Press Release
September 4, 2013

Cayetano pushes for passage of FOI Bill in 16th Congress

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano placed his "complete and unequivocal support" for the passage of the controversial Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill in the 16th Congress.

In a letter he sent Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, he expressed his full support for the immediate passage of the FOI bill.

"I write to express my complete and unequivocal support for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill into law," said the Senator.

He told Senator Poe that as a fellow advocate of the measure, he shared her "belief that the recent controversy on the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) would have been avoided should there have been an FOI law passed in the 15th Congress."

He also endorsed the petition for indirect initiative on the FOI Bill filed by Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan of the RIGHT TO KNOW. RIGHT NOW! COALITION.

Cayetano urged the committee chairperson to invite the said coalition to the hearing Wednesday in the Senate as they were "major stakeholders in our struggle towards transparency, accountability and reform."

The Majority Leader, who has consistently pushed for the approval of the measure, lamented how the FOI Bill perished despite its passage in the Senate during the 14th and 15th Congress.

"It never passed the 3rd reading in the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress. In the 14th congress, the FOI Bill went as far as passing the Bicameral Conference Committee, but was not ratified into law by the House of Representatives," he said.

The Majority Leader however voiced optimism that the 16th Congress would see the passage of the FOI Bill.

"There is so much clamor for truth, transparency and accountability that there is no way that the people will allow the FOI Bill to perish once again. I am confident that it will become a law this time with the help of the Filipino people who have been outraged by the abuse of government funds," he said.

Cayetano, on the first day of the 16th Congress, filed his updated version of FOI bill. According to the senator, the legislative measure will help the government in abolishing graft and corruption and ensure that the people's money will be spent on programs that will help the people in their daily struggles.

"The FOI enhances people's participation and institutionalizes systems to strengthen citizens' vigilance in guarding the government by making information more accessible to those who have the right to know," he said.

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

News Latest News Feed