FOI ON TRACK, WE LOOK AHEAD TO RATIFICATION OF BICAM REPORT

After long struggle, the passage of the Freedom of Information Act is finally near at hand!

At
the resumption of session last Monday (18 January), we marched to the
House of Representatives with a rally contingent of 1000 to call on our
House of Representatives to stand for Freedom of Information. With
Committee on Public Information Chairman Bienvenido Abante, Jr., Vice
Chairman Eduardo Zialcita, Committee TWG Chairman Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada
III, and Minority member Rufus Rodriguez, we met with Speaker Prospero
Nograles to appeal for the immediate constitution of the House Panel to
the Bicameral Conference Committee on the Freedom of Information Act.

We
were not frustrated. The final act of Congress before it adjourned for
the day was the naming of the following members to the House Panel:
Rep. Bienvenido Abante, Jr. (Chairman), Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, Rep.
Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, Rep. Jesus Crispin
Remulla, Rep. Rodante Marcoleta for the Majority, and Rep. Joel
Villanueva and Rep. Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales for the Minority.

On
Wednesday, 20 January, the Bicameral Conference Committee met at the
Senate to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of House Bill 3732 and
Senate Bill 3308. Present were Senators Alan Peter Cayetano (Chairman)
and Juan Miguel Zubiri for the Senate Panel, and Representatives Abante
(Chairman), Zialcita, Tañada, Antonino, and Cruz-Gonzales for the House
Panel.

After long struggle, the passage of the Freedom of Information Act is finally near at hand!

At the resumption of session last Monday (18 January), we marched to the House of Representatives with a rally contingent of 1000 to call on our House of Representatives to stand for Freedom of Information. With Committee on Public Information Chairman Bienvenido Abante, Jr., Vice Chairman Eduardo Zialcita, Committee TWG Chairman Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, and Minority member Rufus Rodriguez, we met with Speaker Prospero Nograles to appeal for the immediate constitution of the House Panel to the Bicameral Conference Committee on the Freedom of Information Act.

We were not frustrated. The final act of Congress before it adjourned for the day was the naming of the following members to the House Panel: Rep. Bienvenido Abante, Jr. (Chairman), Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla, Rep. Rodante Marcoleta for the Majority, and Rep. Joel Villanueva and Rep. Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales for the Minority.

On Wednesday, 20 January, the Bicameral Conference Committee met at the Senate to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of House Bill 3732 and Senate Bill 3308. Present were Senators Alan Peter Cayetano (Chairman) and Juan Miguel Zubiri for the Senate Panel, and Representatives Abante (Chairman), Zialcita, Tañada, Antonino, and Cruz-Gonzales for the House Panel.

We congratulate the conferees present for discharging their legislative work with efficiency and dispatch. Noting that the Senate Committee on Public Information used the House Bill as starting point, the two panels agreed to focus their discussion on the amendments introduced by the Senate. Even as these amendments were meant to address remaining legitimate concerns raised by stakeholders and by Senators, Representatives Abante, Zialcita, Tañada, Antonino, and Cruz-Gonzales still took the responsibility and care to ask further clarifications, and to introduce further refinements and improvements. The result is a reconciled bill that is as much a House as it is a Senate version.

With the Bicameral Conference Committee Report approved on the same day, Freedom of Information is back on track.

We look to the Senate and to the House of Representatives to complete the final legislative actions on the bill this week. With efficient work from the Senate and House Committee secretariats, the Senate Panel has already signed the Bicameral Conference Committee Report and we only await the signatures of the House Panel.

We look forward to the prompt filing of the signed Report and to its distribution to our Senators and Representatives. We eagerly await immediate action by each House on the Bicameral Conference Committee Report. For a few minutes of session on Tuesday or Wednesday (26 or 27 January), we count on our Senators and Congressmen to set aside political contentions that go with the nearing elections, and unanimously ratify the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the Freedom of Information Act.

The Freedom of Information Act will address the substantive and procedural gaps that have long prevented our full enjoyment of our right to information. It will supply a definite procedure for access, enumerate clearly the information that government may validly keep secret, spell out the remedies in cases of denial, impose penalties for unlawful violation of our right to information, require the automatic disclosure of important government transactions, and establish mechanisms for the active promotion of openness in government.

When finally signed into law by the President, we have no doubt that the Freedom of Information Act will be a strategic and most significant contribution of the 14th Congress to the fundamental renewal of public institutions in our country.

Right to Know. Right Now!

