Senate OKs freedom of information bill on 3rd reading

The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading the Freedom of Information Bill, which mandates all government agencies to make available all public records to all interested individuals or groups.

“Magkakaroon na ng batas kung saan [pinagtitibay] ang karapatan ng lahat ng mamamayan na makita ang records ng ating bansa (With this, we shall have a law promoting the right of all Filipinos to have access to all public documents). All records should be made available to the media, to NGOs [non government organizations], and to any interested groups without fear or favor of repercussion from government agencies,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri told reporters after the session.

Zubiri branded as “hogwash and a terrible excuse for transparency” the old rule that required people to obtain first a court order or seek permission from the Sandiganbayan and the Ombudsman before they could be given public documents.

“This law is crucial for transparency at credibility of the next administration,” he said.

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