LET’S HEAR IT from businessmen.
The executive director of the Makati Business Club (MBC), Peter Angelo V. Perfecto, on Friday reiterated his organization’s full support for the immediate passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill in the 15th Congress.
Perfecto, speaking as an MBC executive, said “the MBC reiterates its support for the passage of the FOI bill, which institutionalizes the Constitutional guarantee on every citizen’s right to information and the state policy of full public disclosure of all government transactions involving public interest.”
“We believe that this is an intrinsic element of the type of good governance and daang matuwid, upon which the Aquino administration has anchored its (social) contract with the Filipino people.”
“While we recognize and laud the disclosure mechanisms already being implemented by certain agencies, such as the Department of Budget and Management in the disbursement of public funds, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government with the recent launch of its Full Disclosure Policy Portal,” Perfecto said the MBC sees the importance of the passage of the FOI bill to assure that these reforms are implemented across all public agencies.
“We need the FOI bill,” Perfecto said, “to drive transparency and accountability in governance across all government agencies.”
Additionally, the Philippines needs an FOI bill, he said, “to make sure these mechanisms take toot in the bureaucracy well beyond the current administration.”
Perfecto said his organization welcomes the approval by the Senate of the FOI bill (titled People’s Ownership of Government Information or POGI bill) on third and final reading in December 2012, as well as the approval by the House Committee on Public Information of the lower chamber’s version of the bill. The progress of the bill in the House, albeit on committee level, effectively opens the measure “for plenary debates… bringing the bill closer to its passage.”
Perfecto attended the press conference last Friday of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, to represent the MBC.
A private non-stock, non-profit business association organized as a Forum for Constructive Ideas, the MBC was founded in 1981 “to foster and promote the role of the business sector in national development efforts, both in the planning and the implementation of policies.”
The MBC said it is “committed to addressing national economic and social issues that affect the development of the Philippines.
Composed of senior business executives “representing the largest and most dynamic corporations in the Philippines,” the MBC has become “the leading private forum for meetings that bring together business, government, and community leaders in the country.”
Its official website states that the MBC carries out its objectives “through four main lines of activity: policy advocacy, information services and publishing, investment promotion, and corporate citizenship.”
The MBC Board of Trustees for 2012-2013 is led by Ramon R. del Rosario Jr., president and CEO of Philippine Investment Management, Inc., as chairman; Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, ?chairman and CEO of Ayala Corporation, and Roberto F. de Ocampo, chairman of the Board of Advisors of the RFO Center for Public Finance and Regional Economic Cooperation, as co-vice chairmen; and Aurelio R. Montinola III?, president and CEO of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, as treasurer.