MANILA -- The public is now ensured of better access to official records and documents in the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), as the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has certified the department as fully compliant with the Freedom of Information (FOI) law.
DILG Assistant Secretary and FOI focal person Epimaco Densing III said the recognition is a testament to the department's commitment to being transparent in all its undertakings.
The Department understands that corruption can be lessened if the people can freely and easily access information on matters of public concern, hence, we strived hard for the DILG to become FOI-compliant, Densing said in a statement Monday.
The DILG official said the FOI is one of the tools to effectively lessen corruption at all levels of the government.
Densing said for the FOI to be more effective, it has to be cascaded down to the grassroots, as corruption is worst at the level of the local government units (LGUs).
As part of our anti-corruption program this year, the department will require our LGUs to pass FOI ordinances for public transparency in local governance, he said.
The DILG has already completed its FOI manual and uploaded this to the DILG website for the public to see.
To be considered FOI-compliant, government agencies are required to upload their corresponding FOI manuals in their websites through the transparency seal.
The publication of the manual is considered one of the criteria for good governance, empowering citizens with access to government information.
Executive Order No. 2, signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in 2016, mandates all government offices under the Executive Branch, national government and all its offices, departments, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and LGUs to observe full disclosure and transparency in the public service.
It provides that every Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records, and documents pertaining to official acts, transactions, decisions, and government research data used as basis for policy development.
Aside from the DILG, 380 other government agencies have complied with the FOI order.
Of the 380 agencies, 160 are national government agencies, 79 are GOCCs, 19 are SUCs and 123 are local water districts. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency