BY PAUL MICHAEL CAMANIA JARAMILLO
Four months after the opening of the 16th Congress, the House Committee on Public Information finally organized itself and met on Wednesday to discuss the passage of a Freedom of Information (FOI) law.
Misamis Occidental Representative Jorge Almonte, the new chairman of the House committee on public information, wants to refer to the pro-transparency measure FOI as the ATI bill.
ACCESS to information (ATI) or freedom of information (FOI)?
"Because that is the wording of the Constitution - access to public information."
Article III, Section 7 of the Constitution states:
"The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to limitations as may be provided by law.”
All 19 FOI bills pending in the house were referred to the panel for initial deliberation.
Advocates and authors of FOI bills were among those present during the meeting.
The said measures will be tackled in the technical working group during the congressional break from October 26 to November 17 upon the approved motion of one of the FOI authors, said Diwa party-list Representative Emmeline Aglipay.