Palace exec: Duterte ordered ‘urgent’ EO for FOI
The release of the executive order (EO) to implement the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill is an “urgent” directive of President Rodrigo Duterte, a Palace executive said on Thursday.
“It’s urgent as far as the executive branch is concern,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar told the Inquirer editors and reporters in an interview.
Andanar said the draft for EO for FOI was now in the final stages of finishing.
“We’re in the final stages of finishing it, the draft,” he said.
He said the EO on FOI would be released Friday.
“(I am) very proud to say that the President would be signing the hammered-out Executive Order of FOI by tomorrow,” Andanar said.
He said the EO would cover all agencies under the executive department, including government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC).
“I think the message here is the President is very serious on the Freedom of Information and giving the citizenry more power and more right on getting information as inscribed in the Constitution, the right to information,” he said.
He said the FOI to be released on Friday would be “an FOI that will make a change in our lives.”
“It’s going to be an interesting, a very interesting, six years of presidency. I think it’s going to be very positive for us—for us in the media.
On Wednesday, Andanar and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea met with advocates of the FOI bill.
Andanar said he met with Malou Mangahas of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), lawyers Nepoo Malaluan, Ryan Acosta, Kris Ablan and Mara Querol.
“We’ve consulted also private citizens apart from the groups that are in the Right to Know, Right Now coalition. I understand that they have 160 members in that coalition,” he said.
“We had scholastic exchanges on how to deal with the FOI because well, the FOI is really for the citizens. And since it covers the executive department, so we have to craft it so well that it also sends the right message to the people and also the other branches of the government especially the lower house and the upper house,” he added. RAM
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