Is your representative among 117 supporting FOI bill? See list

Deputy Speaker Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III says he expects more lawmakers to support the bill

RUNNING OUT OF TIME: FOI authors, advocates slam House committee on public information chair Ben Evardone for failing to put bill to a vote (photo by Carmela Fonbuena)

MANILA, Philippines – At least 117 members of the House of Representatives support the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, based on a signature campaign launched by principal authors Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III and Akbayan Rep Walden Bello.

The FOI bill seeks to impose speedy procedures for obtaining documents of high public interest. Less than a year left in the 15th Congress, it remains in the first stage of the legislative process. It is pending approval on first reading before the House committee on public information.

FOI bill authors and advocates on Monday, August 6, criticized committee chairman Eastern Samar Rep Ben Evardone for failing to put the bill to a vote.

“He seems to be dribbling the FOI to certain death in the 15th Congress,” said lawyer Nepomuceno Malaluan, a convenor of The Right to Know Right Now, a network of more than 150 organizations from various sectors that have long been campaigning for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act.

Sought for comment: Evardone said: “I think the accusation that I’m trying to kill the FOI is baseless and misplaced…. I would like to put it on record that I’m not against FOI. In fact, I am fully behind the spirit and intent of the FOI. It is just that there are issues and concerns that need to be resolve.”

PRESSURE ON EVARDONE: FOI advocates blame House committee on public information chairman Ben Evardone for failing to put the bill to a vote

Earlier, Evardone said he planned to put the bill to a vote on Tuesday, August 7, but House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr asked him to reschedule because he wants to hold a caucus first.

“There are contending issues that need to be resolved first and I believe those issues can be hammered out in a caucus of the leaders and members of the ruling coalition. I think this will expedite the process and will prevent heated, spirited, and highly divisive debates in the committee level and in the plenary,” he added.

Tañada said there’s one contentious issue left that the committee has to settle. Will they include in the FOI bill the Right of Reply, which seeks to require media groups to give equal space and time for subjects of negative news to respond to allegations against them.

Tañada and Bello said they are hoping that the 117 signatures will force Evardone to immediately schedule a vote on the bill.

Is your representative among them? Here’s list.

