House deputy speaker: FOI bill 'grasping for breath'-A A +A
Thursday, October 11, 2012
HOUSE committee on public information chairman Ben Evardone has placed the freedom of information (FOI) bill on "life support" after deferring once again the hearing on the proposed law, the bill's main proponent said Thursday.
"Representative Evardone placed the FOI in ICU (intensive care unit) in 'life support' gasping for breath," House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, the main proponent of the FOI bill, said Thursday.
Tañada earlier offered a conference room he reserved for a committee hearing on the FOI bill after he "anticipated" that Evardone would make an excuse to reschedule the hearing.
Evardone said he decided to reschedule the FOI bill for a panel hearing to November 13, saying there was no room available his committee can use.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. himself earlier instructed Evardone to schedule a hearing next week after the approval of the General Appropriations Bill, a priority measure.
In a text message, Belmonte said he approved Evardone's decision because "all sides agreed" to the November 13 date.
If the FOI bill will pass the committee level in one hearing, Tañada said "there is still a chance" of it to be passed by the House of Representatives.
"There is still a chance to beat the December deadline if the Speaker allows it to be discussed immediately at plenary together with RH," he said referring to another controversial measure, the reproductive health bill. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)