MANILA – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has received a certificate from the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) for being fully compliant with the enhanced Freedom of Information (FOI) program requirements.
The FOI program requirements are provided under Executive Order No. 2, series of 2016, which President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed on July 23, 2016.
The same requirement was also stipulated under Section 5.5 b of Memorandum Circular No. 2019-1, issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Harmonization of National Government Performance Monitoring, Information and Reporting Systems.
“This certificate affirms that we are one with the government in promoting transparency in the department by providing the public and our stakeholders with easy access to information about DAR’s programs, projects, targets and performances,” said DAR Secretary John Castriciones.
The FOI program is being enforced in all government agencies and public institutions based on the constitutional right to information as stated in Section 28, Article II of the 1987 Constitution on the “state policy to full public disclosure of all its transactions,” except for sensitive information and matters affecting national security.
The FOI’s objective is to make public records and information freely available to the public, but with the aim to protect public records on grounds of public interest and full protection to a person’s right to privacy.
Aside from regularly publishing, printing and disseminating updated key information to the public, the DAR has designated FOI Receiving Officers and Decision Makers to accommodate all requests and queries online, forwards the same to concerned offices, responds immediately to queries, compiles statistical information, monitors compliance and provides feedback report to the FOI-Project Management Office.
Castriciones expressed his appreciation to all those who took part in completing the FOI requirements for the DAR certification.
“This is a collective effort of the department. It also intensified the DAR’s commitment to serve not only our stakeholders but also the public,” Castriciones said. (ia/DAR)