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The Proposed Freedom of Information Act of 2012 Office of the President of the Philippines Study Group Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street,

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Presentation on theme: "The Proposed Freedom of Information Act of 2012 Office of the President of the Philippines Study Group Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Proposed Freedom of Information Act of 2012 Office of the President of the Philippines Study Group Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632)

2 Why? “ The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. “ —The Constitution, Article 3, Section 7 (Section 2) Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632)

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5 2011 OGP Timeline of Internal and Stakeholder Consultative Meetings Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) General Note: in between these milestones, much technical work was conducted by the Secretariat of the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Cluster, with the contribution of the Departments and Agencies. DateUpdate 13 May 2011President Aquino issues Executive Order No June 2011Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Cluster Meeting. 7 July & 17 August 2011Cluster Technical Working Group Meetings 18 August 2011Consultation with Business Association Leaders 19 August 2011Consultation with Civil Society Networks 26 August 2011Joint Consultation with Business Associations and Civil Society In betweenCorrespondence with Departments for contributions to the CAP 10 September 2011Selection of OGP Steering Committee representatives

6 2011 OGP Timeline of Internal and Stakeholder Consultative Meetings Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) DateUpdate 20 September 2011Open Government Partnership Launch (The draft CAP for 2012 was uploaded on the OGP Website and the Philippine official website (gov.ph)) In betweenCorrespondence with Departments for contributions to the CAP 27 October 2011Cluster Technical Working Group Meeting In betweenCorrespondence with Departments for contributions to the CAP 22 November 2011Meeting of the Philippine Development Forum Working Group on Governance and Anti-Corruption 24 November 2011Consultation with Business Association Leaders 25 November 2011Consultation with Civil Society Networks 29 November 2011Cluster Technical Working Group Meeting December 2011Finalization of Philippine Country Action Plan

7 Study Group Timeline Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) DateUpdate Feb 2, 2011Meeting with Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition on the Freedom of Information (FOI) with Sec. Carandang and Usec. Quezon Feb 11, 2011President gave directive to Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) to take lead in coming up with an administration FOI bill Feb 15, 20111pm: PCDSPO FOI TWG first meeting 3pm: FOI coordination meeting with the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS), Presidential Management Staff (PMS), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), National Security Council (NSC), Chief Presidential Legal Counsel (CPLC), and Dept. of Justice (DOJ), with the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) as lead.

8 Study Group Timeline Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) DateUpdate Feb 25, 2011 Meeting with Sec. Butch Abad re FOI Mar 4, 2011 PCDSPO FOI TWG meet with Rep. Tañada March 13, 2011Draft by PCDSPO Mar 18, 2011Meeting on FOI with Sec. Carandang, Usecs., Quezon and Valte, Atty. Chui from Department of Budget and Managment Mar 9 and 10, 2011PCDSPO TWG discussed FOI first draft Mar 14, 2011 PCDSPO TWG meeting Mar 18, 2011TWG meeting with representatives from PCDSPO, DOJ, DBM, CPLC, NSC

9 Study Group Timeline Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) DateUpdate Mar 30, 2011Draft to be approved by Sec. Carandang Apr 8, 2011Presentation of draft to Sec. Butch Abad Apr 25, 2011FOI meeting Apr 26, 2011PCIJ interview on FOI May 4, 2011Meeting between Rep. Tañada, Sec. Carandang, Sec. Lacierda, Usec. Valte, Usec. Quezon May 11, 2011Meeting between Sec. Abad, Sec. Carandang, Usec. Quezon, Usec. Valte, Rep. Tañada, and Atty. Malaluan May 16, 2011Draft c/o Usec. Valte

10 Study Group Timeline Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) DateUpdate May 30, 2011Outline provided by Sec. Abad June 3, 2011FOI table of changes June 6, 2011Usec. Quezon’s draft accd. to Sec. Abad’s outline July 4, 2011Draft with Rep. Tanada's comments July 14, 2011Draft edited by Usec. Quezon July 15, 2011Presentation of Usec. Quezon at the National Intelligence Committee mtg. (NICA compound, QC) July 27, 2011Presentation of Usec. Quezon at the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) policy forum on FOI

11 Study Group Timeline Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) DateUpdate July 28, 2011Meeting of Usec. Quezon, Usec. Valte and Usec. Batino of Dept. of National Defense (DND) July – Aug 2011Subsequent consultations with Sec. Butch Abad and Rep. Tañada Aug 10, 2011FOI Edited Draft Aug 11, 2011Draft edited by Rep. Tañada Aug 12, 2011Usec. Quezon’s presentation of draft bill in Cabinet Meeting Aug 18, 2011Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass media joint public hearing with Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization regarding FOI attended by Sec. Carandang and Usec. Quezon

12 Study Group Timeline Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) DateUpdate Sept 29, 2011Usec. Quezon’s Interview on FOI for GMA News’ 24 Oras Oct 3, 2011Usec. Quezon’s Interview for Talkback with Tina Palma Oct 10, 2011Usec. Quezon’s Interview on FOI for “Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie” Oct 22, 2011Usec. Quezon’s Meeting with Senator Cayetano Dec 6, 2011Usec. Quezon’s guesting at ANC’s The Right to Know (roundtable discussion) Jan 3, 2012FOI draft edited by Usec. Quezon and Sec. Abad Jan 4, 2012Meeting with the President, Usec. Quezon’s press briefing Jan 5, 2012FOI draft edited through removal of the Information Commission by Usec. Quezon’s staff

13 Study Group Timeline Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) DateUpdate Jan 30, 2012Meeting with Sec. Abad Feb 1, 2012Transmittal of FOI bill to Rep. Tañada Feb 2, 2012Transmittal of final version to the House of Representatives Note: Dates resulting in draft changes are in BOLD

14 The FOI law regulates the process by which Filipino Citizens can ask for information and how government handles these requests. It defines which information is exempted from release to the public, and states who determines documents are exempt (President, head of agencies). Establishes appeals mechanisms. (Section 4) Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632)

15 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) This is what happens when an FOI request is made: Citizens or groups file FOI request with agency concerned. Agencies have FOI committees which have 15 days to approve or reject an FOI request. (Section 16) 15

16 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) This is what happens when an FOI request is made: Rejection by FOI committee may be appealed to head of agency. (Section 19) 16

17 17 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Grounds for Rejection of an FOI request Information is publicly accessible/available. Agency has already provided the information. Information would violate personal privacy. Information is exempted from disclosure. Section 6 (a-j); Section 10 & 11 6

18 Presidential Exceptions: Defense, National Security, and Diplomacy Information declared Secret according to the provisions of an Executive Order: Section 6 (a) Concerns national security or internal and external defense of the State and may damage the state if revealed; Section 6 (a.1) Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632)

19 Presidential Exceptions: Defense, National Security, and Diplomacy Concerns foreign affairs of the Philippines with one or more states and revelation may weaken negotiating position or damage relations; Section 6 (a.2) Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632)

20 Presidential Exceptions: Deliberative Process Privilege The records of minutes and advice given and opinions expressed during decision-making or policy formulation as part of the Chief Executive ’ s deliberative process. Once policy has been formulated and decisions made, minutes and research data may be made available for disclosure unless they were made in executive session. Section 6 (b) Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632)

21 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Heads of Office Exceptions: Defense, Law Enforcement, Security of Agents and Methods Information requested pertains to internal and/or external defense, law enforcement, and border control, when the disclosure thereof would: Section 6 (c) 21

22 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Heads of Office Exceptions: Defense, Law Enforcement, Security of Agents and Methods (i) unduly compromise or interfere with any legitimate military or law enforcement operation, or (ii) unduly compromise or interfere with the prevention, detection or suppression of criminal activity, the effective implementation of immigration controls and border security, or Section 6 (c) 22

23 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Heads of Office Exceptions: Defense, Law Enforcement, Security of Agents and Methods (iii)deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, or Section 6 (c) 23

24 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Heads of Office Exceptions: Defense, Law Enforcement, Security of Agents and Methods (iv) lead to the disclosure of the identity of a confidential source, including a government, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by a law enforcement authority in the course of an investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source, or Section 6 (c) 24

25 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Heads of Office Exceptions: Defense, Law Enforcement, Security of Agents and Methods (v)disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law, or Section 6 (c) 25

