- Posted March 10, 2014 by
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Drilon, a known supporter of the bill, said the FOI bill will encourage the people to take active participation in the governance process as the measure will introduce new levels of accountability in every aspect of the country's public service, opening it to increased public scrutiny.
"The disclosure of government actions under the FOI bill will be a crucial and effective deterrent against possible malfeasance and corrupt practices by those in power. The proposed legislation is our way of acknowledging that the people's eye is the most potent tool against corruption in our government," the Senate chief said.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Committee on People's Public Information and Mass Media and sponsor of Senate Bill 1733, said the measure aims to eliminate corruption in the bureaucracy by opening government transactions to the public and holding government officials accountable for their actions.
Poe said studies showed that graft and corruption were minimized in countries with strong Freedom of Information law. In the United States for instance, she said, the number of graft convictions nearly doubled in the first three to eight years after the FOI law was strengthened.
According to Poe, 94 nations have already enacted their own FOI legislation while another 53 countries are in the process of ratifying their respective FOI laws.
"The FOI will not only prevent graft and corruption but more importantly, our citizens will learn to get involved and participate in government matters," Poe said during her sponsorship speech.