Yesterday, the Stratbase ADRi organized a launch and presentation of a Special Study by Dr. Francisco Magno, Executive Director of De La Salle University (DLSU) Robredo Institute of Governance and Trustee of Stratbase ADR Institute entitled “The Long March to Transparency: Institutionalizing FOI in the Philippines”, the study shares the view that transparency has public value as a tool in fostering participation, promoting human rights, holding governments accountable, and leveling the playing field in business. It looks at how transparency mechanisms, especially through Freedom of Information (FOI) policies, emerge in the world.
The march to transparency in the Philippines has been slow and incremental, although FOI provisions were integrated into the 1987 Constitution. In 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an order to operationalize FOI in the executive branch of the government. Despite this advance, a law is still needed to institutionalize the right to information and appropriate funds for its implementation. FOI legislation should lead to a budget to respond to the demand for public records and promote the proactive disclosure of information. In the study, Dr. Magno described the key reasons for institutionalizing FOI and the features needed to establish an effective FOI regime.
Dr. Francisco Magno’s Special Study is available online at our Scribd library.