Press Release
July 4, 2016

Grace Poe's statement on the issuance of EO on FOI

It is a welcome and positive step toward the right direction of institutionalizing full transparency and accountability within the executive department. This will complement the avowed commitment to stamp out corruption in government as soon as possible.

On the importance of passing an FOI law

While I fully support the immediate issuance of an executive order (EO) to implement Freedom of Information for our people, the passage of a statute, which I will pursue, is still needed in order to cover all the other branches of government and to provide appropriate penal sanctions for non-compliance by public servants which a mere EO may not provide. A law would provide the permanency that the public's right to information should have and will not be dependent on the whims of succeeding chief executives who may not be as zealous about transparency in governance.

I hope that the parameters of privacy under applicable circumstances and the right of the public to know should be clearly defined under the EO so that abuses will be prevented on both sides. In this connection, as with the efforts to eliminate red tape, the power of information technology should also be harnessed for the easy access of information on the part of the public.

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