What's New

  • 25 July 2016

    President of the Philippines Issues FOIA Executive Order

    The new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has signed a freedom of information executive order. The six-page order signed July 23 outlines policies and procedures for accessing public information, accomplishing much of what the Congress has been unable to do by legislation. (See image of text here.) Read articles in The Rappler and The […]

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    • 19 May 2016

      Philippines Court Denies Access Sought by Industry

      The constitutional guarantee to information “does not open every door to any and all information but is rather confined to public concern,” according to a 13-page decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Sereno vs Committee on Trade and Related Matters (GR No. 175210). The court denied a petition for certiorari of the […]

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        News Archive

        • 12 May 2016

          Elected Philippines President Plans to Issue FOI Order

          The man just elected to be president of the Philippines says he will immediately issue an executive order of freedom of information, according to reports in The Standard and The Inquirer. The presumptive president, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, said at a May 10 press conference that if Congress refuses to pass a FOI bill, […]

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          • 24 March 2016

            OGP Has Failed as Platform for FOI in The Philippines

            By Nepomuceno Malaluan The author is a Trustee of Action for Economic Reforms (AER), an independent policy analysis and advocacy organization working on macroeconomic and governance issues. He is also Co-Director of the Institute for Freedom of Information, a partnership program of AER and the Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism, and Co-Convener of the Right […]

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            • 4 February 2016

              Philippines FOI Bill Dies; House, Aquino Blamed

              Its demise was predicted many months ago, but the last rites for the freedom of information bill in this session of the Philippines Congress have now been administered. Once again, President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman is denying culpability in the nonpassage of what had been called a priority bill, reported in The House adjourned Feb. […]

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              • 20 August 2015

                Philippines FOI Coalition Says Aquino, House Killing FOI Bill

                “The FOI Bill is dead,” according to its supporters in the Philippines. The pessimistic statement Aug. 20 from 19 organizations and individuals in the Right To Know, Right Now Coalition is based on their assessment that President Benigno Aquino and the House leadership have not demonstrated determination to pass the bill. Aquino and Congress “are not […]

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                • 29 July 2015

                  Worries About Aquino Still Worry FOI Bill Supporters

                  Philippines President Benigno Aquino for the sixth straight year failed to mention freedom of information legislation in his State of the Nation Address. He did note it in his budget speech the next day, but those following the bill remain concerned about its future. Although Aquino made passage a campaign promise, he has not provided […]

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                  • 23 July 2015

                    Philippines Lawmaker Says FOI Bill a Top Priority

                    Philippines Senate President Franklin Drilon said July 23 that lawmakers will prioritize six measures, including the freedom of information bill, according to news reports such as one in The Sun Star, but a House leader was pessimistic. Also in the priority list, Drilon said, are the 2016 national budget, modernization of the state weather bureau […]

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                    • 28 May 2015

                      Philippines House Cleared to Take Up on FOIA Legislation

                      A freedom of information bill may get debated in coming weeks in the Philippines House of Representatives. The legislation (House Bill No. 5801) recently was cleared on second reading by the Committee on Public Information, which first approved it late last year. Two committees that considered the bill have filed their reports. Congress is expected […]

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                      • 13 May 2015

                        Philippines Coalition Urges House to Work on FOI Bill

                        The Right to Know, Right Know! Coalition in the Philippines is urging the House of Representatives to “work with a little more speed and focus” on long-pending freedom of information bill. The FOI bill “is on the cusp of passage,” observed the Coalition in a May 12 statement tempered with caution. “But while the FOI […]

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                        • 5 March 2015

                          Budget Approved for FOI Legislation for Philippines

                          The Philippines House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations on March 4 approved the budgetary provisions of the Freedom of Information bill, according to articles in the Philippines Star, the Manila Standard and GMA. The FOI bill now goes back to the House Committee on Public Information panel, which passed the bill in November, before being […]

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                          • 2 December 2014

