Press Release
December 8, 2016


Sen. Grace Poe has vowed to push for the approval of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill in an effort to promote good governance in the bureaucracy.

Poe, as delegate of the Philippine Senate in the fourth Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Paris, France from Dec. 7-9, has committed to push for the FOI to institutionalize the people's right to information on matters of public concern.

"This landmark legislation is important in ensuring a transparent government that involves citizens towards a corruption-free bureaucracy. We remain committed to empowering people and mainstreaming transparency across government and society," said Poe, champion of FOI in the Senate and principal author of the measure.

The Poe-sponsored Senate Bill No. 1208 is already up for plenary debates and expected to be passed early next year.

The measure also provides for mandatory disclosure of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth of public officials. Exempted from disclosure, however, are those that will compromise national security, defense, law enforcement operations, foreign relations, trade and economic secrets and the constitutional right to privacy and safety.

Under the legislation, jail time and fines will be imposed upon individuals who acted in bad faith over non-disclosure or those who wilfully destroy requested documents.

Launched in 2011, the OGP is a forum for sharing best practices which currently brings together 70 participating countries, NGOs and representatives from civil society in a collegial governance. Since then, participating countries made over 2,500 commitments to make their governments more open and accountable.

Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno heads the Philippine delegation to the OGP summit, along with Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Martin Andanar, Cabinet Undersecretary Gloria Jumamil-Mercado and representatives from non-government organizations Budget Advocacy Group, Web Foundation, Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, and Bantay Kita.

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