FOI bill makes it to floor


STREET LOBBYING With five sessions left before the 15th Congress adjourns, militant groups troop to the House of Representatives to push for the passage of the freedom of information (FOI) bill, which finally reached the plenary on Monday. The groups say the measure, which is 20 years in the making, is the solution to the squabble over the alleged misuse of government funds. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

The freedom of information (FOI) bill finally reached the plenary Monday, with public information panel chief Rep. Ben Evardone, its main sponsor on the floor, pitching for the measure’s approval in his sponsorship speech.

Evardone said the passage of the measure “will change governance as we know it—radically and for the better.”

“Open societies are not only more preferable than closed societies or societies living in an Orwellian nightmare. We can just imagine what the FOI would institutionalize. A thousand ideas will bloom. Superior, ennobling thoughts will guide the shaping of policy. Every citizen would be part of the policy-shaping mainstream. Our society will finally reap the awesome gains from an empowered citizenry,” Evardone said.

He said the freer flow of information would also help political debates to be more sophisticated and mature and raise the level of political leadership.

On Monday afternoon, labor groups, media practitioners and youth organizations converged on the University of Santo Tomas on España, Manila, and marched to Malacañang to call for the passage of the FOI bill.

The bill’s main author, Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, said in his sponsorship speech that despite the very narrow window for the bill to be passed, the House could still push it through on third reading.

“If all members of this House sincerely believe in good governance, transparency and accountability, it can be done,” he said, noting that the bill was 20 years in the making.

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  • Fred

    Let us show that there is this youth vote. We know whom to support!
    A little bit late, but nice try.


    I have no doubt, the FOI bill will become a law during President Aquino’s term.

  • pepito gwaps

    We support this bill so that in the future every Filipino will feel that he is important element of the society who has knowledge on how the govt is using his taxes for the good of his country. It doesn’t ends there but of course we can improve the anti- corruption drive once it is enacted to a law. However, I hope the next bill to be passed is all about meritocracy which give hope for the deserving citizens to get a promotions and able to get higher positions in their fields of service without any descriminations or double standard treatments. “Palakasan and padrino system” would be avoided while hardworking and optimistic attitude would be encouraged. Here, we can get the best among the best public servants and once the deserving aspirants for govt posts are determined so during the election period we will never be wrong in selecting our future leaders.


    “With five sessions left before the 15th Congress adjourns, militant groups troop to the …”.  

    Just to show you the bias of this newspaper, they color the protesters “militant”.  Q.  Why?  A,  Because they want freedom of information to be a part of Filipino life and this newspaper abhors such things.  

    Imagine that….

    • Jose

      Akbayan members are pictured.  If you don’t think Akbayan is a militant group, I have no idea what to tell you.


        so by protesting against the establishment.. you become militant… hmmm

        freedom of information may not be free…

      • Jose

        I’d suggest looking up what militant means.

  • Maldi2

    Simply a grandstand on the part of Evardone.  With only 5 session days, this bill won’t make it in this 15th Congress not unless Panot certify this.  Panot is cold as ice on this..,and for sure same will happen in the 16th Congress.  Our politicos wants to hide all their kickbacks!

  • morejustice009

    FOI BILL IS VERY IMPORTANT  FOR EVERY FILIPINO WETHER YOU PAY TAXEs OR NOT., THIS WILL ELIMINATE THE CORRUPTORS OF THE GOVERNMENT.   Matagal ng peste at salot sa mga pilipino itong mga magnanakaw na to.,  buti ang buwaya nature talaga nila ang kumain ng karne patay o buhay.,  itong mga ibang nasa govt. kakapal ng mukha ng mga yan., Matagal na sanang mayaman at maunlad ang buhay ng mga pinoy., kahit nong 1960’s to 1980’s ganyan na 1990 – 2012 ganon pa rin.,  SANA THIS COMING YEARS MABAGO NA ANG LAHAT , CONSTITUTION, ATBP. para may laban tayo, lahat.

  • superpilipinas

    Be forwarned not to pass an FOI bill that doesn’t make sense. Filipinos will hold the crafters accountable.

    Do it fast but do it good.

    Only secrets that make sense and protects all Filipinos should be exempted. It is not hard to define secrets. Let each government agency submit list of things they request to be exempted and then let congress finalize the list. There shouldn’t be many.

    The few exemptions that I know:
    1. Personal private information. (Need court approval)
    2. National Defense Secrets. (Need DND or senate approval)
    3. Active law enforcement agency secret operations and secret agents. (Need agency or senate approval)
    4. Private Intelectual Property or Trade Secrets
    5. Security arrangements, codes, and passwords
    6. Names of women involved in sex or abuse crimes
    7. Names of minors involved in criminal investigation.
    8. Drafts or unfinalized documents or reports.

    All other information should be free to the public to request thru a standard procedure.

  • zeroko

    Good luck, the whole country is with you! 

  • kismaytami

    Asa pa kayo. Kung talagang gusto ng gobyerno ng transparency at tuwid na daan, yan mismong FOI bill ang pinaka-unang bill na naipasa pag-upo ni aquino. Kaso, ayaw nga nga tuwid na daan, pag may transparency kasi, mabubusisi ng taumbayan na marami palang detour at express lane.

