Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sen. Revilla Freedom of Information Act stalled in Senate

bong_revilla_11 The passage of the freedom of information act, which can force government agencies to disclose state “secrets,” has hit a snag in the Senate.

The Senate Committee on Public Information, chaired by Sen. Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla, has yet to conduct a hearing on House Bill 3732 or the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) after the House of Representatives approved the bill last May.

Rep. Lorenzo ‘Erin’ Tañada III, lead author of HB 3732, said in a public forum on the FOI held Friday at the Ateneo de Manila University that the access to information bill is in danger of being derailed in favor of “priority” bills such as the one on whistleblowers’ protection.

According to a source who requested anonymity, the Senate Committee on Public Information has cancelled three hearings on the FOI. These hearings were cancelled a day before or on the day of the hearing itself. The reason: the committee has not done any research on the bill.

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