Quantcast
Latest Stories

No Palace blessing, no smooth sailing for freedom of info bill

By

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte ARNOLD ALMACEN

Don’t expect an express vote on the Freedom of Information bill (FOI) in the House of Representatives this December.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said the House leadership is not planning to ask President Aquino to certify the FOI bill as urgent like what it did with the reproductive health measure. He said the FOI bill would begin moving in the House in preparation for a possible second reading vote in January.

The Senate has already approved the FOI bill on third and final reading.

Belmonte, who personally supports the FOI bill, said the measure would go through the legislative mill first, as this was what happened with the reproductive health bill.

“As far as we’re concerned we’d like to see [the FOI bill] go into the process first,” he said in a press briefing.

According to him, House leaders only asked Mr. Aquino to certify the reproductive health bill as urgent after the House managed to get it through the lengthy second reading vote, and they did it to ensure that the bill would not be killed on a technicality.

Initially, the President was reluctant to certify the matter and asked the House to try its best to get the bill moving without his intervention, he recalled.

But after the bill was passed on second reading in the House following a five-hour, suspense-filled vote, House leaders sought Mr. Aquino’s certification so that the bill would get moving in the Senate, he said. It did. The Senate approved the reproductive health measure on second and third reading on Monday.

Belmonte also said the House could possibly put the FOI bill to a second reading vote in January, after it resumes sessions following a month-long holiday break.

He said he expected lawmakers to question certain aspects of the bill.

Several lawmakers earlier manifested their intent to introduce amendments to the FOI bill in plenary, and these proposals could be  controversial.

Among the amendments they want is a right of reply provision requiring the media to give equal space to people who are going to be the subject of reports of data gathered through the FOI law, as well as the inclusion of the private sector in the coverage of the measure.

One of the bill’s main proponents, Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, earlier said he wished the House would show the same political will as the Senate and pass the bill soon.

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

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 national security and defense.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino , Feliciano Belmonte , FOI Bill , Government , Legislation , Senate




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Cagayan mayor shot dead after flag-raising ceremony
  3. Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  6. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  7. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  8. Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  9. New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  10. More bodies from ship; transcript reveals wavering
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  • Group: Bataan cop killed to stop him from exposing colleagues linked to drug ring
  • Chemical Engineer licensure examination
  • Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
  • Palace: Our concern is to ensure MRT runs smoothly
  • Sports

  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement