FOI CARAVAN. Lawyer Kristian R. Ablan, Presidential Communications and Operations Office Assistant Secretary and Freedom of Information (FOI) Program Director talks about the FOI during the multi-sectoral roadshow and caravan held in Iloilo Science and Technology University on Monday (June 24, 2019). He urged Ilonggos to ask information from the government as he cited that majority of the requests came from Luzon. (PNA photo by Perla G. Lena)
ILOILO CITY -- Ilonggos are encouraged to ask for information about services, programs and other initiatives made available by the Duterte administration.
Lawyer Kristian R. Ablan, Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) assistant secretary and Freedom of Information (FOI) program director, said that as much, they would like to see requests for information spread from various regions and not just coming from Luzon.
During the PCOO Multi-sectoral Roadshow and Freedom of Information (FOI) campus caravan held in Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) on Monday, Ablan presented that of their 4,705 public users, 80 percent were from Luzon; one half of which came from Metro Manila.
Visayas and Mindanao regions only have eight percent each.
He explained the FOI covers the executive branch of the government, government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) and state universities and colleges (SUCs). It does not include the judiciary, Congress, and local government units (LGUs).
However, he said that they are still trying to convince Congress to pass an FOI law as well as local government units to pass an FOI ordinance.
Requesting information from the government can be done through offline or online procedures.
Offline, they can go to the target office and look for their FOI receiving officer, scan the request and submit to the FOI decision maker. For online, they can log on to the website: www.foi.gov.ph.
The government agency is given 15 working days or more or less two weeks to process the request. If the information is difficult to retrieve, then it can be extended for 20 working days.
He also emphasized that national government agencies onboard the FOI portal cannot impose fees for requests. The only time they can impose is when there is a need to photocopy documents being requested.
Monday’s roadshow was held in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency, the city government of Iloilo and the ISAT U.
Attended by at least 500 participants from national and local governments, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, the academe, and the media, it was meant to inform an engage the public on the initiatives of the current administration.
Dominador Co, Executive Assistant to the Mayor said the endeavor is “commendable”.
“Our initiative is for the best interest and welfare of all. We must assist all the time national government toward achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth,” he said. (PNA)