By Paulo Loreto Lim
During a recent briefing for information officers, Lilibeth French of Philippine Information Agency-Region VI (PIA-6) reiterated the significance of Freedom of Information (FOI), highlighting the importance of transparency in government.
“[FOI] requires executive departments, agencies, bureaus, and offices to make public records, contracts, transactions, and any information requested by a member of the public,” she stated.
She also said FOI “empowers citizens” and pointed out, “Any Filipino citizen can make an FOI request.”
“FOI is an integral element of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Good Governance Plan, aligned to reforms and initiatives that pursue greater transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in governance,” French explained.
FOI was put into place following Executive Order No. 2, signed by the president in July of last year. The order cites Section 7, Article III of the Constitution, which “guarantees the right of the people to information on matters of public concern.”
An FOI bill was previously brought up during the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III, however, the legislation died in Congress./WDJ