Principal authors of FOI bill

1. Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III

2. Aurora Rep Juan Edgardo Angara

3. Akbayan Rep Kaka Bag-ao

4. Akbayan Rep Walden Bello

5. Muntinlupa Rep Rodolfo Biazon

6. Bayan Muna Rep Teddy Casiño

7. Quezon City Rep Winston Castelo

8. Bayan Muna Rep Neri Colmenares

9. Cibac party list Rep Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales

10. Cebu City Rep Rachel Marguerite Del Mar

11. Sorsogon Rep Salvador Escudero

12. Davao City Rep Karlo Alexei Nograles

13. Marikina Rep Marcelino Teodoro

14. Cibac party list Rep Sherwin Tugna

Lawmakers who pledged support for FOI bill

15. Cavite Rep Joseph Emilio Abaya

16. Antipolo City Rep Romeo Acop

17. Diwa party list Rep Emmeline Aglipay

18. Isabela Rep Rodolfo Albano

19. Palawan Rep Antonio Alvarez

20. Camarines Sur Roando Andaya Jr.

21. Manila Rep Ma. Zenaida Angping

22. Bohol Rep Erico Aumentado

23. South Cotabato Rep Daisy Avance-Fuentes

24. Ifugao Rep Teddy Brawner Baguilat

25. Lanao del Sur Rep Pangalian Balindong

26. Quezon City Rep Jorge “Bolet” Banal

27. Pangasinan Rep Leopoldo Bataoil

28. Ako Bicol Rep Rodel Batocabe

29. Manila Rep Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David

30. Agap party list Rep Nicanor Briones

31. Care party list Rep Salvador Cabaluna III

32. Pasay City Rep Emi Calixto-Rubiano

33. Kakusa party list Rep Ranulfo Canonigo

34. North Cotabato Rep Nancy Catamco

35. Zamboanga City Rep Maria Isabelle Climaco

36. Ako Bico party list Rep Christopher Co

37. Batangas Rep Sonny Collantes

38. A Teacher party list Rep Julieta Cortuna

39. Benguet Rep Ronald Cosalan

40. Mountain Province Rep Maximo Dalog

41. Northern Samar Rep Raul Daza

42. Gabriela party list Rep Emmi de Jesus

43. Cagayan Rep Juan Ponce Enrile Jr.

44. Biliran Rep Rogelio Espina

45. Ilocos Norte Rep Rodolfo Fariñas

46. Laguna Rep Danilo Ramon Fernandez

47. Kalinga Rep Abigail Faye Ferriol

48. Camarines Sur Rep Salvio Fortuno

49. Camarines Sur Rep Arnulfo Fuentebella

50. Ako Bico party list Rep Alfredo Garbin Jr

51. Bataan Rep Albert Raymond Garcia

52. Iloilo Rep Janette Garin

53. AAMBIS-OWA Rep Sharon Garin

54. Albay Rep Fernando Gonzales

55. Basilan Rep Jim Hataman-Salliman

56. Bagong Henerasyon Rep Bernadette Herrera-Dy

57. Gabriela Rep Luzviminda Ilagan

58. Tawi-Tawi Rep Nur Jaafar

59. Senior Citizens Rep David Kho

60. Zamboanga Del Norte Rep Rosendo Labadlabad

61. Davao Del Norte Rep Antonio Lagdameo Jr.

62. Albay Rep Edcel Lagman

63. Masbate Rep Scott Davies Lanete

64. Tarlac Rep Jeci Lapus

65. Ating Koop party list Rep Isidro Lico

66. Negros Oriental Rep Jocelyn Limkaichong

67. Sulu Rep Tupay Loong

68. AVE party list Rep Eulogio “Amang” Magsaysay

69. Zambales Rep Milagros Magsaysay

70. Batangas Rep Hermilando Mandanas

71. Alagad Rep Rodante Marcoleta

72. Anakpawis Rep Rafael Mariano

73. Bulacan Rep Joselito “Jonjon” Mendoza

74. Southern Leyte Rep Roger Mercado

75. Cavite Lani Mercado-Revilla

76. An Waray Rep Neil Benedict Montejo

77. Guimaras Rep Joaquin Carlos Rahman Nava

78. An Waray Rep Florencio Noel

79. Manila Rep Rosenda Ann Ocampo

80. Parañaque Rep Edwin Olivarez

81. La Union Rep Victor Francisco Ortega

82. Sarangani Rep Emmanuel Pacquiao

83. Nueva Vizcaya Rep Carlos Padilla

84. Coop Natco party list Rep Cresente Paez

85. Kabataan Rep Raymond Palatino

86. Agham party list Rep Angelo Palmones

87. Lanao Del Sur Rep Mohammed Hussein Pangandaman

88. AA Kasosyo party list Rep Nasser Pangandaman

89. Camarines Norte Rep Elmer Panotes

90. APEC party list Rep Ponciano Payuyo

91. Coop Natco party list Rep Jose Ping-ay

92. Pangasinan Rep Marlyn Primicias Agabas

93. Cebu Rep Gabriel Quisumbing

94. Sorsogon Rep Deogracias Ramos Jr

95. Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos

96. Cavite Rep Jesus Crispin Boying Remulla

97. San Jose Del Monte City Rep Arturo Robes

98. Abante Mindanao Rep Maximo Rodriguez Jr.

99. Cagayan de Oro City Rep Rufus Rodriguez

100. Bataan Rep Herminia Roman

101. Pasig City Rep Roman Romulo

102. North Cotabato Rep Jesus Sacdalan

103. Sulu Rep Nur-ana Sahidulla

104. Leyte Rep Andres Salvacion Jr

105. Catanduanes Rep Cesar Sarmiento

106. Western Samar Rep Mel Senen Sarmiento

107. Maguindanao and Cotabato City Rep Bai Sandra Sema

108. Palawan Rep Victorino Dennis Socrates

109 Bulacan RepMa Victoria Sy-Alvarado

110. Negros Oriental Rep Pryde Henry Teves

111. Cagayan Rep Randolph Ting

112. Taguig City Rep Sigfrido Tinga

113. ACT Teachers party list Rep Antonio Tinio

114. Oriental Mindoro Rep Reynaldo Umali

115. Davao City Rep Isidro Ungab

116. Tarlac Rep Susan Yap

117. Compostela Valley Rep Ma Carmen Zamora-Apsay

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