“After 29 years and only 25 days of President Rodrigo Duterte, this is already a record breaking speed of a cornerstone or milestone or landmark executive order being signed” – Sec. Andanar
As promised, the newly elected president Rodrigo Duterte has signed the first executive order (EO) on the Freedom of Information (FOI) earlier this Sunday, a day before the president delivers his first State of the Nation Address.
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar at a press conference in Davao City explained that the EO was reviewed and signed just last night after a joint discussion with the Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo, Undersecretary Jesus Quitain and Executive Secretary Salvador Madialdea.
Andanar added that, “on the first day of President Rody Duterte on June 30, we already pushed for the executive order on the Freedom of Information.” He also mentioned that there were essential modifications on this executive order to achieve a more transparent executive branch of the government”. With this said, he emphasized that the EO will only cover the Executive Branch.
In detail, all government offices under in the executive branch are encouraged to follow the order so that every Filipino can enjoy the freedom of access to information, particularly to official records and other public documents.
Andanar reiterated that the EO is directed at all government offices under the Executive Branch, and as stated in the EO, this coverage is “including but not limited to the national government and all its offices, departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentatlities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges. Local government units are encouraged to observe and be guided by this Order”.
The first proposed FOI can be remembered as a resolution submitted by the late Sen. Raul Roco to the Congress, 29 years ago. Also known as the House Bill 498 or the Right to Information bill, it was passed in 1987 by the country’s House of Representative Committee on Public Information.