Access to Information Network

The Access to Informaton Network is composed of civil society and media organizations and the academe, which have been pushing for the enactment of the Freedom of Information bill since the 14th Congress. Its members include Action for Economic Reforms, Asian Institute of Journalism and Communications, Ateneo Debate Society, Ateneo School of Government, Center for Community Journalism and Development, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, LIBERTAS, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Pagbabago@Pilipinas, Philippine Center for Investigative Jouranlism, and Transparency and Accountability Network.

Open Letter to the President on the Freedom of Information bill

His Excellency
BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines
Malacañan Palace
Manila

Subject: Request for meeting on the Freedom of Information Bill

Dear Mr. President:

We are members of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, a network of about 150 organizations and individuals from various social sectors and civil-society groups, which have long been campaigning for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

We count among our ranks public-interest groups; print, broadcast and online journalists; environmental-protection advocates; farmers and farmers’ support groups; women’s organizations; labor unions from the private and public sectors; migrant workers; businessmen; lawyers; academics; student and youth organizations, and concerned individuals.

Three times already since you were elected President nearly 12 months ago, we had written you letters of appeal so you may please support, endorse, and help assure the passage of the FOI Act. 

On May 26, 2010 or two weeks after elections when it was clear that the people had vested you with firm and broad mandate to serve as President, we wrote to request you to lend a decisive voice to convince the House of Representatives of the 14th Congress to act on the bicameral conference report on the FOI bill.

Read more...

Delays Compromise Prospects of FOI Passage

Based on various reports, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda has announced the creation of an inter-agency team tasked with “the drafting of the Freedom of Information Bill as far as the executive branch is concerned”.

We recognize Malacañang’s prerogative to closely examine the proposed Freedom of Information Act. Indeed, while the bill covers all branches and levels of government, the executive department will be most concerned in the implementation of an FOI law given that it is the biggest generator and custodian of information. We want a working FOI law, and critical to that is a clear buy-in from the executive. Towards this end, we have time and again expressed our readiness for dialogue to address whatever concerns remain on the FOI bill.

 

Read more...

Statement on the non- inclusion of the FOI bill in the President's priority

FOI Critical in Addressing Corruption

 President Aquino, Please Keep Your Promise to Make FOI Bill a Priority

Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition

10 February 2011

Amid an ongoing congressional investigation on deep-rooted corruption in the military, we appeal to President Aquino to reconsider inclusion of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill in his list of legislative priorities. This should send the strongest signal to the country and the world that he remains truly committed to his anti-corruption agenda.

We cannot overemphasize the role that an FOI law will play in transforming government culture. As Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile observed when he explained the Senate’s commitment to the measure in the last Congress: “I think that if we do this, our desire for a more straightforward and honest government will be accomplished, because then people will have to be very, very careful and circumspect in performing their work in government, in transacting their official business, and in spending the money of the people.”

 

Necessary Supplement to Constitutional Right

While the Constitution guarantees the people’s right to information in the Bill of Rights, experience shows that its effective implementation requires the institutionalization of the necessary substantive and procedural details that only legislation can provide. President Aquino himself knows this. Asked by media after his proclamation whether his administration will prioritize the FOI bill, he said: “Yes, iba pa rin yung ano eh, may force of law, so that would be I think the more complete route.” (view at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA5jZVlTKaM)

 

Read more...

Right To Know Right Now Open Letter and FOI Bill Updates

 

Right To Know Right Now Open Letter and FOI Bill Updates

The Right to Know, Right Now Coalition has been active in advocating for the immediate passage of the Freedom of Information bill.

Below are the pdf copy of the updates including the open letter for President Aquino which has signatories from various organisations that are member of the coalition.

Also included are the Comprehensive and Executive Summary of the Technical Working Group headed by Rep. Lorenzo "Erin" Tanada, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Reprentatives.

Click here to download a copy:

R2KRN-Letter_to_Pres_Aquino_-_ledac_-_2_Feb_2011.pdf

Rep_Erin_-_FOI_Memo_-_ExecSum-Jan_2011.pdf

Rep_Erin_-_FOI_Memo_-_Jan_2011.pdf

Page 4 of 7

TAN Causes ›› Access to Information Network