Malacanang appreciates group's recognition of proposed Freedom of Information bill

February 15, 2012 11:12 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 15 — Malacanang expressed appreciation over the move of the 'Right to Know, Right Now' coalition to welcome the submission of President Benigno S. Aquino III's administration of its proposed substitute Freedom of Information (FOI) bill to the Lower House.

"We undertook our task in good faith, and we very much appreciate the coalition recognizing this," Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III said in a statement which was read by Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday.

The Right to Know, Right Now coalition, a network of 150 civic and media groups, is pushing for the passage of an FOI law.

"From the very start, as we who comprised the Study Group told the coalition, we hoped that the process of engaging civil society and media as we undertook our work, would serve as a confidence-building exercise," Quezon said.

"Together with the coalition, we look forward to the House and the Senate in turn doing their part to make FOI legislation one of the crowning achievements of the 15th Congress," he added.

On Feb. 3, President Aquino said his administration had submitted a substitute FOI to their allies in the lower house for the eventual passage of the legislation aimed at having wider public access to government information.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition welcomes the recent public endorsement by President Aquino of the passage of the FOI law and the release of the executive’s final proposed bill.

The coalition said the President’s endorsement of the proposed FOI bill achieves two things — First, the President’s endorsement removes the main reason why the bill has been stalled in the legislative wringer, particularly at the House of Representatives.

Second, President Aquino’s endorsement resolves the “concerns” about the bill, thereby reducing the danger of a Presidential veto.

"Yet most important of all, the endorsement reaffirms the Aquino administration’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance, and clears the way for the long-overdue passage of the FOI law as part of the larger struggle to advance our human right to information," the FOI advocates said. (PNA)

RMA/PCOO/ssc

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One Response to “Malacanang appreciates group's recognition of proposed Freedom of Information bill”

  1. [In the news] Malacanang appreciates group’s recognition of proposed Freedom of Information bill -Balita.ph « Human Rights Online Philippines on February 17th, 2012 5:19 am

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