Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said the Freedom of Information (FOI) Program is one of the best solutions to combat corruption in public offices and should also be applied to other branches of government.
Andanar said the PCOO continues to push for the legislation of the FOI through pending bills filed in Congress to address corruption and inefficient public service delivery.
“Our campaign against corruption will end right away, because for example this Freedom of Information is not yet a law. It is not being passed by Congress yet,” he said in a recent media interview. “Whether the next administration will continue to promote this or not, we under the Duterte administration believe that this is one of the greatest solutions to get rid of corruption,” he added.
On July 23, 2016, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order 2 or the FOI Program for the executive branch.
The PCOO requested the inclusion of FOI as part of Duterte’s legislative agenda for the year 2020.
The landmark policy mandates the PCOO as the designated lead government agency to operationalize the FOI program that aims to promote transparency, accountability, and citizen participation by requiring government agencies to disclose information about their transactions that involve public interest.
The anti-corruption policy is being complemented by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act.
Andanar said the RA 11032 has strengthened the anti-red tape campaign in government transactions, advancing the Philippines to the 95th spot from 124th place in 2019 out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2020” report.