Solons urge Aquino to certify FOI bill as urgent



Senator Loren Legarda and Senator Gregorio Honasan. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Loren Legarda, one of the cosponsors of the freedom of information (FOI) bill in the Senate, has called on President Aquino to rally his allies in the House of Representatives behind the government transparency measure.

Legarda joined the clamor of her Senate colleagues for the President to certify the FOI bill as urgent. The bill is known as the proposed People’s Ownership of Government Information (POGI) Act.

While the Senate has passed its version of the bill on third and final reading, the House plenary has yet to receive the committee report on the measure.

“As a cosponsor in the Senate, I hope [President Aquino] takes action as it will surely aid in gathering more support for the bill in the lower house,” Legarda said in a text message.

“Certifying the FOI bill as urgent will send a clear message to our fellow legislators that the President considers the measure a vital tool for effective governance,” she said.

Congress resumes session on Jan. 21 before it breaks for the three-month campaign period on Feb. 8.

In her cosponsorship speech for the bill before the congressional recess, Legarda said the various controversies that hit the Arroyo administration in the past decade have caused Filipinos to doubt the capability of the government to serve the best interest of the people.

Something to hold on to

“While the present administration is undertaking efforts to elevate the citizens’ trust and confidence in the government, we must give the people something that they can hold on to,” Legarda said.

“Under this proposed measure, we aim to feed our people with information about us, the leaders they elected in office, and the businesses our offices deal with. All government agencies will be mandated to disclose information on public interest transactions, documents or records,” she pointed out.

Sen. Francis Escudero, an ally of President Aquino, earlier expressed the belief that Mr. Aquino was just waiting for the right time to certify the FOI bill as urgent.

Aquino just waiting

“It would definitely help but Malacañang can only do that after it has been reported out to the plenary. Certification signifies that the Palace is behind the measure and carries a lot of political weight,” Escudero said.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan, chair of the Senate committee on public information and main sponsor of the People’s Ownership of Government Information Act, in December had called on the House to prioritize its version of the FOI bill and suggested that President Aquino certify it as urgent.

“I want to inhibit myself from commenting on the dynamics of the bigger house…but having said that, I think they should develop a sense of priority not only from the House but from the executive department,” Honasan said in a phone interview after the Senate passed the POGI bill, the Senate version of the FOI measure.

“I think this bill is worthy of being certified as urgent. There are so many landmark pieces of legislation that are now on our table.  It would be good timing,” he added.

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  • wawa2172

    FOI will never be certified urgent by PNoy it is not in his agenda like jueteng and gun ban. The palace already has the FYI or For Your Info lang.

  • Loggnat

    “Under this proposed measure, we aim to feed our people with information about us, the leaders they elected in office, and the businesses our offices deal with. All government agencies will be mandated to disclose information on public interest transactions, documents or records,” she pointed out. /// Let me point out the use of the word ‘feed’ with dispensing information to the people. It is assumable that by feeding, you will be controlling the quantity and quality of information that you will make available to the public. That the information that will be critical and can be used to prove illegal activities of a politician or a government office can be withheld and not fed or divulged to the public. Mere assumptions and opinions you might say,….. Maybe…..? Maybe a slip of tongue of what was included in the FOI Bill?

  • boybakal

    Okay ang dalawang ito…Senator Legarda and Sen. Gringo.
    Together with Sen.Tito, Escudero, mga mukhang walang itinatago.

    Ngayon ko napatunayan na maraming haka haka at akusa sa ating mga Senador.
    Dito pa lang nagbago na ang pananaw ko na di lahat ng ating politico ay Kurakot…nasa masamang isipan lang ng masamang isip na Pilipino.

    Makakaasa kayo ng boto sa masang Pilipino. Mabuhay kayo.

    • akongednamzug

      Napakadali mo pa lang i-please ! ! !

  • catalansbarce

    Pinag aralan pa ni Presidente ang PROS and CONS ang captions sa FOI bill. If maraming
    Disadvantages kaysa Advantages ang Bill na yan.., malamang hindi e certify yan as “urgent”.
    Para sa sambayanang Filipino.., mas importante ipasa ang Divorce Bill kaysa sa FOI Bill based
    sa survey.

  • pangitbudhiko

    then  he (abnoy) should now eat his campaign promises  that he will make he FOI a law, what a debauche de mere

    • pete

      naku umeepal na naman itong gloria kawatan na to…pweee!!!

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    bulung bulungan sa congress: mga kumpadre at kumare, gagamitin para sa atin itong FOI na ito kaya huwag na natin ipasa!

  • brunogiordano

    Ano kayo sinusuerte.

    ‘Yong DIVORCE bill na mas kailangan ng mas maraming mamamayan PILIPINO ayaw certify na urgent iyan pa na marami sa ay hindi maiintindihan kung no ang pakinabangan namin.

    • speaksoftlylove

       Alin sa dakawa, ikaw ang mayasawa o yong jowa mo? Tiis ka na lang muna sa nakaw na pagibig mas ok yon dahil may suspense. Ingat ka lang sa pagtulog at baka pagising mo ay putol o laplap na yan. O yong BP mo alalayan mo ha?

  • speaksoftlylove

    PNoy’s definition of FOI bill is Foolish Obsession of Imbeciles that is why it is not his priority. Campaign promise? Who said so, not me said the Great Imp!

