FOI bill moves in House of Representatives

The Freedom of Information Bill is now moving in the House of Representative, at least on a committee level. This is a development welcomed by Malacanang Palace.

House of Representatives Committee on Public Information approved with 10-3 votes the consolidated FOI Bill.

If passed into law, the public will be given authority to access government information on official acts, transactions, decisions and government research data. However, information that will involve internal or external security may be kept confidential or if the government agency justified that requested information should not be disclosed.

Any information that will cover up a crime will not be treated as confidential.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abegail Valte said they “are satisfied with the current draft that was passed by the Committee on Public Information this afternoon.”

“We have participated in the technical working group sessions and have kept communication lines open with citizen advocates,” Valte added. ”As the President stated during the Daylight Dialogue last July, he hopes to see the FOI passed before the end of his term.”

The House of Representatives version will now be up for plenary discussions.

Senate version was already approved in final reading last March this year.