Duterte signs FOI order
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the executive order (EO) implementing freedom of information (FOI) in the executive branch.
In a press conference in Davao City on Sunday, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the President signed the EO at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“Only 25 days as President, this is a record-breaking speed of a cornerstone or milestone executive order being signed,” Andanar said.
The Palace official also read the provisions of the executive order.
The executive order read: “Every Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for public document.”
Access to information shall be denied when the information falls under any of the exceptions provided for in the 1987 Constitution.
Filipinos may request for the information they need by submitting a written request to the government office concerned. The letter should contain a proof of identity of the requesting party, a description of the information needed and the purpose of the request.
Requesting for information in government offices shall be free of charge. However, the offices may charge a “reasonable” fee to shoulder the actual costs of reproduction and copying of the information being requested.
Under Section 15 of the said order, any employee or public officer who will fail to comply with the provisions of the EO may face administrative and disciplinary sanctions.
The Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General are directed to prepare a list of exceptions within 30 days from the date of the effectivity of the EO.
He said that aside from agencies in the executive branch, state universities and colleges and government-owned or controlled corporations are also covered by the order./rga