Hearings on FOI Bill in Philippines Expected

9 September 2010

Legislative hearings may begin soon on a freedom of information law for the Philippines after efforts to pass it were thwarted in June.

According to a report by Christian V. Esguerra in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, “The ill-fated Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill may have found a new lease on life amid criticism of the manner broadcast media covered the August 23 hostage crisis that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.”

The Senate committee on public information and mass media plans to hold a hearing on media behavior with television executives on Sept. 14, but will follow it up with hearings on the FOI bill, Esguerra reported.

“This is preparatory to a series of hearings for a more important measure, which is the Freedom of Information Bill,” committee chairman Gregorio Honasan said in the weekly “Kapihan sa Senado” media forum.

FOI bills have been refiled. Some supporters were disappointed that the new president did not declare the topic a high priority.

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