FOI mechanisms in place, gov’t says after PH gets failing mark in transparency from US aid group
MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration has put in place mechanisms to promote freedom of information in hundreds of government offices and agencies, according to an official of the President’s communications team.
Kristian Ablan, assistant presidential communications secretary, said 190 national government agencies, 111 govenrment-owned and controlled corporations, 111 state universities and colleges and 520 local water districts were implementing the Freedom of Information Program.
Ablan, who is also director of the FOI Program, said freedom of information is being “progressively implemented” also in the grassroots level among local government units with the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Ablan said at least 18 local governments already have ordinances promoting freedom of information as of October 2019.
Ablan said it was not just a mandate of his office to implement the FOI Program but also make agencies and offices aware of the “process, benefits and impact that access to government information will bring.”
The statement came in the wake of a report by the US aid agency Millenium Challenge Corp. that gave the Philippines failing marks in eight criteria of governance, including transparency or freedom of information.
The country also got failing marks from MCC on access to credit, business startups, control of corrupton, rule of law, health spending, primary education and immunization.
Ablan, however, said references in the report came from nongovernment agencies and not the national FOI Program of the Duterte administration./TSB
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