House to consolidate 22 FOI versions

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


PROPONENTS of the freedom of information (FOI) bill is preparing to consolidate the 22 proposals, as the final version of the bill is set to be presented during the hearing of the technical working group (TWG).

Dinagat Island Representative Arlene Bag-ao said that once they have agreed on the consolidated version of the bill, it will be submitted to the committee on public information for approval of its members.

The TWG is set to convene for the first time on February 6. It will be the second time the FOI bill will be formally discussed in the committee level during the current 16th Congress.

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"We have 22 [FOI] bills to consolidate. Marami doon ay similar [in nature] kapag titingnan mo yung iba't-ibang versions," Bag-ao said, as she denied speculations that there are bogus and redundant versions of the bill that are meant to derail the process in the committee level.

She added that although the bill lacks the needed support and blessing from Malacanang, that doesn't mean that the FOI advocates cannot succeed in passing an FOI law.

"We will make this a priority… [Even without the President's support]," Bag-ao added.

She hopes that the President Benigno Aquino II changes his mind when he sees the consolidated bill and decides to certify the bill as urgent.

The TWG should present the consolidated version of the bill to the committee before February 13, she added. (Sunnex)

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