HALF OF CONGRESS has already done its part for the Freedom of Information bill, with the Senate passing Senate Bill 1733 or the People’s FOI Act on March 10 this year.
The other half, however, is still waffling around in the House of Representatives, while congressmen decide if they want to empower citizens and media with the right to demand information from government – including from them.
On Wednesday, the Right to Know Right Now! Network and affiliated groups launched an online signature campaign to press President Benigno S. Aquino III and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to ensure the passage of the FOI bill in the 16th Congress. The link to the online sign-up page is here.
Still, FOI advocates acknowledge the importance of having people informed of the contents of the FOI bills, both the version passed by the Senate and the one being considered by the House.
For this purpose, we are uploading and making available both versions of the bill.
Click here to download Senate Bill 1733 or the People’s FOI Act passed on third reading by the Senate last March 10.
In the House of Representatives, however, the technical working group of the House committee on public information and mass media is still trying to consolidate some 24 versions of the FOI bill for deliberation by the committee. We are making available the so-called reference bill, or the bill being used by the TWG and the committee leadership as a reference or guide for all the other versions pending before the committee. The reference bill is the draft bill that was approved by the same committee in the 15th Congress that failed to get through the plenary.