Access to information, the weapon to corruption

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

PHILIPPINES is labeled as one of the most corrupt country in the Philippines. This problem has been going on throughout the years, and is presently reflected in one of the last controversies in the government – the PDAF Scam.

The total effect of corruption is undeniable in the state of our country. Common people, including the poor are suffering from such greediness, especially of corrupt public officials. The rich are getting richer, while the poor, poorer.

The access to information has been one of the aspirations of many people including media people since time immemorial. This is due to the fact that most of us are ignorant of what is happening in our funds and our taxes.

This freedom of information is our only weapon and key to know many more anomalies in the government. Imagine the Pork Barrel Scam is just little compared to what we may know with this freedom of information bill. With this we can know, even more and about the money stolen from us, and maybe, it’s not just a million but billions of money we have not been aware of throughout the years.

This bill enables us to demand more information we need and not just the information shrouded with confidentiality and anomalies.

As citizen we have the right to know, for our own security and for our own peace of mind. Through this we are more empowered to question where our taxes go and we may be able to know and persecute the people who need to be persecuted. As people we do not deserve to be ignorant of what is happening to our country. We do not deserve to be fed by lies and we do not deserve to suffer from the incompetencies of the government because of the corrupt officials.

With this bill we can demand more and with it we are able to know what we currently have, and where are we leading to.

This bill may not be absolute, it has exceptions but these are only limited to national security and other exemptions but it gives us more power more than before. This bill strengthens the will of the constitution to have transparency.

The need and the demand addressed through the freedom of Information Bill had been granted and it took a lot of years for it to be realized.

Now that the corruption ills have been exposed, and one of its greatest roots had been unearthed, we can now search for more roots, and more connections trough this bill.

This bill really enable us to have more power, to be rounds of information that we need in order to have wise decisions and base it on truth and legal records. This bill is just the first step for full transparency, and of enlightenment of the people of the truth in our government which we badly need most for the efficiency, and for the full development of our government and our country.

*These are the winning essays of students in the on-the-spot essay contest during the 4th Davao Media Freedom Day held at the Ateneo de Davao University Jacinto campus last November 23. (Karina Cañedo)

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