MANILA, Philippines - If it has nothing to fear, Malacanang should lead in calling for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill.
In a report from the CBCP News, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said President Benigno Aquino III’s “straight path” campaign will remain a mere slogan absent an FOI bill.
CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace (Nassa) said the bill promotes transparency and accountability.
“It is an important component to appropriately ensure the flagship governmental advocacy on ‘Matuwid na Daan’ (straight path),” said Nassa national director Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo.
“Without access to information, these sectors as well as other sectors in the Philippine society gain no knowledge as to what government plans. They would be unaware of the projects and contracts the national and local governments make for them,” he added.
CBCP-Nassa urged Aquino to influence his allies in both Houses of Congress to finally pass the bill.
“We urge Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. to immediately direct their respective chairpersons of the Committee on Public Information to conduct committee hearings on the said bill,” said Pabillo.