MANILA: The controversial Freedom of Information (FOI) bill has passed the Senate committee level yesterday and is now set for plenary debates.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, said they are “determined” to submit a report on the proposed FOI measure next week and sponsor it on September 25.
“Hopefully, the approval on Third Reading by our Chamber (will be) within this year,” Poe said. In her preliminary statement on yesterday’s committee hearing, Poe reiterated the importance of an FOI law in the fight against corruption in the government.
She said according to studies, guaranteed public access to information boosts government transparency and accountability.
Poe said there are 11 FOI bills and resolutions filed in the Senate.
Poe’s committee approved the FOI bill after only conducting two hearings with the first one held last September 4.
In a television interview in the same week, Poe said she would not ask President Benigno Aquino III to certify the bill as urgent.
The Philippine star