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FOI bill passed by Senate

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FOI bill passed by Senate

/ 03:25 PM March 10, 2014

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. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday passed on third and final reading the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, Inquirer Radio 990AM said.

Reports said all 21 senators present voted for the approval of Senate Bill no. 1733 or the People’s Freedom of Information Act of 2013.

Senator Grace Poe, who sponsored the bill on the plenary floor as chair of the committee on public information, was among the first to announce the news on social media.

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“Senate Bill NO 1733 or People’s FOI is hereby approved on third and final reading!” she wrote at 3:17 p.m. on Monday.

Senate President Franklin Drilon last year said they would pass the FOI bill by March, after months of interpellation.

However, the FOI bill still has a long way to go before it is passed into law since its counterpart version in the House of Representatives remains stalled at the committee level.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte promised that the lower chamber would pass the bill before his term ends in 2016.

Advocates of the FOI bill believe it will help improve transparency and accountability in government.

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