FoI com­pli­ance be­ing pushed on lo­cal gov­ern­ment units

Business World - - The Economy - — Vince An­gelo C. Fer­rera

THE Depart­ment of In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DILG) and the Pres­i­den­tial Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Op­er­a­tions Of­fice (PCOO) have in­structed lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGUs) to im­ple­ment free­dom of in­for­ma­tion-com­pli­ant prac­tices in ac­cor­dance with Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der No. 2, cit­ing the need to bet­ter de­ter cor­rup­tion.

“Let us be a part of the move­ment to elim­i­nate cor­rup­tion at the lo­cal level. Free­dom to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion in the LGUs is free­dom from cor­rup­tion,” said DILG Sec­re­tary Ed­uardo M. Año in a state­ment re­leased Thurs­day.

Mr. Año said the two gov­ern­ment agen­cies is­sued a joint mem­o­ran­dum cir­cu­lar to that ef­fect.

“If a lo­cal gov­ern­ment has noth­ing to hide, open­ing up lo­cal in­for­ma­tion for pub­lic con­sump­tion would not be an is­sue,” he added.

The FoI Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der was is­sued on July 23, 2016, re­quir­ing more com­pre­hen­sive dis­clo­sure from mem­bers of the ex­ec­u­tive branch.

The joint mem­o­ran­dum cir­cu­lar in­structs lo­cal ex­ec­u­tives to ini­ti­ate pro­ce­dures for the pro­cess­ing of re­quests for ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion, and reme­dies in case of re­quests that are de­nied, among oth­ers.

It also in­structed them to look into a fee struc­ture for FoI re­quests, record-keep­ing and pro­tect­ing the pri­vacy of ap­pli­cants.

Mr. Año said the joint mem­o­ran­dum also calls on LGUs are en­cour­aged to adopt the “dis­close to one, dis­close to all” pol­icy for in­for­ma­tion re­leased through the ob­ser­vance of FOI and proac­tively dis­close in­for­ma­tion not in­cluded in their in­ven­tory of ex­cep­tions.

“It is im­por­tant we get a pos­i­tive re­sponse from lo­cal gov­ern­ments to adopt FoI be­cause it is an op­por­tu­nity to safe­guard the na­tional trea­sure and to mon­i­tor the wealth of of­fi­cials,” he said.

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