Combating trust and transparency issues

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

UNRESOLVED cases of injustices have been piling up on the Philippine government, the most colossal of which is the growing number of graft and corruption issues.

For many years, even before the acts of former chief justice Renato Corona have been exposed to the public, corruption has been looming over the government like a shadow. When President Benigno Aquino III was elected into office in 2010, he made the promise of prioritizing the passage and approval of the Freedom of Information bill. This is something most Filipinos have been looking of Information bill. This is something most Filipinos have been looking forward to, since lawmakers have been tossing the bill back and forth in the Congress.

However, in PNOY’s State of the Nation Address this 2013, he left out his promise of fighting for FOI’s approval, much to the disappointment of many.

With the rising number of politicians accused of being corrupt, now is the perfect timing to pressure officials in approving the bill.

The FOI bill, authored by Senators JV Ejercito and Sonny Angara, is supposed to combat the trust and transparency issues that plague the government. This is something that concerned Filipino citizens seek to remedy, but so far no progress has been made.

Approval of the bill will improve the credibility of elected leaders and at the same time encourage participation and involvement from the citizens. Giving them the citizens the freedom to have access of information is the give arm them with weapons that can ultimately end the trend of graft and corruption.

With increased awareness on significant issues, citizens become more capable of putting their trust in the government, whose main responsibility is to make sure that everyone feels protected in his or her country. With corruption issues, the government’s credibility becomes stained. This can discourage nations from having better life quality in the long run.

Information is the most powerful weapon, since it uncovers the truth and reveals the secrets that serve as boulders in keeping nations united.

*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. (Kathleen Pastrana)

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