Press Release
September 28, 2016

Poe committee sets FOI hearing tomorrow, Sept. 29

Sen. Grace Poe will lead the second public hearing on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill tomorrow, Sept. 29, assuring the Senate's commitment to fast-track the passage of the measure as a crucial tool in the fight against corruption.

A committee report is expected to follow soon after in view of the Senate's commitment to pass the measure in record time.

In the 16th Congress, the Senate passed the FOI measure in eight months, with Poe as sponsor.

Invited to Thursday's hearing by the Senate committee on public information and mass media are officials from the Department of Justice, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Presidential Communications Office, National Security Council, Ombudsman, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and Bureau of Customs and other stakeholders.

Poe expects that the long-delayed measure will be swiftly passed under the Duterte administration, who has issued an Executive Order to manifest its commitment to transparency in governance.

"We see the need to finally enact an FOI law as the administration also fully espouses transparency and accountability in the bureaucracy," Poe earlier said as she highlighted the need to institutionalize this important measure, "An FOI Law is long overdue. Public disclosure of information encourages greater care on the part of the government."

The proposed FOI law opens government records to the public subject to reasonable exceptions. It covers all government agencies and instrumentalities, including the executive, legislative, judicial branches of government, local governments as well as government-owned and -controlled corporations and government financial institutions.

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