Lower House Gives Nod to Freedom of Information Act

House Bill No. 3732 , the Freedom of Information Act of 2008, was approved on 2nd reading at the House of Representatives during plenary deliberations last May 1.

The bill seeks to provide a “uniform, simple and speedy procedure for securing access to information” with regard to government policies, transactions and other affairs. Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, one of the bill’s main proponents said that it reinforces the “right of the people to information on matters of public concern” embodied under Article 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. (see Sponsorship Speech of Rep. Tañada )

Access to Information Network (ATIN), a group that has been the main advocate of the bill described it as a product of long consultation process with stakeholders. It is “home-grown, progressive, and [produced] without the usual intervention from IFIs and private consultants in the legislative process.” Action for Economic Reforms is a member of ATIN.

Passing the bill on 3rd reading will merely be a fomality. The deliberations now shift to the Senate where a counterpart bill is pending.

Update: The Lower House passed the bill on third reading on May 12, 2008.

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