IT’S an executive order, not the law, but it amply shows the president is serious about transparency and access to public information.
With the early fulfillment of an election promise, we may now expect the Freedom of Information bill to pass, especially in the House where it has stuck for years.
For journalists in the community, who deal primarily with local governments, we hope mayors and governors will follow what the E.O. encourages, for them to “observe and be guided by it.”
CCPC has asked for specific limits on discretion of local officials to reject requests for public documents. We hope that with the E.O., that request will now be addressed by the local officials concerned.
We must watch out for the limits on the right, in the exceptions to the E.O. that will be drawn up, the actual guidelines in securing the information, and the final version of the FOI bill.
Meantime, we have a lot to be glad about. It took less than two months for this president to do what other presidents just kept paying lip service to. Pachico A. Seares, Executive Director,
Cebu Citizens-Press Council)