With only 6 session days left, FOI Bill will need Aquino’s endorsement


The complaint pointed out that Akbayan’s nominees like incumbent Rep. Walden Bello for the 2013 elections did not belong to the sectors it claimed to represent.

MANILA, Philippines — The Freedom of Information Bill will now need President Benigno Aquino III’s certification, after the House of Representatives failed to tackle it during the first three session days this year, proponents of the bill said on Wednesday.

Akbayan Representative Walden Bello and Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat said that while they originally felt that the measure could do without the President certifying it as urgent, the case was now different with only six session days left.

Proponents of the bill, which seeks to uphold transparency in the government, have been eagerly waiting for their chance to sponsor the bill at the plenary for three session days now but have been unable to do so.

This time, the delay was due to heated talks on whether the US Navy ought to be held liable for the damage caused by its USS Guardian on the Tubbataha Reef.

On Monday, the day the lower chamber resumed session after a long holiday break, the FOI Bill was not tackled because it was not part of the Order of Business.

On Tuesday, the insistence of Davao del Sur Representative Marc Douglas Cagas on a parochial concern proved stronger than the clamor for the FOI Bill due to the apparent lack of quorum.

Bello said that he was certain that the presence of a quorum would have allowed the bill’s supporters to prevent any delays.

Roll call has however been brushed aside during the three session days and the FOI Bill’s principal author, Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tanada III himself on Tuesday admitted that the lack of quorum was apparent.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has earlier assured FOI Bill authors that text reminders would be sent to urge lawmakers to attend session.

But Bello remained optimistic and said that even if the fight to get the bill passed was “getting tight…we’ll still push to get Presidential certification of the bill as urgent.”

“As the Speaker says, it’s in the last three days of the session that things come together,” he said.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EXFI4EUGM23PQ4FMQKLVH36OXI Jose

    I REALLY hope P-Noy does this.  Pretty sure he’s at the Davos conference now though, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to.  Bit ironic that he’s there to give a speech about progress against corruption while not supporting an anti-corruption bill.

    As a P-Noy supporter, the fact that this hasn’t been passed yet, and that he seems to have lost interest in it, is very disappointing to me.

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

    walang mangyaring FOI bill kung walang basbas ng Pangulo.ang tanong,bakit ba ayaw ng ating pangulo na i certify as urgent ang bill na ito nagawa naman nya sa ibang bill kagaya ng RH at Sin tax bill? may tinatagong rin ba siyang baho??? nasaan na sinasabi nya noong panahon sa kampanya na suportado nya ang FOI bill kung siya ang mananalo??? drawing lang pala!

  • wawa2172

    FOI is dead. The Palace, senators and congressmen will not dig their own grave. Sumalalangit na ang kaluluwa nang FOI..rename na lang ito na FYI…he he he. 

  • mekeni62

    he’s done it with the RH bill and the Sin Tax bill but he can’t do it with the FOI bill considering it was one of his campaign promises. Whatever his reason is it already stinks.

  • superpilipinas

    By not prioritizing FOI law, a law which enables transparency and accountability, means…


    He allows transactions with billions of dollars at stake to be hidden. He prioritized laws the generates billions in which hundreds of millions will be wasted by incompetence or stolen by crooks.

    Aquino is LP. The Liberal Party is supposed to hold Aquino accountable. But since they did not, then they should be held accountable. Don’t vote for LP.

    Give Philippines a chance to change for the better. Vote for independents and vote for fresh candidates. It’s better to try, fail quick, and try again with new candidates rather than getting stuck in agony with these current clowns governing us.

  • superpilipinas

    RH was used to delay FOI.

    Filipinos were duped so they can continue to hide corruption. They make use of controversial bills. Controversial bills take a lot of time and soap-opera intrigue-crazy Filipinos are deceived to believe it is important. It has become the modus operandi of the those clowns. Their next act to dupe Filipinos again is to introduce another controversial bill – Divorce. After that, Abortion. Then, Same Sex marriage. Then Marijuana Legalization.

    If ever something similar will be passed, it will be FREEDOM OF LIMITED INFORMATION BILL…something that is as good as nothing.

    Please don’t vote for all these clowns. Give PH and yourself a chance. Vote for new independents preferrably from technical professions. It’s worth ierring on the side of new people than to play stupid with those clowns. The joke is on you. Those clowns will be the last to laugh and with their pockets full of your taxpayer money.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GYYFBINDMTZHM6TDHPB667452M agustin

    While he was a congressman he did nothing, elected to the senate he did nothing, elected as the president of the Philippines he did nothing to stop his KKK from committing corruption. He did nothing to his campaign promise. (pass the FOI bill).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUFRGRCCA5JXOLKEVCJQ3FBW3Y Concerned Citizen

    FOI Law is something worth fighting for.  We have been burdened and responsible in paying quarterly and annual income taxes, remit monthly VAT, and withhold and subsequently remit employees’ income taxes,    We are cooperative even with the stressful annual audits which always end up with increase in payment to government of taxes. We are not complaining of our role.  We feel cheated though when progress does not match the amount of remittance and when the recipient of these taxes refuse to be accountable.

    If Congress won’t act on the bill and would not want to be accountable, why should taxpayers continue to remit taxes.  The citizenry has placed their full trust on the government’s promise to institute reforms.  The people has patiently waited.and are still waiting. If FOI Law does not happen in the next 6 sessions, we might as well  call on the small businesses and other taxpayers  to hold the remittance of their taxes until the government becomes responsible to the taxpaying public and to the entire citizenry. Transparency and accountability must complement the receipt of the hard-earned taxes collected from the people .    Would love to hit the streets just to make the FOI Law happen.

  • disqusted0fu

    It is highly unlikely for Pnoy to certify the FOI bill as urgent. Once the FOI becomes a law, it will be the end of Pnoy’s administration claims of a good and transparent governance, and the real transparent governance will kick in. In effect, it will also dismantle the kkk as the public will have access on information about the administration protected group of officials.

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