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VM Rodriguez files proposed Freedom of Information ordinance


WITH her thrust for transparency in government, Vice Mayor Jocelyn “Bebot” Rodriguez this week filed an ordinance institutionalizing the Freedom of Information (FOI) of all transactions involving public interests in the local government of Cagayan de Oro City.

The proposed ordinance cites Section 28 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which provides that subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the state adopts and implements a policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest and other pertinent laws such as the executive order of former president Rodrigo Duterte which reiterates the right of every Filipino to have access to information, official records, public records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions as well as to government research data used as the basis for policy development.

Section 9 of the proposed FOI Law requires every government agency to regularly publish, print and disseminate in an accessible form at no cost to the public, updated information on the agency’s duties, function and decision-making processes; names of different heads and officials; programs, accomplishments, development plans, budget, revenue allocations and expenditures; description of services the public can avail of and bidding process and requirements.

It also mandates the publication of government data in the city website, the creation of a City Transparency Oversight body, and procedures which shall govern the filing and processing of requests for access to information.

Under the proposed ordinance, information that should be readily available include the 20-percent component of the city’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), Abstract of Bids as calculated, annual budget report, Annual Gender and Development Report, Annual Procurement Plan or Procurement List and Annual Statement of Indebtedness, Payments and Balances and bid results on civil works, goods and services, and consulting services, among others.

The proposed FOI ordinance cites the need to sustain the integrity of the present administration by institutionalizing the full public disclosure policy of the city government. (SP)