Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Advocates hope for passing of FOI bill in 15th Congress

Advocates of the passing of the Freedom of Information bill urged House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Majority Leader Rep. Neptali Gonzales II to allow the sponsorship and start plenary debates before the 15th Congress ends on Feb. 8.

"If the House leadership is serious about giving the FOI bill a chance to pass through Third Reading within the remaining nine session days, Speaker Belmonte and Majority Leader Gonzales must ensure that the sponsorship of the committee report on FOI is in the Order of Business for Jan. 21," the Right to Know, Right Now! said in a statement.

The Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication is a member of the Right to Know, Right Now! coalition. 

The broad coalition said each day the passing of the FOI is delayed would "serve as additional evidence that the less-than-spirited action" towards the FOI bill may have been "deliberately calculated to prevent the timely consideration and passage of the FOI bill." 

If this will will continue, the the Right to Know, Right Now! said in its statement that would lead to the "death, or murder" of the bill just like what happened in the previous Congress.

The Freedom of Information bill has been pending in the House of Representatives for nearly twenty years now. Pres. Aquino, during his election campaign, promised it he would help in pushing for its passing if he becomes president. But advocates of the passing of the FOI bill is yet to see if he will be true to his promise.

The Right to Know, Right Now! coalition kicked off last Monday a nine-day vigil for the passing of the FOI bill with a mass at the St. Peter's Parish Church in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City before proceeding to Batasan to attend the House session. (by AIJC)

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