Right to know
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The most awaited piece of legislation that had been pending at the committee level in both the House of Representatives and the Senate is the Freedom of Information Bill.
During the 14th Congress, the Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the FOI bill but the House of Representatives failed to do so due to a lack of quorum on its last session day.
In the 15th Congress several versions of FOI bill were filed but up to now it is still pending at the committee level in both the House and the Senate.
President Benigno Aquino III said in a forum that having a FOI act sounds so good and noble but, at the same time, pointed out that, in this country, there is a tendency to get information but not really utilizing it for proper purposes.
As Senator TG Guingona III said, the passage of the FOI bill will respond to our society’s aspiration for greater transparency in governance, and ensure the exercise of accountability among those who govern and hold taxpayer-paid positions in government.
We believe the measure is enshrined in the Constitution as the right to allow the public to obtain records of government transactions, meetings, other businesses and especially during Impeachment trials.
We in the media, especially, want access to the truth. Our people have the right to know, so they can react or respond to official moves or proposals that involve them. Our so-called leaders and lawmakers should ensure us of this very basic freedom.*