Philippines Panel Resumes Writing House FOI Legislation

5 August 2014

A Technical Working Group of the Philippines House has resumed working on freedom of information legislation with its chairman providing an upbeat assessment.

Rep. Jorge Almonte, who chairs the Public Information Committee, said the “future of the FOI is not bleak.”

“The passage of the monumental legislation is just around the corner,” Almonte said as he opened the committee’s first Technical Working Group meeting for the second regular session. The Aug. 3 working group meeting was its eighth of 2014.

The working group has been focused on the exemptions section (Section 7 of 25 sections)  for several meetings. Another meeting is planned for next week, according to media reports.

One of the few articles on the substance of the discussions indicates that the working group on a 5-3 vote rejected an amendment that would have narrowed the exemption to cover disclosure of information that would compromise or interfere with any legitimate military operations, making it pertain only to “ongoing military operations” and not any military operations, The Inquirer said.

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