Carpe diem! Seize the day!
A little over three months ago, Speaker Belmonte uttered these words to summon his colleagues in the House of Representatives to work harder and faster on bills pending in the chamber, not least of them the FOI (Freedom of Information) bill. This clarion call may well be addressed not only to the House, but to the Senate, the Executive, and the public as well.
Starting Nov. 5, the FOI bill enters a most critical stage. There would only be 35 working days left before Congress again adjourns on December 21. Session will resume for only 15 working days next year from January 21 to February 8, after which legislative work virtually grinds to a halt to give way to the campaign for the May 13, 2013 elections.
While time is running out, the FOI bill can still take a different path than it did under the 14th Congress of Speaker Prospero Nograles and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, if only the House of Representatives, the Senate, and President Benigno S. Aquino III will take decisive action now.
In 1986 at EDSA, the first people power revolt ended 21 years of a government so dark and so opaque, and ushered in one of light and transparency. The strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos was vanquished and democracy icon Corazon C. Aquino came to power.
On 13 March 2012, 1:30 pm, the House Committee on Public Information will hold a hearing on the Freedom of Information bill. It will be held at Conference Rooms 1&2 of the Ramon V. Mitra Building, Batasan, Quezon City.
For your reference, you may download the Malacanang-amended version of the bill from this site.
Just go to the "Downloads" tab and search for the document, "Freedom of Information bill- Malacanang-amended version."
For more information, you may get in touch with Reylynne F. Dela Paz at 09228266775.
Page 2 of 7