                            Starting and Sustaining a Youth Movement for FOI

                            By Jeff Crisostomo The author is the Founding Convener of the FOI Youth Initiative (FYI) in the Philippines. The FOI Youth Initiative (FYI) is a national network of more than two hundred Filipino youth and student organizations that call for transparency, accountability, and participation in government through the immediate passage of the People’s Freedom of Information Act. […]

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                            • 24 November 2014

                              Philippines Committee Passes FOI Bill 10-3 With Dispute

                              A Philippines House committee on Nov. 24 voted 10-3 to approve a freedom of information bill. The bill is “almost toothless,” charged some emerging critics, the seven-person Makabayan Coalition, whose members voted against the bill. But other lawmakers who have supported the bill and influential, long-time FOI campaigners called the committee bill “genuine and strong.” […]

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                              • 4 September 2014

                                FOI Bill for Philippines Emerges From Subgroup

                                The Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Philippines House has adopted a consolidated version of a freedom of information bill (text). The movement by the TWG Sept. 2 clears the way for passage by the Public Information Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Jorge Almonte, said its report on the “consensus FOI bill” should be ready for submission […]

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                                • 5 August 2014

                                  Philippines Panel Resumes Writing House FOI Legislation

                                  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 […]

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                                  • 29 July 2014

                                    President Aquino Again Makes No Mention of FOI Bill

                                    Philippines President Benigno Aquino did not mention the freedom of information bill in his annual State of the National address July 28, but the House Speaker affirmed his desire to pass a bill. The Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition had tried to raise the bill’s profile in advance of the speech, gathering 38,000 signatures […]

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                                    • 23 July 2014

                                      Will Aquino Deliver on Vow to Pass FOI?

                                      By Nepomuceno Malaluan  This article was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 22 and it reprinted with  permission  Malaluan is co-convenor of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, a network of more than 100 organizations from different sectors that is at the forefront of the campaign for the passage of an FOI Act. He […]

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                                      • 16 May 2014

                                        Philippines FOI Supporters Start Petition Campaign

                                        Signatures are being collected in support of freedom of information legislation in the Philippines. The drive was kicked off by the Right to Know Right Now! Network and other groups. The campaign may be accessed by logging on to or by clicking here. The Senate has passed a bill, but a House committee assigned it […]

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                                        • 11 April 2014

                                          Aquino Official Discloses Goal of Marrying FOI, Open Data

                                          The government of Philippine President Benigno Aquino is interested in amending the pending freedom of information bill to address the subject of open data. Little detail is available on the concept, which was exposed publicly April 8 by Edwin Lacierda, the government’s chief spokesman during a World Bank forum. “What we have decided is instead […]

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                                          • 21 March 2014

                                            Aquino Administration Backs FOI Bill, Improving Odds

                                            The Aquino administration has endorsed a freedom of information bill, possibly improving the changes for House action, according to a March 22 article in The Philippine Star and a similar one by the Philippine News Agency. House Bill 3237 filed by Rep. Maria Leonor Robredo and Deputy Speaker Henedina Abad has the blessing of administration, […]

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                                            • 17 March 2014

                                              Some Critics Decry Aquino Hands-Off Stance on FOIA

                                              The leading Senate sponsors of the freedom to information bill in the Senate has said public pressure will bring about passage of a bill, taking a more charitable view than others on President Benigno Aquino’s continuing decision not to “certify” the bill as urgent. Sen. Grace Poe’s confidence contrasts with the growing concern among commentators […]

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                                              • 10 March 2014

                                                Philippines Senate Passes FOI Bill Without Dissent

                                                The Philippines Senate on March passed a freedom of information bill on third and final reading. All senators present voted in favor of the measure, according to a report by the Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and one in The Inquirer. “While the Senate breezed through the FOI, the House version continues to meander […]

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                                                • 6 March 2014