Right to Know. Right Now! Campaign
25 January 2010




1. Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III                      4th District, Quezon
Province

2.
Rep. Joel Villanueva                             CIBAC
Party List

3.
Rep. Del De Guzman                            2nd
District, Marikina City

4. Rep. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel            Akbayan

    Rep. Walden Bello

5.
Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan                Action
for Economic Reforms (AER)

6. Dr. Florangel
Rosario – Braid               Asian
Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC)

7. Dean Antonio La
Viña                         Ateneo School
of Government (ASoG)

8. Ms. Angelica Simone
Mangahas           Ateneo Debate Society

9. Ms. Adelina Alvarez                             Center for
Community Journalism and Development (CCJD)

10. Prof. Luis Teodoro                              Center for Media
Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR)

11. Atty. Roberto
Cadiz                           LIBERTAS

12. Mr. Sonny Fernandez;                        National
Union of Journalists of the

      Mr. Nestor Burgos                              Philippines (NUJP)

13. Mr. Bartholome
Guingona                  pagbabago@pilipinas

14. Ms. Malou Mangahas                          Philippine Center for Investigative
Journalism (PCIJ)

15. Mr. Vincent T.
Lazatin                       Transparency
and Accountability Network (TAN)

16. Atty. Virginia S.
Jose                          Citizens’
Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC)

17. Mr. Joshua Mata                                 Alliance of
Progressive Labor (APL)      

18. Mr. Alberto Lim                                  Makati
Business Club                                            

19. Ms. Ellene Sana                                  Center for
Migrant Advocacy (CMA)

20. Ms. Ester Perez
Tagle                         Concerned
Citizens Against Pollution (COCAP)

21. Ms. Luz Malihiran                               Community
Organizers Multiversity

22. Mr. Sammy Gamboa                           EU-ASEAN FTA Campaign
Network-Philippines

23. Mr. Al Alegre                                      Foundation
for Media Alternatives (FMA)

24. Mr. Milo
Tanchuling                           Freedom
from Debt Coalition (FDC)

25. Ms. Judy Pasimio                                Legal Rights and
Natural Resources Center – Kasama sa Kalikasan

26. Atty. Ma. Tanya Karina
Lat;              IDEALS, Inc.

      Mr. Arnel Mateo                                

 

27. Mr. Jude Esguerra;                              Institute
for Popular Democracy (IPD)

      Mr. Doy Cinco                                   

28. Mr. Ric Serrano                                   La Liga
Policy Institute

29. Mr. Rey Rasing                                   Labor
Education and Research Network (LEARN)

30. Atty. Farah Marie
Decano                  Lady Local Legislators’ League of the
Philippines, Inc. (Four-L Phils.)

31. Mr. Raymond Marvic
C. Baguilat      University of the
Philippines – Law Student Government

32. Mr. Ed Mora                                       Pambansang
Kaisahan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (PKMP)

33. Mr. Isagani Serrano                             Philippine Rural
Reconstruction Movement

34. Ms. Annie Geron                                Public Services
Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK)

35. Mr. Carlos
Magtolis, Jr.                      Siliman
University – ASPAP

36. Ms. Evi-Ta Jimenez                             Center for People
Empowerment in Governance

37. Mr. Joseph
Purugganan                       Stop the
New Round Coalition

38. Dr. Sixto K. Roxas                             Maximo T. Kalaw
Institute for Sustainable Development

39. Mr. Ben-Hur
Sacopla                          Southern
Luzon State University ASPAP – Region IV

40. Ms. Eirene Aguila                               Team RP

41. Prof. Leonor M. Briones                     Social Watch Philippines

42. Ms. Mae V. Buenaventura                  Women’s Legal Bureau, Inc.

43. Ms. Jenina Joy Chavez                        Focus on the Global South – Philippines
Program

44. Mr. Ramon Tuazon                             Philippines Communication Society

45. Ms. Ana Maria R.
Nemenzo;              WomanHealth Philippines

      Ms. Mercedes Fabros

 

46. Dr. Buenaventura B.
Dargantes          Program on Integrated
Water Resources

                                                                  Management
RDE, Institute for Strategic Research and Development Studies, Visayas State
University

47. Mr. Boy Nuera                                    Pandayan
para sa Sosyalistang
Pilipinas
(PANDAYAN)

48. Mr. Roy Calfoforo                              People’s
Alternative Studies Center for Research and Education in Social Develoment
(PASCRES)

49. Mr. Alain Pascua                                 Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan All
Filipino Democratic Movement (KAAKBAY)

50. Mr. Horacio T. Cadiz                          The Philippine Network Foundation, Inc
(PHNET)

51. Mr. Joe Valencia                                 KASAPI-HELLAS

52. Mr. Nestor Villanueva                        Akbayan Greece

53. Mr. Sixto Donato Macasaet                CODE-NGO

54. Mr. Jun S. Aguilar                               Filipino Migrant Workers

55. Mr. Pablo Rosales                               Progresibong Alyansa ng mga
Mangingisda (PANGISDA)

56.                                                             Pambansang
Katipunan ng Makabayang Magbubukid (PKKM)

57.                                                             Kilusan
Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD)

