MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos can now request for government documents through the Freedom of Information (FOI) online portal launched by the Duterte administration on Friday, November 25.
The eFOI portal went online on the day President Rodrigo Duterte’s FOI Executive Order took effect. Interested citizens can access it at foi.gov.ph.
Here is more information about how to use the portal, as explained by Communications Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan.
The order, the second EO signed by Duterte, directs all agencies under the executive branch to release information and documents requested by citizens.
The draft FOI Manual initiall exepted 166 types of documents or information from public disclosurebut these were pared down to 9 in the final FOI Manual released by the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
The exceptions are:
- Information covered by executive privilege
- Privileged information relating to national security, defense, or international relations
- Information concerning law enforcement and protection of public and personal safety
- Information deemed confidential for the protection of privacy of persons and certain individuals such as minors, victims of crimes, or the accused
- Information, documents or records known by reason of official capacity and are deemed as confidential, including those submitted or disclosed by entities to government agencies, tribunals, boards, or officers, in relation to the performance of their functions, or to inquiries or investigation conducted by them in the exercise of their administrative, regulatory, or quasi-judicial powers
- Prejudicial premature disclosure
- Records of proceedings or information from proceedings which, pursuant to law or relevant rules and regulations, are treated as confidential or privileged
- Matters considered confidential under banking and finance laws, and their amendatory laws
- Other exceptions to the right to information under laws, jurisprudence, rules and regulations
Agencies with FOI Manuals
During the launch of the online portal, various government agencies presented their respective FOI Manuals. Under the EO, agencies under the executive branch are supposed to craft their own manuals suited to the processes in their agencies.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) was the first agency to complete its manual.
Aside from the NHCP, the other agencies with FOI Manuals so far are the following:
- Department of Budget and Management
- Presidential Communications Operations Office
- Department of Information Communication Technology
- Department of Labor and Employment
- Department of Tourism
- National Economic and Development Authority
- Office of the Cabinet Secretary
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Foreign Affairs
- Department of the Interior and Local Government
- Department of Trade and Industry
- Department of National Defense
- Department of Social Welfare and Development
- Department of Finance
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Health
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Science and Technology
- Philippine Statistics Authority
- Social Security System
- Philippine Insurance Corporation
- National Housing Authority
- Department of Agrarian Reform
- National Archives of the Philippines
- Philippine National Police
- Land Bank of the Philippines
- Government Procurement Policy Board
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