Accept no substitutes: Open Data won't replace FOI

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2014 02:44 PM | Updated as of Jan 20 2014 10:50 PM

MANILA - Malacañang said Open Data Philippines is not meant as a substitute to a freedom of information bill.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda rejected suggestions that the Palace is not supporting the passage of an FOI bill because it is worried of having “secrets” uncovered.

“We’re not afraid of any secrets,” Lacierda said, adding that the Palace has been open in addressing pressing issues.

Lacierda pointed out that the Palace has come up with its version of the FOI bill but is leaving the bill’s fate up to Congress.

He said lawmakers would still have to thresh out issues and come up with a balance between protecting privacy and serving the public’s right to know.

President Aquino is not certifying the bill as urgent, saying there are certain bills that can be certified as such under the Constitution.

The Palace also appealed to hackers to spare the Open Data Philippines website.

"Open Data is your data. This is the public’s data about you, so I don’t think it’s in the interest of the Filipinos to damage the information that we have. This is intended to make more intelligent and more participative and to make the Filipino public partners in governance," Lacierda said.