MANILA -- Communication Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday urged Congress to prioritize the passage of the proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which mandates full disclosure of public records.
Kailangan po natin ng katuwang nito sa Kongreso at Senado. So, tayo po'y nagdarasal na sila po ay umaksyon din para gawing ganap na batas ito (We need a partner at the House of Representatives and the Senate. We are praying that they would act and pass the FOI bill into law), Andanar said.
The bill seeks to strengthen the practice of transparency by giving the public access to government transactions and documents. It also aims to eliminate the incidence of corruption in government offices.
In a radio interview, Andanar said once passed, the FOI law will grant access to public records, not only in the executive branch but in the legislative and judiciary branches as well.
He also cited Executive Order 2 that was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte prior to his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2016, requiring all offices in the executive branch to disclose public records.
Itong Executive Order na ito ay napakahalaga dahil ginawa po nitong very transparent yung ating national government at ang ating executive branch (This EO is really significant because it made the national government and the executive branch very transparent), Andanar said.
Patuloy po ang kampanya laban sa kurapsyon at ito pong EO No. 2, ito po ay isa sa mga polisiya para mawala ang kurapsyon (We continue our campaign against corruption and EO 2 is one of the policies to eliminate corruption), he added.
The FOI bill is one of the priority measures of the administration that was approved by the House but failed to hurdle the Senate in the 17th Congress due to lack of time.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary and FOI-Program Management Office Director Kristian Ablan has said that he hopes the FOI bill will be enacted into law by 2020.
Currently, all national government agencies are 100 percent FOI-compliant. (PR)
Source: Philippines News Agency