HIGHLIGHTS: FNF-Rappler Forum on the State of the Freedom of Information Bill
HIGHLIGHTS: FNF-Rappler Forum on the State of the Freedom of Information Bill
Rappler presented findings from a research on freedom of information laws in 15 countries in a forum co-organized with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom


MANILA, Philippines – The Senate version of Freedom of Information (FOI) bill was approved on March 10 of this year. But what is the likelihood of the bill finally getting through the legislative gridlock anytime soon? And how will the proposed law improve Philippine governance? 

To get answers to those questions, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Rappler co-organized a forum entitled, State of the Freedom of Information Bill, a week before President Aquino delivers the annual State of the Nation Address (SONA). 

The forum discussed the current status of the FOI bill in Congress as well as findings from a research conducted by Rappler which compares FOI policies in 15 countries as well as the impact of such policies on those countries. 

The proposed FOI law will govern the public disclosure of records & information held by the government. The measure is expected to allow greater access to public information, lay down rules & regulations for requesting and accessing such information, as well as the limits of access.

Advocates hope that it will lead to greater transparency in government and more active participation of the Filipino people in public matters. 

Watch clips from the forum below.

Welcoming remarks from FNF Country Director Jules Maaten


Keynote speech from Senator Grace Poe



Presentation of Rappler FOI study by Rappler Research & Content Strategist Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza 

 Panel 1 with Vergel Santos Thomas Ossowski, Juli Minoves and Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza

Panel 2 with John Nery, Roberto De Ocampo, Nadia Trinidad, Leni Robredo and Nepomuceno Malaluan 

Closing remarks from Rappler CEO & Executive Editor Maria Ressa


Follow the liveblog here:



Monday, 21 July 2014 Special Exhibition Hall, The Mind Musuem
08:30 Registration
09:00 Welcome Jules Maaten Country Director, FNF
09:05 Keynote Speech Hon. Grace Poe Senator, Republic of the Philippines
09:20 Presentation of the study Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza Research & Content Strategist, Rappler
09:20 Panel Discussion Facilitated by Vergel Santos Chairman, Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility
  • How did transparency and accountability in governance improve after the passage of FOI?
  • What specific adjustments (bureaucracy, technology) should the Philippines execute to properly implement an FOI Law?
  • Do ordinary citizens (and not only media) avail of the FOI Law? What should be the sellilng point of the bill to the Filipino public?
  • H.E. Thomas Ossowski
  • Ambassador, German Embassy Manila
  • Dr. Juli Minoves
  • President, Liberal International
  • Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza
  • Research & Content Strategist, Rappler
10:30 Break
09:20 Panel Discussion Facilitated by John Nery Editor, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • How does FOI relate to issues like poverty and corruption?
  • Can the government cope with providing data (volume of requests, ICT architecture) when the law is in place?
  • What are the pros and cons of reconciling FOI with the Open Data Project?
  • Is there a right timing for the passage of FOI? (On 15 July 2014, the President announced that it will be passed before the end of his term.)
  • Rep. Leni Robredo
  • Co-Author, House Bill 3237
  • Nepomuceno Malaluan
  • Co-Convenor, Right to Know Right Now Coalition
  • Ms. Nadia Trinidad
  • News Manager, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs
  • Mr. Roberto de Ocampo
  • Vice Chairman, Makati Business Club
11:45 Closing remarks Maria Ressa CEO & Executive Editor, Rappler
12:00 Lunch

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