Senate eyes passage of FOI bill within the year-A A +A
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
MANILA -- Senator Grace Poe wrapped up hearings on the proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) bill on Wednesday, expressing confidence that the measure will be passed by the chamber within this year.
Poe, chairperson of the committee on public information and mass media, said she will present the panel report on Monday next week and sponsor the bill in the floor two days later. Senators will then debate and introduce amendments to the measure, if any.
All 11 bills, which will be consolidated, do not contain the controversial right-of-reply provision, which requires publication or airing the side of public officials who may be affected by statements coursed through media.
"Nakita sa mga pag-aaral na ang pagkakaroon ng publiko ng access o pagkuha ng impormasyon ay nakatulong para paigtingin ang pananagutan at responsibilidad ng pamahalaan tungo sa pagtugon ng mga pangangailangan ng mga mamamayan," said Poe, adding the challenge for her committee is to make the measure understandable and relevant to the public.
Present at the hearing were representatives from media organizations, business groups and Malacañang, which included the bill in the agenda of the first meeting of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac).
Poe maintained the need for an FOI law to combat graft and corruption, an observation shared by those in attendance.
The Senate passed its version of the FOI law last year but deliberations in the House of Representatives were stuck at the plenary. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)