                                                  Setting the stage for a Philippines FOI law

                                                  By Purple S. Romero and Jerryll Reyes The authors co-wrote a chapter on the “Politics of Freedom of Information Bill in the Philippines” in the book Room for Maneuver: Social Sector Policy Reform in the Philippines. The book, published by The Asia Foundation, will be launched on March 4. This article appeared originally March 1 […]

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                                                  • 4 March 2014

                                                    Philippines Senate Nears Passage of FOI Bill

                                                    The Philippines Senate March 3 approved on second reading a freedom of information bill, after making some amendments. The FOI bill (Senate Bill 1733) is expected to pass on third and final reading on March 10. Senate passage has occurred regularly in recent years, but passage in the House has been the hang-up. Once again, the […]

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                                                    • 21 February 2014

                                                      House Group Starts Working on Philippines FOI Bill

                                                      Slow progress has been made by a Philippines House Committee to write a freedom of information bill. The Technical Working Group appointed last year began substantive talks on the bill for the first time Feb. 18, several days after a self-imposed Feb. 14 deadline for completing the job. After getting through the first six sections, the […]

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                                                      • 6 February 2014

                                                        Philippines House Group Begins Work on FOI Bill

                                                        A technical working group of a Philippines House committee has scheduled a meeting for Feb. 12 to discuss merging 22 freedom of information bills. The Public Information Committee meeting Feb. 5 agreed to adopt the noncontroversial provisions in the final draft, according to an Inquirer report.  The article says: Meanwhile, the group would debate on the […]

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                                                        • 20 January 2014

                                                          Philippine House Panel Not Moving on FOI Legislation

                                                          Philippine House and Senate leaders continue to promise passage of freedom of information legislation, but a key House working group appointed in October to write a bill has yet to meet and the Aquino administration is continuing its hands off support. There’s a lack of desire and commitment from the House leadership and the Committee […]

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                                                          • 27 November 2013

                                                            Philippines House Panel Sets Deadline for Action

                                                            A committee of the House of Representatives in the Philippines Nov. 26 voted 10-5 to have a consolidated measure done by Feb. 14. The House committee on public information approved the motion by Representative Emmeline Aglipay mandating a previously  technical working group led by committee chairman Jorge Almonte to consolidate all 19 versions by February. The working […]

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                                                            • 25 October 2013

                                                              Philippines Panel Assigns FOI Bill to Working Group

                                                              The Philippines House Public Information Committee Oct. 23 formed a technical working group to consolidate the 19 different freedom of the information bills before it. Committee Chairman Jorge Almonte wants to rename the legislation “access to information,” a proposal that has generated some negative reaction, according to a report in The Inquirer and another in […]

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                                                              • 17 October 2013

                                                                Philippines Senate Delays Vote on FOI Legislation

                                                                The Philippines’ Senate has delayed a vote on a freedom of information bill, probably until 2014. The Senate plans to work first on the proposed 2014 national budget, according to media reports of statements by Senate President Franklin Drilon. Plenary debates on the bill started and some reports had suggested a vote would be held […]

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                                                                • 5 September 2013

                                                                  Senate Panel Sets Course to Process FOI Legislation

                                                                  A Senate committee plans to speed up public hearings on the freedom of information with the goal of passage before Congress goes on break starting Sept. 25, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Sept. 2, according to media reports. The committee on public information and mass media has begun hearings on the FOI bill. Senate passage […]

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                                                                  • 5 August 2013

                                                                    Stage Set for Consideration of Philippines FOI Bill

                                                                    A few new actors have been given lead roles in the long-running saga in the Philippines over whether a freedom of information bill can pass Congress. Rep. Jorge Almonte will chair the committee on public information, which last year delayed action on the bill under the chairmanship of Rep. Ben Evardone. FOI supporters had pushed […]

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                                                                    • 22 July 2013

                                                                      Aquino Doesn’t Mention FOI Legislation in Major Speech

                                                                      Despite a stress on fighting corruption, Philippines President Benigno Aquino did not mention pending freedom of information legislation in his annual State of the National address (Sona) July 22 Aquino talked for one hour and 44 minutes, with 88 applause breaks, and managing to mention 65 specific topics, according to one media count. Freedom of […]

