TAGUM CITY — Independent presidential bet Senator Grace Poe pitched anew for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) saying the proposed measure will “help address corruption in the bureaucracy.”
If she wins the presidency, Poe said she would issue an executive order for FOI until it will be institutionalized and strengthened in a legislative fiat.
During the recently concluded Comelec-led second Presidential Debate held at the University of the Philippines in Cebu on Sunday, March 20, Poe pointed out the importance of having FOI as law to implement reforms on “transparency” in the government.
“The FOI will serve as a weapon to the people to scrutinize government documents. I want the (Senate) version because it covers all government officials from top to bottom, and to show that they have liability to the country,” Poe said in Filipino.
She said the lack of FOI law in place has proven to be a “stumbling block in curbing graft and corruption.” She added that a “country ridden in graft and corruption will always have citizens mired in poverty.”
Both Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay, the standard bearer of United Nationalist Alliance, had traded barbs during the debate when the issue of graft and corruption were discussed.
According to the Commission on Audit (Coa), the wastage of public funds due to graft and corruption in the Philippines amounts to an average of P100 billion annually.
Poe, who chairs the committee on public information and mass media, said Congress has failed to pass its version of the FOI. (davaotoday.com)