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    Posted May 17, 2014 by

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    Filipinos tell Aquino: We need FOI law

    A group of Filipinos that call themselves “People’s FOI Now” on Saturday asked Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to give them access to government information by passing the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill.
    In a petition coursed through Change.org, the group said Aquino, who won on a platform of transparency and clean government, gave them high hopes that the time for the realization of an FOI law has come.
    “But with only a little more than two years remaining in the term of President Aquino, and with the Presidential elections just around the corner, the FOI Bill remains pending at the Committee level at the House of Representatives,” the group lamented.
    The group said they need a law that will give life to the right of citizens to request and be given access to government information beyond what government chooses to disclose proactively.
    “An FOI law responds to this by clarifying the scope of and exceptions to available information, by providing the definite procedure for requesting and being given access to information, and by imposing administrative or criminal liability for the violation of a citizen's right to information,” they said in a petition also addressed to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr..
    With time running out, the group is inviting Filipinos to join them in expressing their collective clamor for President Aquino and Speaker Belmonte to exercise leadership and act decisively to pass the FOI Bill.
    “We will deliver the letter with our signatures to President Aquino and Speaker Belmonte one week before the President's State of the Nation Address in July,” thr group concluded in their petition.
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