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                                                                      • 1 July 2013

                                                                        Philippine Groups File Petition to Promote Passage of FOI

                                                                        Utilizing an “indirect initiative provision,” 18 groups in the Philippines on July 1 filed a freedom of information bill with the House of Representatives. The “People’s Freedom of Information Act of 2013,” supported by 18 groups, was submitted on the first day of the 16th Congress. “We are invoking this right to send a strong […]

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                                                                        • 24 June 2013

                                                                          FOI Backers in Philippines Launch Petition Campaign

                                                                          Trying a new tactic, supporters of freedom of information legislation in the Philippines are planning to file a petition with Congress proposing enactment of a FOI law. There have been no shortage of proposed laws in recent years, but their backers have been frustrated bitterly in the last two session of Congress. They have faced […]

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                                                                          • 20 May 2013

                                                                            Future of FOI Bill in Philippines Remains Up to Aquino

                                                                            By Benjamin Diokno Diokno served as Secretary of Budget and Management from 1998 to 2001. He teaches Public Economics at the UP School of Economics. This article first appeared in the Malay Business Insight. Is President Aquino afraid of the Freedom of information (FOI) Act? During the 2010 presidential campaign, he said he fully supported […]

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                                                                            • 5 April 2013

                                                                              First OGP Self-Assessments Posted; Deadline Extended

                                                                              The first country self-assessment reports on progress toward fulfilling their Open Government Partnership commitments are surfacing, with more expected in the coming weeks. Posted on the OGP website now are reports from two countries:  the Philippines and the United States. The United Kingdom has released its draft report, but posting of a final report will […]

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                                                                              • 23 February 2013

                                                                                OGP Leaders Decide Against Reacting to National Issues

                                                                                The Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership will only comment on national controversies in several defined “exceptional circumstances,” according to a Feb. 21 statement. The two-page statement comes in the wake of a request that the Steering Committee “signal” disappointment that the Philippines, a Steering Committee member, failed to pass freedom of information legislation. […]

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                                                                                • 18 February 2013

                                                                                  Philippines Official Replies to Criticisms on FOI Legislation

                                                                                  A Philippines official has replied to allegations that the Aquino administration failed to live up to its commitments by not making sure a freedom of information bill passed, saying that other priorities took precedence. The government has taken other steps to increase transparency, according to the Feb. 13 letter which was sent to the members […]

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                                                                                  • 13 February 2013

                                                                                    OGP Subcommittee Expected to Discuss Philippines, FOI

                                                                                    A subcommittee of the Open Government Partnership is expected this week to discuss whether the OGP should signal its disappointment with the Philippines government for failing to pass freedom of information legislation. The request from FOI advocates poses a challenge to OGP officials, who have said that criticizing governments is not an OGP function. The […]

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                                                                                    • 6 February 2013

                                                                                      Aquino Blamed for Failure to Pass Philippines FOI Bill

                                                                                      Philippines President Benigno Aquino was disingenuous in his promise of support for freedom of information legislation, according to strongly worded statement from the broadly based Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition. “Mag-Ingat sa Hindi Tunay” (Beware of Fakes), is the headline on the statement with 160 signatures that was issued Feb. 6 as Congress ended […]

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                                                                                      • 31 January 2013

                                                                                        Lack of Aquino Support Seen Dooming Philippines FOI Bill

                                                                                        Time appears to be running out for freedom of information legislation in the Philippines in the absence of support from President Benigno Aquino and with only three days left in this session of Congress. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Jan. 31 said, “Our position is let’s have a debate, a healthy debate on this issue […]

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                                                                                        • 28 January 2013

