Enrique Garcia vs. Board of Investments et al

One of the issues in this case was the petitioner's request for xerox copies of certain documents filed by the Bataan Petrochemical Corporation together with its original application, and its amended application, for registration with BOI. The Court said such request may not be denied, as it is the constitutional right of a citizen to have access to information on matters of public concern.

(CONGRESSMAN ENRIQUE T. GARCIA, Second District of Bataan, petitioner, vs. THE BOARD OF INVESTMENTS, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY, BATAAN PETROCHEMICAL CORPORATION and PILIPINAS SHELL CORPORATION, respondents. G.R. No. 88637. September 7, 1989)
    
One of the issues in this case was the petitioner's request for xerox copies of certain documents filed by the Bataan Petrochemical Corporation together with its original application, and its amended application, for registration with BOI. The Court said such request may not be denied, as it is the constitutional right of a citizen to have access to information on matters of public concern. The confidentiality of the records on BPC's applications is not absolute for Article 81 of the Omnibus Investments Code provides that they may be disclosed "upon the consent of the applicant, or on orders of a court of competent jurisdiction." However, just as the confidentiality of an applicant's records in the BOI is not absolute, neither is the petitioner's right of access to them unlimited. The trade secrets and confidential commercial and financial information of the applicant BPC, and matters affecting national security are excluded from the privilege.

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