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Window for FOI bill’s approval getting smaller, says lawmaker


02:23 PM July 24th, 2012

By: Karen Boncocan, July 24th, 2012 02:23 PM

Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Lacking not only time but also the endorsement of President Benigno Aquino III, a lawmaker said on Tuesday that the window for the approval of the controversial Freedom of Information Bill has become smaller.

Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone, who chairs the House committee on public information said that although the said bill “has a chance, the window of opportunity is now limited.”

He added that he was not disappointed when the President did not mention the FOI Bill in his third State of the Nation Address.

“If he wanted to mention it, he would have done so before,” said Evardone.

A provision being pushed for inclusion in the FOI was one which required the media to “excert effort to get the side of the aggrieved party”—something which Evardone hoped to be approved by fellow lawmakers.

A contentious issue which remains in discussions on the FOI Bill however was Nueva Ecija Representative Rodolfo Antonino’s right of reply provision.

Evardone said that Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño has also made a reservation to raise issues on the measure.

The FOI Bill is expected to be voted on by the committee on August 7.

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