PCOO to Councilors: pass FOI Ordinance
During the 2018 3rd National Executive Officers-National Board Meeting and 6th Series of Continuing Local Legislative Education Program on 19-21 September 2018 in Zamboanga City, Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Atty. Kristian Ablan explained the significance of FOI ordinance to the local community.
Asec Ablan cited the philosophy of full government disclosure through the FOI. He presented actual stories about obtaining information which aided them in inquiries, research even career advancement. To acquire information, official and public records, Asec Ablan introduced www.foi.gov.ph and details how to access the said website. He disclosed the requirements in attaining information, duration in obtaining the said request, exemptions on confidential information, statistics on purposes for information request, areas in the country where inquiries come from, among others.
A Joint Memorandum Circular from DILG and PCOO was published calling on all LGUs to enact an ordinance, or issue an executive order from the office of the governor or mayor, supporting the FOI. They may also designate a focal person preferably the local information officer to oversee the program. Local officials are reminded to file, and make available for scrutiny, their SALNs for transparency purposes. LGUs are encouraged to enroll in PCOO’s electronic FOI platform at www.foi.gov.ph for easy access and updates.
To inspire the others, various LGUs that already approved their FOI ordinance and those that are still pending were enumerated. It was stressed that FOI is one of the requirements for the Seal of Good Local Governance.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on his Executive Order Number 2 Series of 2016 emphasized that transparency and integrity are yardsticks in government performance. He called on all LGUs and local government officials to fight corruption as the priority of his administration.