Press  Release     01  July  2013   Quezon  City      

Right  to  Know,  Right  Now!  Coalition  files  the  “People’s  FOI  Bill”  
  Members  of  the  “Right  to  Know,  Right  Now!”  Coalition  (R2KRN)  will  file  the  “people’s  version”  of  the  Freedom  of   th Information  (FOI)  bill  today  –  the  beginning  of  the  16  Congress.     Dubbed  as  the  “People’s  Freedom  of  Information  Bill,”  the  proposed  legislation  will  be  filed  through  the  constitutional   provision  known  as  indirect  initiative,  a  mechanism  that  allows  citizens  to  formally  petition  Congress  to  enact  national   laws.     “Using  the  ‘indirect  initiative’  to  file  the  FOI  is  a  mandate  under  the  Philippine  Constitution  given  life  through  Republic   Act  6735.    It  allows  the  people  to  directly  file  a  bill  in  the  Congress,  “  noted  Nepo  Malaluan,  lead  convener  of  the  Right   to  Know,  Right  Now!  Coalition  and  Co-­‐Director  of  the  Institute  for  Freedom  of  Information  (IFOI).    “We  are  invoking  this   right  to  send  a  strong  message  that  the  Filipinos  want  this  bill  passed  into  law.    The  past  four  congresses  have  failed  the   people  as  far  as  FOI  legislation  is  concerned,”  Malaluan  said  further.       Section  11  of  Republic  Act  6735  or  the  Initiative  and  Referendum  Act,  empowers  any  duly  accredited  people’s   organization  to  file  a  petition  for  indirect  initiative  with  the  House  of  Representatives  and  other  legislative  bodies.”  It   further  provides  that  an  initiative  bill  shall  have  precedence  over  other  legislative  measures  pending  before  a   committee.       Members  of  the  R2KRN  Coalition  started  lining  up  in  Congress  with  lawmakers  on  Sunday,  June  30,  to  submit  the   People’s  FOI  bill,  in  time  for  the  opening  of  filing  on  July  1,  at  eight  o’clock  in  the  morning.  The  group  hopes  that  the   th People’s  FOI  bill  will  be  among  the  first  bills  filed  in  the  16  Congress.     th “We’re  doing  this,  foremost,  to  stress  that  the  FOI  Bill  should  be  among  the  top  priorities  of  the  16  Congress.  We  hope   that  it  gets  stamped  as  ‘House  Bill  001’  to  emphasize  the  urgency  and  importance  of  the  legislation,”  declared  Vincent   Lazatin,  co-­‐convener  of  R2KRN  and  executive  director  of  the  Transparency  and  Accountability  Netwok  (TAN).     The  R2KRN  Coalition  is  made  up  of  people’s  organizations,  academics,  and  civil  society  groups  that  advocate  for  the   passage  of  the  FOI,  which  once  legislated,  will  be  a  law  that  will  ensure  the  effective  operation  and  practice  of  the  

people's  right  to  information  and  the  declared  state  policy  for  full  disclosure  of  all  transactions  involving   public  interest.  
  Aside  from  IFOI  and  TAN,  other  members  of  the  R2KRN  Coalition  that  filed  the  People’s  FOI  Bill  as  co-­‐petitioners  are   Action  for  Economic  Reforms,  Aksyong  Kabayanihan  Para  Sa  Organisadong  Pagbabago  (Angkop),  Alliance  of  Progressive   Labor  (APL),  Ang  Kapatiran  Party,  Caucus  of  Development  NGO  Networks  (Code-­‐NGO),  Center  for  Media  Freedom  and   Responsibility  (CMFR),  Filipino  Migrant  Workers  Group  (FMWG),  Focus  on  the  Global  South  -­‐  Philippines,  FOI  Youth   Initiative  (FYI),  National  Union  of  Journalists  of  The  Philippines  (NUJP),  Peace  Women  Partners,  Philippine  Airlines   Employees  Association  (PALEA),  Philippine  Center  For  Investigative  Journalism  (PCIJ),  Philippine  Rural  Reconstruction   Movement  (PRRM),  Prudentialife  Warriors  Pilipinas,  Public  Services  Labor  Independent  Confederation  (PSLINK),  and   Social  Watch  Philippines.         More  members  of  the  Coalition  are  set  to  join  as  co-­‐petitioners  when  they  file  the  counterpart  petition  in  the  Senate.     For  more  information  contact:     Nepo  Malaluan:  0918  927  1501   Vincent  Lazatin:  0922  865  1228   Reylynne  dela  Paz:  0915  408  2675  

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