New law allows public access to govt records
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed a landmark freedom of information order to allow the public full access to government records for the first time, his spokesperson said on July 24, in a move welcomed by transparency advocates.
The executive order, providing for “full public disclosure and transparency” by government agencies, was signed by the firebrand leader on July 23, spokesperson Martin Andanar said, just 25 days after taking office.
Media and watchdog groups had been demanding the reform, the first national freedom of information order, for years.
“This is record-breaking speed for a landmark executive order being signed,” Mr Andanar told reporters.
Press and anti-corruption groups have long campaigned for freedom of information to combat endemic corruption blighting the impoverished nation.
The order, covering all central government offices, requires them to make public records, meetings, research and any information requested by a member of the public, except for matters affecting national security, Mr Andanar said. –