PNoy won't certify FOI Bill as urgent
MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has no plan to certify the freedom of information (FOI) bill as urgent.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ricky Carandang said while the Palace supports the FOI measure, it prefers to let Congress take its time in debating and tackling the measure.
“At this point, we have no plans to certify it as urgent… Because there’s a process that has to go. The President, as he said to you himself, he doesn’t certify many bills as urgent There’s a process that is happening. I think that’s the organic process. I think we just need to follow it,” he said.
Carandang pointed out that the pending FOI bill in the House already contains inputs from the Palace.
“In principle, we’re for an FOI. But it’s the details. There have been discussions with members of Congress. The draft that’s pending in the House has inputs of Malacañang. So hayaan na natin nag Kongreso na ipaggulong ang proseso dito sa FOI,” he said.
The Palace is satisfied with the pace at which the FOI bill is moving.
Carandang said that in the meantime, the administration has been “transparent” in releasing information.
“We have almost four years to go in the President’s term. Many of the things na hinihingi sa FOI, ‘yung paglalabs ng SALN, ‘yung paglalabas ng budget, ‘yung pagbibigay ng detalye are already available. So we’re being transparent already. We believe that Congress needs time to reach a consensus on FOI. Listen to the debates in Congress. There are good debates, good arguments, substantive. Hindi ‘yung personalan na name-calling. These are substantive arguments for and against the FOI and I think the public should also listen to these debates and let the process take its course,” he said.
“We have four years to pass that. It’s already been passed by the Senate. I think the pace is just about right.”