Drilon: Senate will prioritize FOI-A A +A
Sunday, October 20, 2013
MANILA -- The Freedom of Information (FOI) bill will be prioritized by the Senate before taking a three week break, as interpellation are scheduled for the last three days of session, according to the Senate President.
"Unang-una, 'yung FOI bill, iyan po aya na-sponsor na at hiling ko sa ating mga kasamahan na ating pag-usapan at pagdebatehan sa susunod na tatlong araw ay ang FOI. May interpellation na mangyayari sa susunod na tatlong araw," Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said in a radio interview Sunday.
Senate Bill No. 1733 or An Act Implementing the People's Right to Information and the Constitutional Policies of Full Public Disclosure and Honesty in the Public Service is pending second reading approval.
It has been sponsored on the floor last month by Senators Grace Poe, JV Ejercito and Sonny Angara. However, there was no period of interpellation since the sponsorship period.
Drilon said the Senate cannot approved the measure on second reading this week.
"Hindi po kakayanin. Hindi madali ang batas na ito. Period of interpellation pa lang. Hindi naman agad-agad dahil hindi natin alam kung ilang senador ang magtatanong at hindi natin kayang ipasa on second reading on Wednesday," he said.
"Unang-una, hindi ko alam kung kailan darating sa amin ang budget. For the budget to be with us, I think sometime middle of November, by November 18, by the end of this week, dapat maipasa on third reading by Wednesday. Maaaring maumpisahan by the week of November, 18, ngunit kung iyan later pa, ang priority ay ang FOI bill habang hindi pa dumarating sa Senado ang budget," Drilon added.
Drilon however assured that the chamber will passed the measure.
"Ipapasa ng Senado. Kung hindi man ngayon taong ito, by the next quarter of next year," Drilon said.
The budget bill is scheduled to be approved on third reading by the House of Representatives this week and is expected to be transmitted to the Senate immediately.
During the 15th Congress, the Senate was able to pass its version of the FOI bill while the members of the House of Representatives were not able to vote upon the bill in the plenary. (CPT/Sunnex)