                                                                                          Philippines House Begins Debate on FOI Legislation

                                                                                          The Philippines House Jan. 28 took up the long-delayed freedom of information bill, but with only five days left in the congressional session and still without presidential help. Promisingly, considering that quorum problems are common during the final days of a session, a roll call  was answered by 186 members. The FOI bill (House Bill 6766) had not […]

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                                                                                          • 25 January 2013

                                                                                            Proponents of FOI Bill Hope to Speak With President

                                                                                            Support from President Benigno Aquino appears to be the only hope for passage of a freedom of information in the Philippines, so supporters of the bill hope to meet with him during the week of Jan. 28. With the House set to adjourn Feb. 8, leaving just six more session days, the bill’s chances have […]

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                                                                                            • 23 January 2013

                                                                                              House Sponsors of FOI Bill Appeal for Aquino Support

                                                                                              Leading sponsors of the freedom of information bill now languishing before the Philippines House have appealed to President Benigno Aquino to throw a lifeline to the bill. Another day passed without House action Jan. 23, leaving just six session days to go before the House adjourns the current session on Feb. 8. “Akbayan Representative Walden Bello […]

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                                                                                              • 22 January 2013

                                                                                                Philippines FOI Bill Faces Delays as Session Wanes

                                                                                                A procedural move on an unrelated matter has delayed action by the Philippines House on a freedom of information bill with only seven session days to go. The unexpected delay with little time to spare was one of several plot twists in recent days for the imperiled bill which continues to get barely token support […]

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                                                                                                • 31 December 2012

                                                                                                  Philippines FOI Bill Called Priority, But Time Short

                                                                                                  Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr., has said that the freedom of information bill will be one of the priority bills when the Philippines House of Representatives  on Jan. 21 convenes for what will only be an nine-day session. But Belmonte told reporters that mustering a quorum will be a challenge, according to news reports including […]

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                                                                                                  • 21 December 2012

                                                                                                    Philippines FOI Bill Absent in Final Days of House Session

                                                                                                    The freedom of information bill was not presented on the floor of the Philippines House during the closing days of the 2012 session, leaving another step to be taken in nine days available for possible action early next year. Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada in a text message to reporters, said that the bill is “back […]

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                                                                                                    • 17 December 2012

                                                                                                      Philippine House to Delay Work FOI Bill Until 2013

                                                                                                      By Toby McIntosh The Philippines House won’t take up a freedom of information bill until next year, when there will be only a two-week window for a vote. Senate action is completed now, but the bill’s biggest hurdle historically has been in the House. The House plans to returns Jan. 21, 2013, but the session will […]

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                                                                                                      • 11 December 2012

                                                                                                        Philippines House, Senate Move FOI Legislation Slightly

                                                                                                        Both the Philippines House and the Senate have taken additional steps toward passing a freedom of information bill, but one of the biggest hurdles, passage by the full House, remains ahead, with the timing uncertain. On Dec. 11, the same House committee that approved the bill Nov. 27, was forced by its chairman to hold […]

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                                                                                                        • 3 December 2012

                                                                                                          Evardone Sets Another Hurdle for Philippines FOI Legislation

                                                                                                          In a move called “unneccesary” and ”disturbing” by fellow legislators, Rep. Ben Evardone has said a procedural requirement means his Committee on Public Information must meet again on the freedom of information bill. He set Dec. 11 as the day for members to sign the committee report on the bill approved Nov. (See previous […]

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                                                                                                          • 30 November 2012

                                                                                                            Philippines House Nearing Debate on FOI Legislation

                                                                                                            With the Philippines House poised to debate a freedom of information bill soon, its supporters are expected to propose an alternative to the controversial right-to-reply provision. A long debate is expected in the 285-member House of Representatives, according to Senior Deputy Majority Leader Janette Garin, quoted in Sunstar. Still to come is a from House […]

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                                                                                                            • 27 November 2012

                                                                                                              Philippines House Committee Approves FOI Legislation

                                                                                                              A Philippines House committee Nov. 27 voted 17-3, with one abstention, to approve a long-stalled freedom of information bill. Final passage, however, remains uncertain because of time pressures. Approval by the full House this year would require action during the 11 session days left before Congress goes on a Christmas break, and only limited time […]

