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, Deputy Ombudsman Gerald Mosquera, Ateneo Law School dean emeritus Fr. Joaquin Bernas and University of the Philippines professor Clarita Carlos.
The committee hopes to reconcile at least 10 different versions of the FOI bill that remains pending at the Senate.
In the House of Representatives, the FOI bill will finally be put to a vote in the 16th Congress amid renewed calls for Congress to immediately pass the transparency measure.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said he welcomed reports that Malacañang plans to include the bill in the list of priorities in the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.
“It really helps that the Palace itself says okay (to the FOI bill), so that augurs well for the future of that bill in the 16th Congress,” Belmonte told reporters. When asked whether there would be voting on the bill in the 16th Congress, he said: “Yes, I think so.” – With Paolo Romero