FOI coalition Welcomes Duterte Plan to Issue EO  

The Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, a network of organizations and civil society leaders pushing for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act for the past fifteen years, welcomes the announcement by winning Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte that he will issue an Executive Order on FOI when he assumes office.

The Coalition believes that a carefully crafted EO on FOI can go a long way in addressing administrative hurdles to public access to information in the Executive Department.

An EO on FOI can clarify the interpretation of the 15-day response to request provision of Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) to mean actual release of requested information. It can also promulgate as Executive Department rules many of the provisions of the FOI Bill that are administrative in nature, such as those on procedure for access, record keeping, automatic disclosure of important documents, capacity building, and other administrative measures to promote easy and uniform access to information from the Executive.

A progressive EO on FOI will serve as a strong confidence building measure for the Duterte administration, especially if coupled with credible support for legislation by Congress of an FOI law that applies equally to all branches of government and to independent constitutional bodies, lays down narrow exceptions, and defines penal provisions, that cannot be covered by an Executive Order.

We emphasize, however, that the EO on FOI and overall FOI policy should be informed by prior consultation with key stakeholders, which we hope will be initiated by the incoming Duterte administration at the soonest. The coalition is ready to actively and constructively participate in such a consultation, through our designated representatives.

Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan, Co- Director, Institute for Freedom of Information and Co-Convenor, Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition

Atty. Lorenzo R. Tañada III, Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition

Ms. Ana Maria R. Nemenzo, National Coordinator and Ms. Mercy Fabros, Campaign and Advocacy Coordinator, WomanHealth Philippines

Ms. Malou Mangahas, Executive Director, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

Ms. Jenina Joy Chavez, Coordinator, Action for Economic Reforms – Industrial Policy Team

Atty. Eirene Jhone Aquila and Mr. Leon Flores III, Aksyong Kabayanihan para sa Organisadong Pagbabago (ANGKOP)

Mr. Peter Angelo V. Perfecto, Executive Director, Makati Business Club

Mr. Joseph Purugganan, Philippine Program Coordinator, Focus on the Global South

Mr. Rolando Ocampo, Prudentialife Warriors Pilipinas

Mr. Al Alegre, Foundation for Media Alternatives

Mr. Isagani R. Serrano, President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)

Mr. Jeff Crisostomo, FOI Youth Initiative

Mr. Elso Cabangon, Filipino Migrant Workers Group

Mr. Sixto Donato C. Macasaet, Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO)

Mr. Walter I. Balane, Chairperson, Piniyalan Reporting Governance Project/Bukidnon Network of Editors and Writers for Social Change, Inc

Mr. Samuel Cesar Gamboa, Secretary General, Freedom from Debt Coalition

Ms. Chinkie Peliño-Golle, Interface Development Interventions, Inc.

Ms. Yuen Abana, Partido Manggagawa

Ms. Annie Enriquez-Geron, President, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK)

Mr. Ryan D. Rosauro, Chairperson, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)

Mr. Paul RA Paraguya, Sector Representative, NAPC NGO Basic Sector

Mr. Roldan Gonzales, Executive Director, Gitib, Inc.

Ms. Aleta Tolentino, Executive Director, PPVR

Ms. Yolanda R. Esguerra, National Coordinator, Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI)

Ms. Luz Mabilliran, Executive Director, CO Multiversity

Ms. Jojo Leyson, Executive Director, CESCOD Foundation Inc.

Ms. Lina M. Tan, Executive Director, Liwawa Ed Asinan Foundation Inc.

(REFERENCE: ATTY. NEPOMUCENO MALALUAN, Co-Convenor, Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, Email: nepo_m@yahoo.com, Mobile: 0918 927 1501)