Advocates laud approval of consolidated FOI bill

ADVOCATES of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill lauded the decision of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the House committee on public information to consolidate various versions of the controversial proposal.

"It is a positive and long-awaited step in citizen-led efforts toward the further institutionalization of transparency and accountability in government," Akbayan Party-list Barry Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said that the long wait is worth it and the unified consolidated bill "is proof positive of the determination in the House to see the FOI enacted into law in the soonest possible time."

"The long and exhaustive deliberative process that the proposed legislation went through likewise reaffirms the strong commitment of House of Representatives in securing the passage of this very important bill that will protect and the advance the reforms this administration has initiated," he said.

He lawmakers added that the people's access to pertinent information regarding government's transactions will empower the citizenry towards meaningful participation within the political processes, thus, deepening and strengthening our democracy.

"It is in large part due to their help that we are one step closer towards making this bill a reality," the party-list lawmaker said.

Gutierrez said that FOI advocates in Congress are already preparing for the next stages to secure and advance to the measure's eventual passage.

"We must ensure that it passes smoothly and expeditiously through the Committee-level, and eventually through the House plenary on second and third reading," said Gutierrez.

"Today's small yet sweet triumph has given us renewed vigor and confidence to see this process through to a successful end -- the enactment of the Freedom of Information Law," the lawmaker added. (Sunnex)

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