Lawmaker: Like RH bill, let’s finish FOI in 15th Congress-A A +A
Thursday, January 3, 2013
“LET'S get it over with.”
This was the challenge of Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list Representative Sherwin Tugna to his colleagues in the present 15th Congress with the freedom of information (FOI) bill one of the priorities in the last nine session days before the election period.
Tugna said that if House members were able to muster the courage to pass the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill last December, they can do the same for the FOI bill that seeks to institutionalize transparency in government.
“The year 2012 was a banner year for good governance and it ended on a high note. I hope it continues this January with the debates and the votation on the FOI bill finally pushing through,” said Tugna, one of the authors of consolidated FOI bill.
The lawmaker noted that a lot of people doubted the RH bill would be approved in Congress and because of that, he remains optimistic that the FOI bill will be enacted into law before session is adjourned in February.
Congress will have only nine session days beginning January 21.
The Senate had already passed its own version of the FOI bill last December with a vote of 17-0.
However, the FOI bill is still in the period of interpellation in the House after being dragged in the committee level headed by Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone.
“I don’t see any reason why the House of Representatives should prolong the passage of this good bill. If there are any contentious provisions, it can always be discussed and resolved on the floor. What’s important is that this bill continues to move forward and gain momentum and not be left in the halls of Congress a minute longer,” Tugna said.
Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, main proponent of the measure, earlier said the FOI bill has been languishing in Congress for 20 years. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)