  • abner

    ASA KAYO HANGGANG 2016…hehehe sabi ni abnoy…nu pakinabang ko dyan…eh gagamitin nio pa para sa di napunta ako sa bilibib…..pag naipasa yan..kaya ko nga di nilalalagay dun si gloria baka mangyari din sa akin…sabi ni panot.

  • Vic Sapio

    Passage of Freedom of Information could be best evidence on the sincerity of the current administration.

  • ian reyes

    P-NOY…..ok boys…i will give you 2 weeks to conceal all your NAKAWS and after that i will certify the BILL as URGENT

  • buttones

    Quote by Aquino—“You know, having a Freedom of Information Act sounds so good and noble—[but] there’s a tendency of getting information and not really utilizing it for proper purposes,” he said at an open forum before Southeast Asian business leaders.

    Mr. Aquino advanced another reason—inarticulate-sounding, but there it was—for his reluctance to support the bill. “If I may just add, all you have to do is read our newspapers everyday,” he said. “And I think you will agree that there is… nobody can state a fact exactly the same in all of these newspapers. An opinion commenting on the fact is OK, but an opinion masquerading as a fact does not do anyone any good.”

    [Forgive the garbled syntax but this is a direct quote from Aquino- this is exactly what he said]-

    Clearly by this rather rambling statement Aquino has zero interest in the FOI Bill, -or POGI for whatever silly reason the name has been changed- furthermore, it is evidently clear that Aquino does not subscribe to the point of view shared by many a leader of a democracy that freedom of information is a cornerstone of democracy- rather the reverse- he clearly sees this as a nuisance Bill, and firmly believes we, the people have no right to know basic information…..only on a need to know basis -and the relationship between people and government should be maintained the same as that between a peasant and a hasyendero just like the ’good old days’…..


      Pres. PNoy will become one of the greatest president of PH. The FOI law signed by President Aquino will be the synoname of “Daang Matuwid”. A phrase to be remembered in annals of history. RH law to help the downtroden and FOI law for true “Daang Matuwid” of honesty through tranparency. Honesty will be the hall mark of Pres. PNoy era. Yeheyyyyyy ….. FOI law of Honesty by > PNoy ! Mabuhay si Presidente.  

  • GlenMJacob

    Great! Keep on the issue on FOI bill going . Great job Inquirer ! Keep the pressure going, keep the voice louder, and keep the blogs coming. We need the FOI bill passed and signed into law before the election.

  • Oscar Desamparado

    Pnoy please be sincere on  your promises of daang matuwid and transparency in government. let this bill be passed now and we are sure na mabawas bawasan ang mga magnanakaw sa gobyerno. but if you want to cover up for your cohorts in government, then don’t!

  • Abnoyski Panotski

    Hindi namin kailangan ang senate version nito.Bakit kailangang may sarili kayong version?para ba safe pa rin ang mga nakulimbat nyo?Lokohin nyong mga lelo nyong panot!!

  • Abnoyski Panotski

    Sabi ni Escudero–Sen. Francis Escudero, an ally of President Aquino, earlier expressed the belief that Mr. Aquino was just waiting for the right time to certify the FOI bill as urgent. 

    Kailan pa yan?matagal ng nakapending yan.Kung gusto talaga ni abnoy ng transparency,wala na sanang patumpik tumpik pa.Palibhasa sangkaterbang nakaw ang itinatago nitong mga ito.

  • Your_King

    Urge him all you want but we’ve seen time and time again Aquino’s urgency is to attack his predecessor fpgma and anyone who opposes him and threatens his power like Garcia. Everything else is secondary and not urgent.

  • disqusted0fu

    When is the right time to certify this bill as urgent? In 2016, when Pnoy’s term is about to end? So his administration will not experience the freedom of government information and so they can avoid exposure from their anomalies?


    The FOI bill signed into law will be a badge of Honor for Pres. PNoy that he is truly “the Daang Matuwid”. A phrase to be remembered in history. FOI law IS > daang matuwid of honorable Pres. Aquino…… Mabuhay !!!

  • LadyBalmaceda

    I really hope our president signs this as soon as possible. Loren is right this will give our people something to hold on to.

    • RyanIlagan

      Agree din ako diyan.

  • Chris

    Mr pNOy, please sign this bill already….ito na yung susi niyo sa tawid na daan..

  • RyanIlagan

    Sa palagay ko din dapat gawing urgent ito. Mapapabilis ang mga kaso against officials if mapatupad ito. Good job kay Honasan and kay Legarda. :)

  • Kaye

    with this bill, maibabalik ang tiwala uli ng mga pinoy sa administration natin. pretty that president noy will approve of this bill.

  • JenicaLee

    Mabuti na lang at inaasikaso ni Senator Loren Legarda ang FOI para naman mapabilis ang pagpapatupad nito.. salamat mam :D

    • PaulynTayag

      i agree with you.. sana mapirmahan na yan ant maisapatupad na.. salamat talaga kay Loren Legarda ! ! 

      • RobertVelez

        That’s why i love Senator Legarda. . . she’s so masipag :) :)

  • KateDulce

    Pnoy aba pirmahan na yan.. para naman bumalik ang tiwala ng tao sa gobyerno.. maigi pa ang mga na sa sendao, maasikaso,, tulad ni mam loren legarda . .

    • RachelleDomingo

      That’s right! maasikaso talaga si Loren Legarda.. kaya gusto ko sya..

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