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Advocates launch online petition to pass FOI bill in Philippines

UPDATE from CMFR: The FOI watch (4 August 2014)

Members of the Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition (R2KRN) launched an online signature campaign addressed to the Aquino administration to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill. The campaign began on May 14, 2014 and will end a week before the President's State of the Nation Address in July 2014.

The petition aims to express "collective clamor for President (Benigno III) Aquino and Speaker (Feliciano Jr) Belmonte to exercise leadership and act decisively to pass the FOI bill."

Ed Chua, Makati Business Club trustee, said that an FOI law "will be instrumental in changing this situation (corruption). We strongly believe that putting in place the proper measures especially freedom of information will attract higher level of investments which will generate more jobs for our countrymen…."

Nepomuceno Malaluan, co-convener of R2KRN, said that the online petition is the most accessible way to reach the people. He added "isang napakahalagang pamamaraan ang pagkakaroon ng karapatan sa impormasyon para mabantayan natin ang gobyerno (access to information is important for the public to check governance)."

Members of the House of Representatives and "FOI champions" Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao, Winston Castelo of Quezon City, and Kaka Bag-Ao of Dinagat Islands believe that the bill would help curb the corruption not only in the national but also in local government.

The bills are pending before the House Committee on Public Information and are still being consolidated by the Technical Working Group. supports the petition, which can be accessed here.

The Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility is a member of the coalition - a network of about 160 organizations and individuals from various social sectors and civil society groups, which have long been campaigning for the passage of an FOI Act.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • Timeline: Freedom of information in the Philippines
  • FOI advocates to admin: Speed up FOI bill passage
  • FOI and the right to know

    The report, "Why the Philippines needs a freedom of information law," published on Rappler's website on July 21, analyzed FOI laws in other countries, noted their common features, and compared them with current practice in the Philippines. The report reviewed FOI laws in 15 countries including Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Finland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Germany, Thailand, Indonesia, and Japan.

Additional resources

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