MANILA — Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea led on Thursday the ceremonial turnover of the signed, sealed and stamped document known as the Executive Order on Freedom of Information (EO on FOI) to Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar at the Premiere Guest House in Malacañang.
Andanar said Secretary Medialdea has also tasked the PCO, which he heads, to form an Ad-Hoc Committee to prepare the manual and guidelines to operationalize the EO.
FOI Advocates like the Right to Know, Right Now Coalition (RKRNC), officials of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and World Bank (WB) representatives welcomed the passage of the EO, saying it’s a landmark and timely move by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to get rid of corruption in government bureaucracy.
“The EO is definitely a welcome development in the people’s struggle for our right to access information as enshrined in the Constitution. We challenge Congress to prove itself equally responsive by finally overcoming their resistance to FOI and enact a progressive FOI law,” the Right to Know, Right Now Coalition said in a position paper.
As this developed, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, the Senate’s chair of Ways and Means, and Rep. Carlos T. Zarate of Bayan Muna Party-List vowed to work for the passage of an FOI in both houses of Congress.
Senator Angara expressed optimism that both houses of Congress will finally pass the FOI bill, especially with the support of the President.
Among those who witnessed the activity were Malou Mangahas; Convenor Eirene E. Aguila; KBP Chairman Herman Z. Basbaño of Bombo Radyo, Ruperto S. Nicdao Jr. of Manila Broadcasting Company; and WB representative Hanif Rahemtulla. PNA/northboundasia.com