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.

Coalition Welcomes People’s Gains in FOI

Statement of THE RIGHT TO KNOW, RIGHT NOW! COALITION
15 February 2012


The Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition welcomes the recent public endorsement by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III of the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the release of the executive’s final proposed bill. 

The President’s endorsement achieves two things: it removes the main reason why the bill has been stalled in the legislative wringer, particularly at the House of Representatives, and 2. it resolves the “concerns” about the bill that the President has expressed, thereby reducing the danger of a Presidential veto.

Yet most important of all, the endorsement reaffirms the Aquino administration’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance, and clears the way for the long-overdue passage of the FOI law as part of the larger struggle to advance our human right to information.

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Double-talk on FOI

Gov’t long on promises, short on political will

Statement of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition
On President Aquino’s Open Governance Partnership (OGP)
Forum and Events in New York, USA
Manila, 16 September 2011

ON 20 SEPTEMBER 2011 in New York, President Benigno S. Aquino III will deliver the keynote address at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) forum dubbed “The Power of Open: A Global Discussion”. The conference brings together governments and representatives of civil society, industry, academe, and media. The panels will discuss the role of openness in improving government responsiveness and accountability, fighting corruption, and creating efficiencies, innovation and growth.

Later in the day, President Aquino will join high-level representatives of seven other countries (US, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, and UK) that along with the Philippines comprise the government members of the OGP steering committee. They will officially launch the OGP by signing a declaration of principles, and by submitting their respective country action plans for greater openness. They will also welcome a new group of 29 countries, as of the latest update, into the OGP fold.

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As PNoy defaults on FOI, Congress must now take the lead

Kung talagang gusto, hahanap ng paraan.
Kung talagang ayaw, hahanap ng dahilan.


 This is exactly where President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III stands on the proposed Freedom of Information bill, which seeks only to enforce a constitutionally guaranteed right of the people to know and secure documents in the custody of government agencies.

The President says he supports the bill in principle, but that he has “specific questions and concerns” that he wants to be settled, before he endorses it as his priority legislation. His concerns, the President says, include his fears that FOI could unlock documents that might expose people to kidnappers, cause government losses in right-of-way cases because of property price speculations, and many other unwanted results.

Yet over the last 14 months in office, he has failed to answer and settle these concerns, and for as long a period, the FOI bill has languished in limbo.

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BANTAY FOI! SULONG FOI!

We are organizations and individuals from various sectors of Philippine society who are advocates of freedom of information, a right guaranteed by our Constitution.

​Today we launch Bantay FOI! Sulong FOI!, the new phase of our campaign to coincide with the start of the second regular session of the 15th Congress. We also launch the Bantay FOI! Sulong FOI! online network and database, which will serve as our campaign news and outreach platform.

​Three key activities define Bantay FOI! Sulong FOI!:

  • First, it demonstrates our relentless push for the passage of the long-awaited Freedom of Information (FOI) law in the Philippines.
  • Second, it involves close monitoring by the citizens and civil society groups of how President Aquino and the leaders of Congress will respond to the people’s clamor for an FOI law.
  • Third, it underpins the multiple, parallel actions and initiatives that we continue to launch to exact greater transparency and responsive public service from all government agencies.

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