58. Ms. Lourdes M. Tison                         Paghiliusa sa Paghidaet-Negros (PsPN)

59. Mr. Abby Y. Pato                               Task Force on Food Sovereignty Mindanao

60. Ms. Karen Tañada                               Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute

61. Ms. Mardi Mapa-Suplido                    Negros Peace Watch

62. Dr. Jose Reuben Alagaran                  Philippines Communication
Society

63. Ms. Aurora Regalado                          Management Organization for Development and
Empowerment, Inc.

64. Mr. Ernesto Lim Jr.                             People’s Campaign on Agrarian Reform (AR
NOW!)

65. Mr. Anthony Marzan                          KAISAHAN

66. Mr. Jesus Vicente Garganera              Alyansa Tigil Mina

67. Ms. Luz Cabucos-Fegarido                 RSW

68. Ms. Maria Lisa Alano                         Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao
(AFRIM), Inc.

69. Dr. Jose Reuben Alagaran II              Philippines Communication Society

70. Ms. Ma. Lourdes M. Tison                 Paghiliusa sa Paghidaet-Negros
(PsPN)

71. Mr. Joel Saracho                                 GCAP-Phils

72. Ms. Trinidad Domingo                       Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa
Kanayunan

73. Mr. Richard Gutierrez                         Ban Toxics

74. Mr. Nonoy Oplas                                Minimal Government Thinkers

75. Mr. Harvey
Keh              
                   Kaya Natin! Movement

76. Mr. Czarina Sacaguing                        Confederation of Student
Government in the Philippines

77 Mr. Byron Abadeza                             Affiliated Network for Social
Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific

78. Dr. Ma. Olivia Domingo                     Center for Leadership, Citizenship and
Democracy, UP-NCPAG

79. Dr. Angelo Ramos                              Philippine Community e-Center Network

80. Ms. Mae Sabio                                    Sulong
CARPER

81. Mr. Diosdado Calmada                      PEACE

82. Ms. Lanie Factor                                 Task Force Mapalad

83. Ms. Maris Dela Cruz – Cardenas         EmPOWER Consumers

84. Mr. Wilson Fortaleza                          Partido ng Mangagawa

85. Atty. Elpidio Peria                              Third World Network

                                                                  Vice
Chairman, Social Concerns Committee, IBP South Cotabato – General Santos City
Chapter

86. Prof. Gigi Francisco                            Miriam College – International Studies
Department

87. Mr. Obet Pagdanganan                       Coalition for Health Advocacy and Transparency
(CHAT)

88. Mr. Omi Royandoyan                         Centro Saka

89. Ms. Carolyn Arguillas                         MindaNews

90. Mr. Abner Francisco                           DXCA – FM

91. Ms. Florencia Casanova-Dorotan       Women’s Action Network for Development

92. Ms. Violeta Corral                              Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan

93. Mr. Crispino Aguelo                           Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang
Magsasaka (PAKISAMA)

94. Ms. Michelle Domocol                        Visayas Climate Action Network

95. Judge Dolores L. Español (Ret.)         Transparency International –
Philippines

96. Mr. Roby Alampay                             Southeast Asian Press Alliance

97. Ms. Teresita Quintos Deles                 International Center on
Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov)

98. Ms. Maita Gomez                               Bantay Kita

99. Mr. Rey Hulog                                    Kapisanan
ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas

100. Mr. Jose Pavia                                   Philippine Press Institute

101. Mr. Isagani Yambot                          Philippine Daily Inquirer

102.                                                           College
Editors Guild of the Philippines

103. Ms. Emy M. Santos                          National Confederation of Cooperatives
(NATCCO)

104. Ms. Tes M. Borgoños                        Manggagawang Kababaihang Mithi ay Paglaya
(MAKALAYA)

105. Ms. Marilyn Fuentes                         National Union of Building and Construction
Workers (NUBCW)

106. Atty. Michael Yu                              Integrated Bar of the Philippines- Cebu
City Chapter

107. Dr. Prospero
E. de Vera                    National College of Public
Administration
and Governance, University of the
Philippines

108. Sylvia  Estrada Claudio, M.D. PhD.
Center for Women’s Studies, University of the Philippines

109. Mr. Viktor Samuel Fontanilla           UP ALYANSA

110. Ms. Anna Luz Lopez                        UP BUKLOD CSSP

111. Mr. Jeffrey Crisostomo                     AKBAYAN Youth – UP Diliman

112. Ms. Susan Ople                                 Blas Ople
Foundation

113. Mr. Romeo
Cabugnasan                   Alyansa ng
Maralitang Pilipino

114.                                                           Initiative
for International Dialogue

 

 

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