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People's FOI Bill - 16th Congress - Senate version

People's FOI Bill - 16th Congress - Senate version

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Published by Rappler Philippines
The People's Freedom of Information bill filed by the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition before the Senate
The People's Freedom of Information bill filed by the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition before the Senate

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Rappler Philippines on Jul 17, 2013
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06/11/2014

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SIXTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE)REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES)First Regular Session)________________(Filed through Indirect Initiative under Republic ActNo. 6735)
  _____________________________________________________________ Introduced by PUBLIC SERVICES LABOR INDEPENDENTCONFEDERATION (PSLINK), PHILIPPINE RURALRECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT (PRRM), NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES (NUJP), FOI YOUTHINITIATIVE (FYI), ALLIANCE OF PROGRESSIVE LABOR (APL),CAUCUS OF DEVELOPMENT NGO NETWORKS (CODE-NGO),SOCIAL WATCH PHILIPPINES, FOCUS ON THE GLOBAL SOUTH- PHILIPPINES, TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITYNETWORK (TAN), PEACE WOMEN PARTNERS, PHILIPPINEAIRLINES EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (PALEA), PRUDENTIALIFEWARRIORS PILIPINAS, FILIPINO MIGRANT WORKERS GROUP(FMWG), AKSYONG KABAYANIHAN PARA SA ORGANISADONGPAGBABAGO (ANGKOP), CENTER FOR MEDIA FREEDOM ANDRESPONSIBILITY (CMFR), ANG KAPATIRAN PARTY, ACTIONFOR ECONOMIC REFORMS, PHILIPPINE CENTER FORINVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM (PCIJ), CENTER FOR MIGRANTADVOCACY (CMA), FREEDOM FROM DEBT COALITION (FDC),WOMANHEALTH PHILIPPINES, PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA,BANTAY KITA, PHILIPPINE ALLIANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTSADVOCATES (PAHRA), (COLLECTIVELY, THE
"
RIGHT TOKNOW. RIGHT NOW! COALITION
"
)
 EXPLANATORY NOTE
 The people's right to information held by government isexpressly recognized in no less than the Constitution. ArticleIII (Bill of Rights), Sec. 7 of the 1987 Constitution states: The right of the people to information onmatters of public concern shall be recognized.Access to official records, and to documents andpapers pertaining to official acts, transactions, ordecisions, as well as to government research dataused as basis for policy development, shall beafforded the citizen, subject to such limitations asmay be provided by law.
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Complementing the Bill of Rights provision on FOI is thestate policy of full disclosure of all state transactionsinvolving public interest. Article II (Declaration of Principlesand State Policies), Section 28 reads:Subject to reasonable conditions prescribedby law, the State adopts and implements a policyof full public disclosure of all its transactionsinvolving public interest.While the Supreme Court has consistently held that theright to information under the Bill of Rights is self-executory,it lacks the substantive and procedural details necessary forits effective and predictable implementation. This Initiative Bill, filed under Section 3 (b) and Section11 of Republic Act 6735, or "The Initiative and ReferendumAct", has the following chief specific purposes:First, it seeks to address the lack of definite scope andlimitations to the right to information. Second, it seeks toaddress the absence of a uniform and effective procedure foraccess to information. Third, it seeks to address the absenceof sanctions for unlawful denial or delay of access toinformation. Fourth, it introduces mechanisms to facilitatebetter citizen access to information, such as providingstandards for record keeping and mandating the pro-activedisclosure of classes of information imbued with high publicinterest.Beyond the above specific purposes, the Initiative Billwill also promote the general purposes that the framers of the Constitution sought to achieve with the expressrecognition of the right to information and the adoption of full disclosure of transactions as a state policy. The twinconstitutional provisions of the right to information and thepolicy of full public disclosure of government transactionsare intended to promote the fundamental precepts of democracy, people's participation, public office being apublic trust, government accountability, prevention of corruption, and responsive decision-making. The enactment of this Initiative Bill is earnestly urged.
Annie Enriquez Geron
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Public Services Labor Independent Confederation(PSLINK)
Isagani R. Serrano
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)
Rupert Francis Diohen Mangilit
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
Allan Pangilinan
 
Adolfo Jose Montesa
FOI Youth Initiative (FYI)
 Josua Mata
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
Sixto Donato C. Macasaet
Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO)
Leonor Magtolis Briones
Social Watch Philippines
Clarissa V. Militante
Focus on the Global South - Philippines
Vincent T. Lazatin
 Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN)
Mercedes L. Angeles
Peace Women Partners
Gerry F. Rivera
Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA)
Rolando G. Ocampo
Prudentialife Warriors Pilipinas
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