FOI debates in Senate set next week
MANILA - Senator Grace Poe urged her fellow senators to give their attention to the long sought proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill as plenary debates are set to take place at the Senate next week.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media and sponsor of the bill, said "the proposed FOI Act is long overdue. Let us not delay its passage anymore. Let us heed the clamor of the people and approve this measure without further delay."
Poe remains positive, however, noting that majority of her colleagues in the Upper Chamber support the measure, as well as Malacañang which announced that the bill will be included in the list of priority measures to be discussed during the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.
Poe said, "we look forward to defending this important measure on the floor and hurdling its passage in the Senate - with the overwhelming support of fellow senators and the public." She said the measure serves to complement the strong public clamor for transparency and accountability and the safeguarding of public funds.
In her sponsorship speech on Sept. 24, Poe stressed the FOI bill will not only prevent graft and corruption but more importantly, the citizens will learn to get involved and participate and thus will become true stakeholders in their government.
Under the proposed measure, every Filipino citizen shall be allowed to request and be granted access to any record or information that is under the control of the government, subject to certain exceptions.
Government includes all agencies - the executive, legislative and judicial branches, constitutionally-mandated bodies, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and government financial institutions.