Press Release
July 4, 2013

Cayetano re-files Freedom of Information Bill;calls for gov't to institutionalize practice of Tuwid na Daan

"In order to ensure all families benefit from our country's growth, we need to intensify our fight against corruption."

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, on the first day of the 16th Congress, filed his updated version of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill.

"In order to address the problems of presyo, trabaho, and kita, we must have a transparent and accountable government," the senator said. According to the senator, the FOI bill will help the government in abolishing graft and corruption. "We lose several billions due to graft and corruption. The money lost should have been spent on programs which will help the people in their daily struggles," he said.

Sen. Cayetano lamented on the data released by the World Bank stating that 40 centavos out of every peso collected by the government goes to corruption.

The senator was referring to the Comission on Audit's (COA) Audit Performance Summary Report of 2011 indicating that P20.813 billion was lost to under-assessment and under-collection, P18.654 billion due to reckless spending, P15.163 billion brought by questionable government contracts, P13.584 billion because of 104 "unutilized and/or ineffective projects", and an additional P7.534 billion to 1,003 unliquidated cash advances.

Sen. Cayetano however praised the Aquino administration's efforts in lessening graft and corruption in the country. According to the Transparency International Corruption Index cited by the senator, the country improved its ranking on the list of most corrupt countries from 129th to 105th out of 176 countries.

"By passing the FOI, we can institutionalize the government's efforts in implementing Tuwid na Daan," he said.

The senator said that economic development for all families especially the poor can be achieved through a transparent and accountable government. "By passing the FOI Bill, we can boost investors' confidence. This will help in providing jobs for poor Filipinos."

"'This is a necessary step in solving the country's problems of presyo trabaho and kita," he added.

As an advocate of good governance and anti-corruption, Sen. Cayetano was a proponent of the FOI Bill during the 14th and 15th congress when the measure was passed in the Senate but was not voted upon in the lower house.

The senator urged his fellow legislators to support the FOI Bill. "As legislators it is imperative that we ensure that the people are granted the capability to have access to information related to their government. The FOI bill will also lead to an efficient and effective government," the senator said.

Cayetano, on the first day of the 16th Congress, also filed his amendments to the Anti-Cybercrime Act of 2012, a bill decriminalizing libel, the Orphan Trust Fund Bill, the Special Needs Fund for Children Bill, the Welfare of the Orphaned, Abandoned, and Neglected Children Bill, The Uniformed Personnel Bill, additional support for Educators in Basic Education Bill, and the Iskolar ng Bayan Bill.

The senator emphasized that he will push hard for the majority coalition in the Senate to prioritize measures such as these in order for families to feel the benefits of our economic growth. He is also set to file several other measures that will address PTK (Presyo, Trabaho, Kita) in the coming weeks.

"This was my campaign promise, for the government to ensure that every Filipino family is able to cope with the problems of high prices, lack of jobs and low income so that they can lift themselves up out of poverty and feel the benefits of the growing economy. I will keep my promise and I ask each and every member of this new Congress to do the same," he said

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