Close  

186 gov’t agencies now on FOI website; Duterte’s office not included

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 11:59 AM October 22, 2019
Kris Ablan FOI

Communications Assistant Secretary and FOI Executive Director Kris Ablan. PRESIDENTIAL FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — One hundred eighty six government agencies are already enrolled  in the electronic Freedom of Information (eFOI) portal since it was launched in November 25, 2016. But the Office of the President (OP) is not one of them.

The eFOI is a website where the public can file requests for information from select government agencies.

ADVERTISEMENT

Communications Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan, who is also the FOI executive director, said they have invited the Office of the President to go onboard but he said the OP wants requests to be filed manually at the Malacañang Records Office.

“FOI-PMO extended an invitation to the OP to onboard in the eFOI facility [www.foi.gov.ph]. We were informed that as a matter of policy, specifically the approved OP FOI Manual, FOI requests for OP can be done manually/personally with the Malacañang Records Office,” Ablan said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.

FEATURED STORIES

As of posting time, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has not responded when asked to comment on the matter.

Aside from the 186 government agencies, Ablan said 91 Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations, 84 State Universities and Colleges, 98 Local Water Districts and one Local Government Unit are already onboard the eFOI portal.

On July 23, 2016, Duterte issued Executive Order No. 2, which laid down a policy of full public disclosure and transparency in public service to promote accountability, and set the guidelines for requesting and releasing information from offices under the executive branch.

The passage of an FOI bill was a campaign promise of President Rodrigo Duterte, but halfway through his six-year term as President, the Chief Executive has not seen Congress pass any FOI bill.

“Our strategies are to continue working with current FOI champions like Senator Grace Poe, as well as to seek out new partners to get this legislation passed,” Ablan said.

Poe, an FOI advocate, filed Senate Bill No. 121 or the “People’s Freedom of Information Act of 2019” and urged her colleagues to support her in giving the bill “one big push.”

In his budget message to Congress in 2016, the President touted the FOI bill saying: “It’s Congress’ turn to immediately pass the long overdue FOI law so that the people’s right to information will be honored across all branches and levels of the government.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Though not mentioned in his fourth  State of the Nation Address in July, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte remains supportive of the passage of the FOI bill into law.

“Yes, of course and the fact is he issued an executive order on FOI precisely to show Congress that it takes only political will to do that. And he showed it by example,” Panelo earlier said in a Palace briefing. /jpv

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: eFOI, Freedom of Information, Kris Ablan, Local news, Malacañang, news, Office of the President, Philippine news update, Philippines, President, Rodrigo Duterte
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.