Passage of FOI bill just around the corner - lawmaker

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2014 04:27 PM | Updated as of Aug 05 2014 04:28 AM

MANILA - Misamis Occidental Rep. Jorge Almonte assured advocates of the freedom of information (FOI) bill that its passage is just around the corner.

In his remarks at the technical working group meeting, Almonte, chairman of the House of Representatives Public Information Committee, said the future of the bill isn't bleak.

He earlier said he is "80 percent sure" that lawmakers can fashion out an FOI bill in the 16th Congress.

Over 24 FOI versions have been languishing in the committee pending consolidation prior to plenary deliberations.

The bill has just recently overcome a controversial provision, in particular the exemptions from coverage for security matters.

Advocates said an FOI law is a potent weapon against corruption by mandating public access to government records.

The FOI bills were filed over a year ago during the first regular session of the 16th Congress.