We celebrate the approval today of the consolidated version of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill by the FOI Technical Working Group (TWG) of the House Committee on Public Information. This a positive and long-awaited step in citizen-led efforts toward the further institutionalization of transparency and accountability in government.
That the authors of various versions of the FOI bill were able to come together in common consensus to support a single, unified consolidated bill is proof positive of the determination in the House to see the FOI enacted into law in the soonest possible time.
The long and exhaustive deliberative processes that the proposed legislation went through likewise reaffirms the strong commitment of House of Representatives in securing the passage of this very important bill that will protect and the advance the reforms this administration has initiated. The people’s access to pertinent information regarding government’s transactions will empower the citizenry towards meaningful participation within the political processes, thus, deepening and strengthening our democracy.
We also thank and congratulate the FOI advocates and other civil society allies for their unwavering support throughout this process. It is in large part due to their help that we are one step closer towards making this bill a reality.
As we celebrate the passage of this bill at the TWG level, however, we are also preparing for the next stages to secure and advance this hard-fought victory. We must ensure that it passes smoothly and expeditiously through the Committee-level, and eventually through the House plenary on Second and Third reading.
But for now, today’s small yet sweet triumph has given us renewed vigor and confidence to see this process through to a successful end — the enactment of the Freedom of Information Law.###