CEBU City Ordinance #2657, also called Freedom of Information Act of 2019, was signed into law last July 28, 2022 by Mayor Michael Rama.
Today, October 3, 67 days after the signing, the ordinance is still inoperative.
The ordinance is not yet complete, legislatively and administratively. The city's Legal Office still has to list the exceptions to the ordinance and submit to the City Council for approval. And each department head and office at City Hall still has to designate its FOI officer. All the said officials are needed to complete the process of legislation and mechanism of enforcement. And all, except the Sanggunian members, work under the mayor.
City Councilor Francis Esparis, without media's prodding, called out in a privileged speech last September 21, 2022 -- significantly, on Cebu Press Freedom day and during the Press Freedom Week celebration -- for the city's heads of office to appoint their respective FOI officers. Esparis was the lone Cebu City official who publicly worried about the ordinance being incomplete.
Mayor Rama would finish his first 100 days in office October 3. The mayor's accomplishments of the period may well include the FOI ordinance. He didn't build a road or bridge by that ordinance. It could help make the travel of news and information from government to citizens easier and faster. Applause. Even though Mayor Rama has yet to complete work on the FOI ordinance, there are still other sets of 100 days ahead.
Pachico A. Seares
Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC)
October 03, 2022
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