MANILA, July 4, 2016— A Catholic bishop said President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to impose the proposed Freedom of Information bill in the executive branch is a good start for an improved transparency.
A Palace official said that an executive order signed by Duterte allowing FOI may be issued this week to keep with the latter’s campaign promise that his administration would be transparent.
“It’s a welcome development to have an FOI even if it’s just an EO,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said.
The prelate, however, expressed hope that it will not be a ‘watered down’ version of the FOI that will prevent full disclosure of government transactions.
“I hope it will not be a watered down version… something that has a lot of exceptions and conditions to make the process difficult,” said Pabillo.
As early as May, Duterte promised to impose the FOI saying that “if Congress refuses to pass it, I will start it progressively so that we don’t talk too much.”
Bishop Pabillo was among the vocal critics of former President Benigno Aquino III’s administration for sitting on the legislation. (CBCPNews)