Poe pushes for FOI bill in 18th Congress

MANILA Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday filed the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill as the opening salvo of her legislative agenda in the 18th Congress.

Poe, the chairperson of the public information committee, urged her colleagues to give this bill "one big push" for the incoming Congress.

Transparency is essential to accountability. Without transparency, citizens cannot access the information needed to collectively discern the fitness of public officials, elected otherwise, to hold public office, Poe said.

The proposed law states that every Filipino has a right to and shall, on request, be given access to any information of public concern under the control of a government agency.

It added that no request for information shall be denied, except if it falls under the exceptions where the information could not be divulged.

Also included in Poe's first 10 measures filed at the Senate is a bill that would mandate the government to achieve a zero-hunger goal.

The proposed Right to Adequate Food Act of 2019 seeks to make it a responsibility of the state to reduce the incidence of hunger from the current level by 25 percent; in five years, it will be further reduced by 25 percent; in seven and a half years, it will be further reduced by another 25 percent; and in 10 years, zero hunger should be achieved.

Poe is also pushing for the proposed Universal Social Pension for Senior Citizens, which seeks to provide a monthly stipend to all senior citizens amounting to at least PHP1,500 to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.

Poe filed the proposed Social Media Awareness in Schools and Universities Act of 2019 to make social media awareness part of the curriculum for both primary and secondary education in public and private schools.

Among her priority measures are the proposed Water Regulatory Act, Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System Act, National Transportation Safety Board Act, Tulong Kabataan sa Agrikultura Act, Motorcycles-for-Hire Act, and Magna Carta for Tricycle Drivers and Operators. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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