DRIFT and confusion. Some pockets of transparency but most everywhere, a predilection for opaqueness and more barriers to access in place. This is the access to information regime that lingers in the Philippines nearly a year after Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III came to power on a “Social Contract with the Filipino People,” which he said would be defined by transparency, accountability, and good governance.
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.
THEY ARE EQUATIONS that are simple enough for anyone to follow: Anyone who acquires more properties and assets – net of liabilities – should have earned much more to be able to cover these investments. Anyone who incurs huge loans should have been creditworthy to be trusted as capable of paying up. Anyone who sells any properties should have earned from the deal, and paid the taxes due on such sale.
UNLIKE the security guards he is supposed to represent, Rep. Juan Miguel ‘Mikey’ Arroyo of Ang Galing Pinoy is one of the wealthiest members of the 15th Congress. His fortune flourished during the same years of his mother’s presidency – from P5.72 million in 2001 to P101.35 million in 2009.