After years of Congressional inaction, the proposed Freedom of Information advanced significantly in the 14th Congress and almost reached passage when it was unanimously approved by the bicameral conference committee. Unfortunately, while the Senate ratified the bicameral conference report, the House of Representatives failed to do the same, and the measure will have to go through the legislative mill again in the 15th Congress.
Freedom of Information (FOI) advocate and Right to Know, Right Now! convenor Nepomuceno Malaluan and Action for Economic Reforms (AER) President Jessica Cantos wrote Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, urging the President Aquino to include FOI, cigarette tax reform, and fiscal incentives rationalization bills in the President’s legislative agenda.
Last week, Representatives Victor Ortega (1st District La Union) and Eric Singson (2nd District Ilocos Sur) defended tobacco interests, arguing that there is no need to correct the excise tax on tobacco and cigarettes. They repeated the call earlier made by Phillip Nelson, President of Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco Corp. This if-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it argument is wrong. The system is really in shambles: the rates are not keeping up with inflation; some brands are still taxed based on their 1996 prices; and we have a complicated four-rate tax structure.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it […]
When the leaders of the House of Representatives want a measure passed, we have seen them find a way. But when they want a measure killed, we have also seen them find a way. For 14 years, the 130 member-organizations of the Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition have waged, separately and together, an advocacy […]