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A CLEAR, working system – with specific procedures and dedicated staff personnel – triggers quick, correct, and complete action by some government agencies on access to information requests. But the absence of such a system in most other agencies, as well as the lack of fully defined rules and procedures that all agencies must observe in responding to requests, remain barriers to access.

TIME and getting thrown into the other side of the fence can change one’s perspectives somewhat. Less than a year ago, Manuel L. Quezon III was a columnist and television analyst. Although he had worked earlier as a consultant for the presidential museum, there was no doubt where his heart lay when it came to the Freedom of Information Act.

WHEN THE 15th Congress opened last June, there seemed to be renewed energy toward passing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which had floundered in the legislature’s previous incarnation, just when transparency advocates had thought it was about to be ratified.

Rodrigo R. Duterte is a most secretive President when it comes to the details of his wealth. To this day, eight months after the April 30 deadline for filing, he has not released a copy of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) for 2018.   By all indications, Duterte sticks out as the lie of his own Freedom of Information (FOI) edict.

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