MANILA – The implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Program is one of the best solutions to combat corruption in public offices and should also be applied to other branches of government, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Saturday.
The PCOO continues to push for the legislation of the Freedom of Information through pending bills filed in the legislative body. Secretary Andanar stressed that this will address corruption and inefficient public service delivery.
“Our campaign against corruption will end right away, because for example this Freedom of Information is not yet a law. It is not being passed by the Congress yet,” he said in an interview.
“Whether the next administration will continue to promote this or not, us under the Duterte administration believe that this is one of the greatest solutions to get rid of corruption,” he added.
On 23 July 2016, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the Executive Order No. 2, s. 2016 (EO 2) or the Freedom of Information (FOI) Program, which opened the books of the offices under the executive branch.
It is remembered that the PCOO requested the inclusion of FOI as part of the President’s legislative agenda for the year 2020.
The said landmark policy mandates the PCOO as designated lead government agency to operationalize said EO 2. It aims to promote transparency, accountability, and citizen participation by requiring government agencies to disclose information about their transactions that involve public interest.
In terms of the anti-corruption drive of the government, such a policy is being complemented by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act.
Secretary Andanar highlighted how the R.A. 11032 has strengthened the anti-red tape campaign in government transactions, advancing the Philippines to the 95th spot from 124th place in 2019 out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2020” report.