  • EOJ

    Astig talaga ang PNoy adminstration!

    SIN TAX – check!
    RH – check!
    FOI – work in progress!

    • superpilipinas

      Work in progress???

      He-he-he. Yes, if you consider Juan Tamad a hardworking person.

      • bryanbrian

         Nasa plenary na nga. Basta ka lang maka comment.

    • bahaykubo1015

      I’d rather say:

      FOI- work in very, very slow progress.

  • Jose

    Get this done, Congress.

  • $37644997

    FOI makes it to the floor,I’ll make to the roof and we shall see it all.Transparency starts from every politician and public servant and be that example to all concerned Filipinos combined.

  • GlenMJacob

    Great ! Now pass the bill and send to PNoy for signature to become law !.

  • Rovingmoron

    Are you kidding me? Enacting the FOI bill into law is like a suicide for some of the lawmakers who are corrupt. It gets to the floor, but do you think it will be approved? To me, this is plain circus.

  • tata_boy

    Sa mga nangyari sa nakaraang  linggo, napakabaho na ang reputasyon ng mga mambabatas. Lumabas ang kanilang tunay na pagkatao. Napakaitim ang budhi ng mga mambabatas. Wala ng ginawa ang mga senatong at tongressmen kundi tingnan ang sarili nilang kapakanan. Walang masama kung sila ang mga recipient ng mga bilyones mula sa kaban ng bayan. Mahihirapan na pong makabawi ang mga mambabatas. Finger pointing would do you any good. Lahat kayo ay may kasalanan. Matagal na pala ninyong winawalanghiya si Juan de la Cruz. 

    Paano malulusutan ng mga mambabatas ang gusot na ito? Madali lang po, kung susundin ang mga sumusunod:
    1) Alisin ang pork barrel at lahat ng PDAF allowance ng mga mambabatas. May DSWD at DPWH. na tayo.
    2) Ibasura ang bank sacrecy laws, unang-una na iyong tungkol sa foreign deposit accounts.
    3) Isabatas na ang FOI bill.

  • where_I_stand

    Don’t force a watered down FOI.

  • ApoLapullapu

    This FOI is a very essential element to boost the Daang Matuwid direction of the Administration.  This will end speculations on the affairs of government and transactions entered into by government officials and employees.  This will make not only those in Media but everybody in disseminating public information.  Public opinion will be based on truth.  A watered down version can be accepted at the moment. Amendments can be done later. But at least there is a Freedom of Information Law. Those who will oppose the passage will reveal to the public that they are hiding skeletons in their closets.

  • Yobhtron

    How can we force the Senatongs and Tongressmen to pass unadultered FOI?  These AxxHOLES will not pass any law that will jeopardize their corruption ways.

    • magiting78

      Hahahaha hnd p din natuto ang Pinoy..cno ba naman ang gagawa ng batas n gigisa sa kanila…Gusto nila sunod n lang n congress…wag nila iboto ang UNA at LP para may pag asa sila…


    Ha ha ha. Kakatuwa talaga itong mga hunghang na Pinoy. Panay rally kuno eh niloloko na nga naming politiko ng harap-harapan eh wala namang magawa. Sige mag rally kayo dyan at kami naman eh pagbubutihin ang pag papasarap. Yung isang nasa rally kilala ko ang kita niya maghapon P400 pesos. Ang anak kong si Nancy pag naging senador pork barrel pa lang P200 million na. O sige kayo a magtuos kung magkano kita nf anak ko. In the bag na senadora na anak ko. Ang saya saya po. VOTE UNA!!! Savior of the Filipino people!!!

    • magiting78

      Hahaha…cge pag nanalo ang UNA iisa-isahin ko kau…mag tatayo ako grupo ang objective likidahin lahat kau hahahaha

    • cute79

      halata na isa kang ayaw sa Una.hehe

  • Mamerto

    Who in Congress could get sufficient numbers to pass this FOI-Bill..?
    With an FOI-Law., more of the same as the recent Senate-Fund Expose’ could be uncovered.

  • disqusted0fu

    Pnoy and his cronies are rather silent about this bill. Very much unlike what they did with the RH and Sin Tax bills where they were aggressive and even used pork as a weapon on the assurance of the bills passage. Why? Because Sin Tax and RH can generate money for more corruption, while FOI will generate truth to expose corruption.

  • rodben

    Nanguna na naman AKBAYAN election time para manalo manok after manalo manok tahimik na Porkbarrel na naman saya2.

  • Tigsik

    The real question is not whether this bill will be passed into law but whether a watered down version is in the offing. Anything less is pure organic fertilizer.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Kunwari pa kayo na nagra-rally kayo pero nagpapakatuta naman kayo at alam niyo na ang kulay ng banners niyo ay dilaw at ang bumago sa FOI bill ay nasa malakanyang at dilaw din ang paborito kulay? nagkataon lang ba yun? Tumigil na kayo dahil pakitang tao lang yan na kunwari makamasa pa din ang slogan niyo pero ayun nakapuwesto na sa gobyerno at pati na si rocamora na pinakikialaman ang coco levy fund! Ibalik niyo yan sa mga magsasaka ng niyog!

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