“The FOI Bill needs to pass without delay or distraction” – Netizens #FOInow

We as Netizens of the Philippines, call on the Congress to Pass the Freedom of Information Bill NOW:

First, the FOI breathes life into the constitutional mandate of transparency and accountability of our Government. It compels the Government to fulfill a promise that has been persistently been broken.

Second, the FOI Bill enables the People to be vigilant over the use of public funds with further guarantees of transparency and oversight. We have the right to guard our taxes — The People’s Money — against theft and wasteful spending.

Third, the FOI Bill assures faster, more reliable delivery of basic and essential information for its citizens – guaranteeing access to public documents that affect our lives — whether they they affect of private lives or properties, or whether they affect our public policy.

We the Netizens, further call on the Congress to pass the FOI Bill without a right-of-reply (RoR) rider so inconsistent with the Constitution:

a) It imposes a chilling effect on responsible citizens otherwise eager to speak truth or facts without the burden of harassment by politicians who wield awesome influence or resources.

b) There already exists constitutional measures designed to counteract defamatory expression concerning public officials or matters, such as the laws and jurisprudence on libel, the Terms of Service of individual social media providers, or the policies of self-regulatory bodies of press organizations.

c) The push now for Right OF Reply is designed, in great part, to minimize the impact of FOI on the forthcoming elections, even though it is during electoral campaigns when discussion of public matters is most urgent and vital.

As such we Netizens call on the Members of Congress who have pledged to support and pass the FOI Bill to do so NOW.

We Netizens ask the public to join us in urging that the FOI Bill be passed now.

Noemi Lardizabal -Dado (@momblogger) , Blog Watch

Cocoy Dayao, (@cocoy), Democracy.Net.PH

Francis Acero, (@francisacero), Democracy.Net.PH

Oliver Reyes (@ageofbrillig), Democracy.Net.Ph

Pierre Tito Galla, (@jesterinexile), Democracy.Net.PH

Cecille Soria,(@ceso), Democracy.Net.PH

Jane Uymatiao (@philippinebeat), Blog Watch

Juned Sonido (@juned),,Democracy.Net.PH , Baratillo Pamphlet

Angelo Louise Lopez (@GeloLopez) , Blog watch

Oliver Robillo, @blogie, BlogPress.ph

Photo: “Freedom text” by Jonathon Colman, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved

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BlogWatch receives the “Best Story” Award for the First Data Journalism PH 2015 from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  for their story on “Aid Monitoring: Citizens’ Initial Efforts in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” . Forbes Philippines also received the same award.

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