Poe certain Senate to meet deadline on FOI

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Friday, February 14, 2014


SENATOR Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate public information committee, sees a "timely" approval of the freedom of information (FOI) bill by March as the period of amendments is set next week.

"The Senate is expected to pass it before we adjourn in March. This is a commitment of the Senate leadership; the reason why it is continuously being deliberated," Poe said.

The Senate ended the period of debates on the measure earlier this week after Senator Jinggoy Estrada's interpellation.

After the period of amendments, the FOI bill will be voted upon for second reading approval.

It will then be scheduled for third reading before the Senate and House of Representatives reconcile their versions through a bicameral conference committee.

The House committee on public information, however, has yet to vote on the FOI bill and forward it the plenary for debates.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives need to ratify the bicameral panel report before it is sent to Malacanang for President Benigno Aquino III's signature.

Poe stressed that steadfast public support is needed in hurdling challenges to the enactment of the FOI, a measure which grants Filipinos access to any record or information that is under the control of the government, subject to reasonable exceptions.

"We are hopeful that the FOI will make it to the list of important laws that our citizens can lean on," the senator said. (Sunnex)

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