Lawmaker sees FOI bill passage before Aquino term ends-A A +A
Thursday, February 7, 2013
MANILA -- A lawmaker believed that the present administration will ensure the passage of the freedom of information (FOI) bill before the term of President Benigno Aquino III ends in 2016.
Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, a strong supporter of the bill, said the FOI bill in the House of Representatives is not dead but only "in hibernation" and "will resurrect in the 16th Congress."
"His (Aquino) term has not ended so he still can fulfill his promise so let's all be patient about it. I believe he will follow it and we will see an FOI (law) before his term ends," Tañada told reporters.
Congress adjourned Wednesday to give way to the campaign period for the midterm polls in May. It will resume sessions for three days only in June before it adjourns sine die.
The enactment of an FOI law was one of Aquino's campaign promises during the 2010 presidential elections. Aquino also voted in favor of the FOI bill when he was still a senator in the 14th Congress.
The controversial FOI bill languished in the House committee level for more than a year before it was sent to the plenary for debates. Discussions, however, did not push through in the past weeks for lack of quorum.
Some lawmakers surmised that the lack of quorum signified Malacañang's lack of interest to pass the divisive measure during the present administration.
Tañada, however, believed that Aquino administration "is doing its best to be transparent," which is the main goal of the proposed FOI law.
"There's no question of wrongdoing with regard to the highest official of government so I feel that it's doing its part with regard to good governance and transparency," he said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)