Transparency efforts pursued as FOI remains pending
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang claimed that it has done its part to institutionalize some measures to show transparency in governance while the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill remains pending.
In a radio interview on Sunday, September 9, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte defended President Aquino from the challenge raised by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to help pass the FOI bill and ensure "that transparency and accountability were upheld in government."
Valte added that the administration had institutionalized transparency measures, including the publication of the budget and government disbursements online through the Budget ng Bayan.
“Our assurance is that while the proposed measure is pending, on the side of the executive we are doing what we can…to institutionalize [transparency measures],” Valte said.
She cited the recently released global competiveness index of the World Economic Forum (WEF) where the Philippines now ranks 65th out of 144 economies this 2012, up 10 notches from 2011.
Philippines scored strong in transparency in policy formation (up 23), fairness in awarding of contracts (up 19), as well as minimized the following: diversion of public funds (up 27), wastefulness of government spending (up 23), and irregular payments or bribes (up 11).
Previously, Cayetano stressed the importance of the FOI vis-a-vis current transparency efforts.
“To regain people’s trust is an important step. But to prove that there are genuine measures in place to stop corruption through transparency of government transactions which is guaranteed by the FOI is another,” the senator said.
Valte said that Malacañang had already submitted a draft after consulting with various stakeholders, which were already incorporated in the pending bill.
“So the necessary move now for the Freedom of Information Bill is with the legislature,” Valte said. - Rappler.com