There would be no delays in the hearings on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, advocates said over the weekend.
Reps. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao, Walden Bello of Akbayan and Sherwin Tugna of Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list said that Misamis Oriental Rep. Jorge Almonte, head of the House Committee of Public Information, vowed to conduct two hearings per month on the FOI measure.
The bill will ensure the right of the people to information on matters of public concern such as the state’s full disclosure of all its transactions and the wealth statements of public officials.
“The first hearing is on October 22. That was his commitment to us. He also committed that he would call for regular committee hearings, unlike in the last Congress when the gap between hearings took six months,” Baguilat.
“The commitment of Congressman Almonte to hold bimonthly meetings with the Committee on Public Information is a big advancement,” Bello said.
The FOI bill was consolidated at the 15th Congress in February 2011, but was only approved by the House panel in November 2012.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who had vowed to push for the FOI bill’s passage, has already included the bill in his priority legislation list for the16th Congress.
Llanesca T. Panti