Press Release
October 10, 2013


Plenary debates on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill are set to take place at the Senate next week as Congress resumes sessions.

Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media and sponsor of the bill, said, "We look forward to defending this important measure on the floor and hurdling its passage in the Senate--with the overwhelming support of fellow senators and the public."

Poe said the measure serves to complement the strong public clamor for transparency and accountability and the safeguarding of public funds.

In her sponsorship speech on Sept. 24, Poe stressed, "FOI will not only prevent graft and corruption but more importantly, our citizens will learn to get involved and participate and thus will become true stakeholders in their government. This is the true essence of democracy."

She added, "The proposed FOI Act is long overdue. Let us not delay its passage anymore. Let us heed the clamor of the people and approve this measure without further delay. Madali lang naman ang pagpipilian: dilim o liwanag. Kailangang masinagan ng araw ang lahat ng transaksyon ng pamahalaan."

The measure shall allow every Filipino citizen to request and be granted access to any record or information that is under the control of the government, subject to certain exceptions. Government includes all agencies--the executive, legislative and judicial branches, constitutionally mandated bodies, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and government financial institutions.

Poe cited that majority of her colleagues in the Upper Chamber support the measure, as well as Malacañang which announced that the bill will be included in the list of priority measures to be discussed during the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.

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