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FOI bill faces delay in House panel

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Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone. FILE PHOTO

The freedom of information (FOI) bill faces more delay and is not yet headed for the House plenary for debates this week, as earlier announced.

According to public information committee chairman Rep. Ben Evardone, his panel has to meet yet again to approve its committee report on the FOI bill before the matter can be brought to the floor for deliberations. He set the next committee hearing on Dec. 11.

One of the bill’s proponents, Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, met the development with dismay, saying that another hearing was unnecessary and would just further delay proceedings.

The House of Representatives has only nine session days remaining this year, and will

adjourn on Dec. 22. The FOI bill still has to hurdle a vote on second and third reading.

But before that, it is expected to encounter opposition from those who insist on inserting a right-of-reply provision in the measure.

Evardone, who earlier said he planned to submit the committee report to the plenary this week, explained that the rules committee reminded his secretariat that under House procedures, such reports needed to be considered in a formal meeting and approved by majority of the panel members prior to going to the House body.

At the last hearing on the FOI bill, the public information committee voted 17-3 to pass the measure, and it was only after approval that the committee report could be drafted.

Evardone said he scheduled a hearing for Dec. 11 for the approval of the report, and asked the rules committee to schedule his sponsorship speech and the debates on the FOI bill on Dec. 12.

Deliberations soon

 

“The rules [committee] assured me that once we approve the committee report, we will start the deliberations on the floor of the bill ASAP,” Evardone told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Sunday.

He said his initial plan was to circulate the FOI report among the public information committee members for their signatures, and submit it to the plenary once the signatures were complete. But he said he received reports that this might be questioned.

“So we will just have to go through the motion of approving it by the committee to avoid a technicality problem,” he said.

In a phone interview, Tañada said the committee report only needed the signature of the members and they could sign it this week.

Plenary submission

 

There was no need for another hearing, since the practice in the House committees was to have the members sign reports before submitting them to the plenary, Tanada said. Other bills followed a similar process, he pointed out.

“That can be accomplished this week. No need to hold a committee hearing for that.”

He said he would volunteer to take charge in circulating the report among panel members for their signature, adding that the 17-3 vote for the bill was unlikely to change anyway.

Calling another hearing would further stall the bill, he said.

“This act of calling for another hearing is just another delay.”

“Kung gusto, maraming paraan, kung ayaw, maraming dahilan [If you want something, you can find many ways to do it; but if you don’t want to, you can find a lot of excuses],” he said.

FOI proponents earlier said that if the bill fails to pass on third and final reading before the year ends, it is unlikely to become law. Congress members are expected to be preoccupied with preparations for the May elections next year.

The FOI bill adopts government policy the full public disclosure of transactions involving the public interest, subject to certain limitations—such as information relating to national security and defense.

Also among the exceptions were the ones suggested by Malacañang, including “official records of minutes and advice given and opinions expressed during decision-making or policy formulation, invoked by the President to be privileged by reason of sensitivity or impairment of the presidential deliberative process; and data related to law enforcement and defense.”


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Tags: Congress , FOI Bill , Government , Legislation


  • moshki

    …it will never happen…nuff said…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RZGXCID32X2VNPLEMWOXJATXQ4 mark

    halata naman napipilitan lang si Evardone eh. Kita mo puro delaying tactics. Palitan na ang head na yan ng ibang mas gusto talaga na itulak ang bill na to

  • tata_boy

    mukhang kulang-kulang naman itong si Evardone, palitan na iyan……

  • disqusted0fu

    what else is new?! as expected, if you are a crooked politician and you dont want to get exposed of your crooked ways opposite of what you are claiming that is a straight path, of course you are going to delay this bill as long as you can. until people will forget about it and until theres not enough time anymore and the bill would just fade away.

  • ODAPAIN

    thats how corrupt this congress is,they need to be cheats ,cant be trusted and a big waste of tax payers money.they dont have the balls nor the wisdom to do what is right.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    “Kung gusto, maraming paraan, kung ayaw, maraming dahilan [If you want
    something, you can find many ways to do it; but if you don’t want to,
    you can find a lot of excuses],” he said.

    Malinaw pa sa sikat ng araw na ayaw ng administrasyong ito sa pagsasabatas ng FOI bill.
    Bakit?
    Takot ba sila sa katotohanan?

  • zeroko

    Dapat igapos ang mga absentee Congressmen and Senators sa kawayan kung saan maraming malalaking itim na langgam tapos bulabugin mo ang mga langgam para kagatin ang mga tamad na mga Legislature at mga nananadya na mambabatas. Sobra na sila. Ang FOI ay mahalaga para sa mga mamamayan upang usisin ang mga ginagastos ng mga Filipino-Chinese na mambabatas. 

    Katulad din yan na si Mayor H. Baurtista ng Q.C. Ang sahod nitong kumag na ito ay P15,600.00 ngunit kung mamigay ng sasakyan sa bawat Barangay, talo pa ang mga tunay na mayayman. Halagan 1 million ang isang sasakyan bawat Barangay dito sa Q.C. Tapos, may 143 na Barangay. Hirap na magbayad ang mga tax payer, tapos pamumudmod lang niya para sa eleksyon, gagawin niyang political machinery ang mga taohan ng Barangay Council.

    Mga walang matinong pagiisip ang mga magnanakao sa Gobyerno natin na karamihan ay Filipino-Chinese. Wala talaga. Kulelat ang Pinas sa mga karatig bansa. Ang Indonesia, bumili ng 30 top of the line na Stealth fighter airplane sa Korea, under license sa paggawa ng Raptor F-22, ang 5th generation fighter airplane. Tayo, panaginip lang. Paano, ninanakao lang ng mga Filipino-Chinese na nasa gobyerno ang ating pera. Ngunit kung utang ang paguusapan, lubog na tayo. Uutangin sa pangalan nga bansang Pilipino, tapos nanakawin lang ng mga Chinese sa gobyerno. Puro boladas ang ginagawa nila. Si Trillianes, chinese rin yan.

  • zeroko

    Nariyan na yata sa Congress ang mga maniac, mga illegal loggers, isang illegal logger nasa Senate from Aurora. Mga addict at mga gambling lord. Wala na. P…yo! Pinapatay na ninyo sa gutom ang sambayanang Pilipino, ayaw parin ninyon gawing batas ang FOI!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DFW5PTIGTXNRUX44FLV6LI5USM Bantay

    mga Congressman,Senador,kung wala kayong tinatagong yaman na galing sa nakaw,wag kayong matakot! Peenoy,kung taos puso ang sinasabi mong tuwid na daan,Transparency for Good Governance,sabihin mo sa mga alipores mo na ipasa na FOI bill..maawa ka sa mga Boss mo!!!

  • kilabot

    wnwiwng.
    sabi nang ayaw ni noykapon ang foi;
    si erintanada ay kickout sa senatoriables dahil dyan.
    transparency? ano yan?

  • mekeni62

    these hypocrites are supposed to be all out for transparency just like their king. so what’s keeping them? afraid of their own ghosts perhaps.

  • Francis81

    Pag naging batas na ang FOI malalaman ba ng taong bayan na bakla at abnoy talaga si Pweenoy? Nagtatanong lang pa.

  • Juan De la Cruz

    Si 
    Evardone ay mukhang corrupt yan.  Dinadaan sa technicalities tulad ni Corona.  Ba’t ba ito ang nauupo sa pwesto…



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