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                                                                                                              • 16 November 2012

                                                                                                                Evardone Pledges to Meet Again on Philippines FOI Bill

                                                                                                                The Philippines’ House committee chairman who has delayed action on freedom of information legislation is promising it will be the only topic for a Nov. 27 meeting. Rep. Ben Evardone Nov. 16 said the FOI bill “will be our only agenda” when the committee meets, according to a text message reported on by the Inquirer. […]

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                                                                                                                • 13 November 2012

                                                                                                                  Delay May Doom FOI Bill in Philippines House, Again

                                                                                                                  A committee of the Philippines House Nov. 13 failed to pass the much-delayed freedom of information bill prompting supporters to declare the bill not only dead, but “murdered.” Committee Chairman Ben Evardone forced the adjournment of the inconclusive meeting with a procedural move, thwarting Representatives supporting the bill, who had demanded a final vote, according […]

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                                                                                                                  • 9 November 2012

                                                                                                                    House Meeting May Decide Fate of FOI Bill in Philippines

                                                                                                                    Tuesday, Nov. 13, is looming as a potentially big day for freedom of information legislation in the Philippines. A House committee, after much delay, is scheduled consider the bill on that day. A leading supporter on the House said he is “optimistic” it will pass “as long as the chairman has the courage to support […]

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                                                                                                                    • 12 October 2012

                                                                                                                      Philippines House Delays Timing for FOI Legislation

                                                                                                                      The schedule for considering freedom of information in the Philippines House of Representatives has slipped again, prompted new fears that it will not be passed this year. Nov. 13 has been set as the date for a House committee meeting, after earlier promises of action in mid-October disappeared. FOI proponent Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada […]

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                                                                                                                      • 7 September 2012

                                                                                                                        Demons Seen in Philippines; Fears of Conspiracy Voiced

                                                                                                                        To my fellow Representatives: Let us not create demons in our own minds as we have full control of the final language of the law. That’s a Sept. 4 tweet from the Philippines’ House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, a frustrated proponent of the still-stalled freedom of information bill. Meanwhile, the House Majority Leader […]

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                                                                                                                        • 22 August 2012

                                                                                                                          Philippines Coalition Presses for House Action on FOI

                                                                                                                          The Right to Know Right Now Coalition in the Philippines has asked House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to intervene and get the freedom of information bill out of committee. The letter from the  network of 150 media and civil society organizations pushing the passage of the FOIasks Belmonte to take steps to “ensure full deliberation and […]

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                                                                                                                          • 15 August 2012

                                                                                                                            Push, Pass the FOI Act Now!

                                                                                                                              By the Right to Know, Right Now Coalition The following editorial ran in many paper in the Philippines July 15. 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 […]

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                                                                                                                            • 6 August 2012

                                                                                                                              Rep. Evardone Targeted for Blocking Philippine FOI Bill

                                                                                                                              Advocates for passage of a freedom of information law in the Philippines have begun an advertising blitz targeting a key House committee chairman, Rep. Ben Evardone, who is widely viewed as the major impediment to passing the bill. A cartoon shows a tensely smiling Evardone dribbling a basketball labeled “Freedom of Information.” A caption says: […]

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                                                                                                                              • 3 August 2012

                                                                                                                                Timing for Passage of Philippines FOI Bill Slipping

                                                                                                                                Philippines Deputy House Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III said Aug. 3 that he is optimistic that the controversial Freedom of Information bill will passed by December, but the bill still is bottled up in a House committee. The bill remains in the House committee on public information chaired by Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone, who […]

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                                                                                                                                • 3 August 2012

                                                                                                                                  Who Opposes the FOI Bill in the Philippines?

