Final Senate hearing on FOI bill on September 18-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
THE Senate committee tackling the controversial freedom of information bill will hold its second and final hearing on September 18.
"We call on all concerned groups and heads to participate and make known their positions on the measure during this last hearing," said Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the public information and mass media committee, on Monday.
Representatives from the media, government and civil society took turns in giving their position last week.
Nobody objected to the need for its enactment given its importance to make government transactions and policies more transparent but the Aquino administration has yet to certify the bill as urgent.
Poe said the panel will "exhaustively examine" all issues related to the measure before coming up with a committee report which will debated on the plenary next month.
A technical working group will also meet during the Senate break later this month to reconcile the different versions of the bill. There are at least 10 pending bills on the FOI at the Senate.
Senate records show that senators Loren Legarda, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Alan Peter Cayetano, TG Guingona, Sergio Osmeña, Antonio Trillanes and Chiz Escudero, among others, have filed versions of the bill.
Poe said she is confident that the FOI measure will be passed by the Senate before the year ends.
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. (Virgil Lopez/CPT/Sunnex)