Grace Poe sees passage of FOI bill in Senate
MANILA, Philippines–With the “overwhelming” support of her colleagues, Senator Grace Poe is confident that the Senate will pass the Freedom of Information bill.
The chamber is set to start plenary debates on the measure next week.
“We look forward to defending this important measure on the floor and hurdling its passage in the Senate with the overwhelming support of fellow senators and the public,” said Poe, head of the Senate committee on public information and mass media.
Aside from her colleagues, the neophyte senator also noted Malacañang’s support for the passage of the bill when it announced that it would be included on the list of priority measures that would be discussed during the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.
Poe said the bill, if enacted into law, would complement the strong public clamor for transparency and accountability and the safeguarding of public funds.
“FOI will not only prevent graft and corruption but more importantly, our citizens will learn to get involved and participate and thus will become true stakeholders in government. This is the true essence of democracy,” she said when she sponsored the bill on the floor.
“The proposed FOI Act is long overdue. Let us not delay its passage anymore. Let us heed the clamor of the people ad approve this measure without further delay,” she said.
“Madali lang naman ang pagpipilian— dilim o liwanag. Kailangang masinagan ng araw ang lahat ng transakyon ng pamahalaan,” she added.
If it becomes a law, Poe said the FOI would allow every Filipino citizen access to any government record or information subject to certain exceptions.
The bill covers all agencies of government — the executive, legislative and judicial branches, constitutionally mandated bodies, local government, government-owned and controlled corporations and government financial institutions.
The same measure was approved in the Senate during the 15th Congress but it failed to get the approval at the House of Representatives.
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