                                                                                                                                   By Nepo Malaluan Malaluan is a Trustee at the Action for Economic Reforms and Co-Director of the Institute for Freedom of Information. He is also Co-Convenor of the Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition, a network of more than 150 organizations from various sectors that have long been campaigning for the passage of the Freedom […]

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                                                                                                                                  • 23 July 2012

                                                                                                                                    Aquino Doesn’t Mention FOI in State of the Nation Speech

                                                                                                                                    Philippines President Benigno Aquino did not mention the Freedom of Information bill in his annual State of the Nation address July 23, disheartening FOI supporters. The pro-FOI  coalition had urged him to draw attention to the legislation, which has passed the Senate but seems to be stalled in a House committee. “The committee’s chairperson, Rep. […]

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                                                                                                                                    • 8 June 2012

                                                                                                                                      Philippines House Chairman Forsees Action in July

                                                                                                                                      The chairman of the committee in the Philippines House that will handle the freedom of information bill said June 5 that he will be trying to come up with an “acceptable formula.” Rep. Ben Evardone, public information committee chairman, was quoted in an article by Jess Diaz in The Philippine Star and by GMA. “I’m […]

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                                                                                                                                      • 3 June 2012

                                                                                                                                        Strong Senate Supports Bolsters Hope in Philippines

                                                                                                                                        Despite near unanimous support for a freedom of information bill in the Philippines Senate, the bill’s prospects remain uncertain in the House. Twenty-two out of 23 senators have endorsed the committee report on a FOI bill by Sen. Gregorio B. Honasan II, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Information. Honasan was expected to formally […]

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                                                                                                                                        • 17 February 2012

                                                                                                                                          Philippines Coalition Endorses Aquino FOI Legislation

                                                                                                                                          A leader in the Philippines House of Representatives has indicated he plans to schedule hearings on freedom of information in late February en route to summertime enactment. The comment by Deputy House Speaker and Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada came at a Feb. 15 press  event at which the bill’s supporters released a lengthy statement […]

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                                                                                                                                          • 6 February 2012

                                                                                                                                            Aquino FOI Bill Sparks Debate, Amendment Ideas

                                                                                                                                            Now that Philippine President Benigno Aquino has submitted  his freedom of information bill, proposals to expand it have surfaced and critics are calling it too timid. FOI advocates had known the bill would fall below their expectations, but decided to compromise in order to fulfill a decade-old goal of passing a FOI law. Proponents in the Congress continue […]

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                                                                                                                                            • 3 February 2012

                                                                                                                                              President Aquino Submits Text of FOI Legislation

                                                                                                                                              Philippines President Benigno Aquino Feb. 2 sent to Congress his administration’s long awaited version of the freedom of information bill. “Earlier today, we formally submitted to our coalition partners in the House of Representatives a substitute Freedom of Information Bill, which we believe addresses stakeholders’ desires to have more transparency  and more access to information […]

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                                                                                                                                              • 20 January 2012

                                                                                                                                                World Bank Document Raises Controversy in Philippines

                                                                                                                                                The disclosure of a World Bank document indicating possible misuse of Bank funds in the Philippines has raised a controversy and raised questions about the handling of such Bank documents. The Bank’s aide memoire details “ineligible expenditures” to support a judicial reform project. New reports indicate that the Bank’s aide memoire was provided to Philippine […]

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                                                                                                                                                • 13 January 2012

                                                                                                                                                  June Passage of FOI Bill in Philippines Predicted

                                                                                                                                                  The version of freedom of information legislation supported by Philippines President Benigno Aquino is being called the People’s Ownership of Government Information bill, or POGI, which is Filipino slang for handsome, and supporters continue to be hopeful it will pass, although some have expressed concern that it is not officially on the list of bills […]

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                                                                                                                                                  • 6 January 2012

                                                                                                                                                    Aquino Urges Passage of Modified FOI Bill

                                                                                                                                                    President Benigno Aquino has approved his version of freedom of information legislation, altering it to drop a proposal for an information commission. The president’s recommendation for congressional approval was heralded as yet another sign of potential progress toward enactment.  The elimination of a commission clause did not distress supporters because they expect that the alternative of […]

