Senate to tackle FOI bill Wednesday-A A +A
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
THE Senate will tackle the freedom of information (FOI) bill Wednesday for the first this 16th Congress.
Senator Grace Poe, chairman of the committee on public information and mass media, will lead the hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, Deputy Director General Vicente Agdamag of the National Security Council, Acting Chief for Legal Affairs Brando Noronia of the Civil Service Commission, and State Counsels Charlene Mae Tapic-Castro and Ulysses Aguilar of the Department of Justice confirmed to attend the hearing.
Representatives from different media groups will also attend. They include Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas president Herman Basbano, National Press Club president Benny Antiporda, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism Multimedia Director Eduardo Lingao, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, and Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility Trustee Vergel Santos.
Also attending are Judge Dolores Espanol, chairman of Transparency International-Philippines; Vicente Joyas, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; Ramon Del Rosario, chairman of the Makati Business Club; lawyer Nepomuceno Malaluan, co-convenor of the Right to Know Coalition; Evita Jimenez, executive director of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance, and the National Union of Journalists.
The academe will be represented by Dean Rolando Tolentino of the College of Mass Communications, University of the Philippines; Professor Clarita Carlos of the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines; and Professor Prospero De Vera III of the National College of Public Administration, University of the Philippines.
The controversial measure was not ratified by the 15th Congress. Only the Senate was able to approve it on third reading, while the bill only reached sponsorship stage at the House of Representatives.
Some senators and congressmen have refiled the FOI bill in the 16th Congress that opened on July 22.
The bill which "seeks to institute transparency and accountability in government by ensuring reasonable access to public documents" has yet to be tackled by the House of Representatives. (CPT/Sunnex)