EIGHTEEN MONTHS after assuming the Presidency, President Benigno S. Aquino III has finally sent to Congress his administration’s version of the long-awaited freedom of information bill (FOI).
The President transmitted the Palace version of the FOI bill to partymates and coalition members in the House of Representatives Thursday evening, ending a year-and-a-half long wait that has strained relations between the President and civil society groups that have been pushing him to act on the FOI measure.
Members of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, however, are still to study the Palace version of the bill. For more than a year, Palace officials and civil society groups have been trying to hammer out an FOI bill that would be acceptable to both parties.
The President said the Palace version of the FOI bill “addresses stakeholders’ desires to have more transparency and more access to information in government.”
“We want every other administration voted into power to work under the same standard of transparency and accountability that we have set for ourselves,” the President said.