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                                                                                                                                                    • 8 December 2011

                                                                                                                                                      Breakthrough Brightens Hopes for FOI in Philippines

                                                                                                                                                      The Aquino administration has produced a long-awaited proposal for a freedom of information bill in the Philippines which has been praised by pro-FOI advocates and appears likely to pass. The issuance of a draft law came after months during which President Benigno Aquino, who had appointed a study group of top officials in November 2010 […]

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                                                                                                                                                      • 7 November 2011

                                                                                                                                                        Aquino Equivocation Frustrates FOI Bill Supporters

                                                                                                                                                        Philippines President Benigno Aquino Nov. 4 continued to voice doubts for months about freedom of information legislation, saying in a YouTube interview that “the devil is in the details.” He continued, “When does it help the interests of the people and when can it inflict harm?” Still, he said his administration is consulting in an […]

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                                                                                                                                                        • 20 September 2011

                                                                                                                                                          Philippines OGP Commitment on FOI Legislation General

                                                                                                                                                          The Open Government Partnership commitment by the Philippines government on pending freedom of legislation is general and President Benigno Aquino, who addressed an OGP event in New York Sept. 20, but did not mention the pending bill. The Phlippines national action plan statement on the OGP website, posted Sept. 20, states in part: Promote Access to Government Information. […]

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                                                                                                                                                          • 14 September 2011

                                                                                                                                                            Eight More Countries Join OGP; Aguino Plan Criticized

                                                                                                                                                            Eight more countries have indicated their intention to join the Open Government Partnership – Azerbaijan, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Jordan, Montenegro, Tanzania and Turkey. OGP membership now stands at 36. The OGP website lists 28 countries that have agreed to participate in addition to the eight founding members. The list is: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, […]

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                                                                                                                                                            • 2 September 2011

                                                                                                                                                              17 Countries Pledge to Join Open Government Partnership

                                                                                                                                                              Nine countries plus the initial core group of eight have pledged to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a U.S. official told  Sept. 2, bringing total membership to 17. The nine countries that have sent in “letters of intent” are Kenya, Guatemala, Honduras, Albania, Macedonia, Malta, Georgia, Moldova and Slovakia. More letters are expected, […]

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                                                                                                                                                              • 25 August 2011

                                                                                                                                                                OGP Members Begin Work on National Action Plans

                                                                                                                                                                Efforts by the eight conveners of the Open Government Partnership to draft their national “action plans” are slowly emerging, according to a survey. However, in most countries the development of a plan does not appear to involve the wide public consultation called for in the “road map” for OGP aspirants to follow. In the […]

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                                                                                                                                                                • 17 August 2011

                                                                                                                                                                  Aguino Still Withholding Support for FOI Legislation

                                                                                                                                                                  Philippines President Benigno Aquino has “specific questions and concerns” about freedom of information legislation, according to a spokesman in comments after the Aquino administration bypassed another opportunity to make the bill a priority. The inaction brought a round of condemnations from the bill’s frustrated supporters. The legislation was not placed on a list of priority […]

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                                                                                                                                                                  • 25 July 2011

                                                                                                                                                                    President Aquino Does Not Mention FOI in State of Union

                                                                                                                                                                    Philippine President Benigno Aquino did not mention freedom of information in his July 25 State of the Union address, but several days later said his proosal was almost ready. In a speech July 28, however, Aquino said he had ordered the drafting of a “balanced” freedom of information bill and suggested it would be ready […]

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                                                                                                                                                                    • 22 July 2011

                                                                                                                                                                      Aquino Position on FOI Remains in Doubt

                                                                                                                                                                      Philippine President Benigno Aquino still has not indicated whether he will support a freedom of information bill developed by a working group of his ministers, according to sources consulted by and media reports. Aquino “will likely not mention the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill in his second State of the Nation Address on July […]

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