Freedom of Information to take effect November 25

November 10, 2016, according to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in his statement released that the Executive Order No.2 takes effect 120 days.

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Last July 23, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte signs the said order which is Freedom of Information.

“This is a response to the call for transparency and full public disclosure of information,” Andanar said.

“Together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Privacy Commission (NPC), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Archives of the Philippines (NAP), and the World Bank, the PCOO has guided the different agencies in knowing more how FOI works in other countries, as well as assist them to formulate agency implementing rules,” he said.
“We have conducted workshops for the agencies of the Executive branch, aiming to ensure that all agencies will be able to institute their own internal procedures on handling the FOI requests,” Andanar said.

The following are the rules governing FOI:

  • Requesting parties may ask information on official records, public records, and documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.
  • An FOI request can be made before all government offices under the Executive Branch, including government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), and state universities and colleges (SUCs).
  • FOI requests must be sent to the specific agency of interest, to be received by its respective Receiving Officer.
  • There are no fees to make a request but the agency may charge a reasonable fee for necessary costs, including costs of printing, reproduction, and/or photocopying.

“This is a new task for our fellow government workers. As we continue to learn the ropes, we will be able to craft mechanisms that may further improve efficiency, because this resolve to promote transparency is a big leap for the country’s progress,” Andanar said.

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