26 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Heads of Office Exceptions: Defense, Law Enforcement, Security of Agents and Methods (vi)endanger the life or physical safety of any individual. Section 6 (c) 26

27 27 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Heads of Office, Bureaucratic Exceptions: The information requested consists of drafts of orders, resolutions, decisions, memoranda or audit reports by any executive, administrative, regulatory, constitutional, judicial or quasi-judicial body in the exercise of their regulatory, audit and adjudicatory function. Section 6 (d) 10

28 28 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Legislative Exception: The information requested is obtained by any committee of either House of Congress in executive session. Section 6 (e) 11

29 29 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Privacy Exceptions The information requested pertains to the personal information of a natural person other than the requesting party, and its disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of his or her personal privacy, unless it forms part of a public record, or the person is or was an official of a government agency and the information relates to his or her public function or the person has consented to the disclosure of the information;Section 6 (f) 12

30 30 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Economic Exceptions Pertains to trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a natural or juridical person other than the requesting party, obtained in confidence or covered by privileged communication, and/or filed with a government agency, where revelation would seriously prejudice the interests of such natural or juridical person in trade, industrial, financial or commercial competition. Section 6 (g) 13

31 31 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Judicial Exception Information is classified as privileged communications in legal proceedings by law or by the Rules of Court. Section 6 (h) Information requested is exempted by law or the Constitution. Section 6 (i) Information has already been made accessible.Section 6 (j) 14

32 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Advantages of the Proposed FOI Bill Provision on Mandatory Disclosure of Information (Section 7) requiring the following national officials to provide to the public their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN) on an annual basis on their official website: the President, the Vice- President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank. 32

33 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Advantages of the Proposed FOI Bill Expansion of access to other kinds of information/ government transactions, particularly public interest documents or records including (Section 7): Financial documents (Annual budgets, collections, disbursements, procurements plans, bidding documents) Construction or concession agreements or contracts entered into by a government agency with any domestic or foreign person or entity; Guarantees given by any government agency to government-owned or - controlled corporations and to private corporations, persons or entities; 33

34 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Advantages of the Proposed FOI Bill Expansion of access to other kinds of information/ government transactions, particularly public interest documents or records including (Section 7): Bilateral or multilateral agreements and treaties in trade, economic partnership, investments, cooperation and similar binding commitments; List of persons or entities who were granted licenses, permits or agreements for the extraction and/or utilization of natural resources given by any government agency. 34

35 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Advantages of the Proposed FOI Bill We have facilitated easier and more efficient access of the public to information by providing in Section 21: “For purposes of mandatory disclosure as provided in section 7 of this Act, online publication in the Official Gazette website shall be considered official publication provided there shall be a timestamp in the said document.” 35

36 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Advantages of the Proposed FOI Bill We have provided a specific procedure for access to information (Sec. 16), remedies in case of denial (Sec. 19) and corresponding administrative or criminal liabilities for certain violations of the right to information (Sec. 12 and Sec. 13). 36

37 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Advantages of the Proposed FOI Bill We have endeavored and ensured that the exceptions to access to information (Sec. 6) are very clear and specific. Moreover, we have expressly stated that the exceptions are: strictly construed not used used to cover-up a crime, wrongdoing, graft or corruption 37

38 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Advantages of the Proposed FOI Bill Do not constitute authority to withhold information from Congress nor authority for the executive branch of a local government unit to withhold information from the legislative body of such local government unit The exceptions may likewise be waived by the President, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Constitutional Commissions with respect to information in the custody of offices under their respective supervision or control, when they deem that there is an overriding public interest in disclosure 38

39 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Timeline from approval of bill President will issue Executive Order providing for the classification of documents, including those to be classified Secret. The Executive Order shall specify the reasonable period after which the information in classified documents shall be automatically declassified or subject to mandatory declassification review. Section 6 (a) 39

40 Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632) Timeline from approval of bill Government agencies have two (2) years to comply with website requirements. One additional year ’ s delay possible but must be justified. (Section 7 [b & c]) 40

41 Where you can find the draft substitute bill: Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632)

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43 Thank you. Rm. 301 New Executive Bldg. J.P. Laurel Street, Malacañan Palace, Manila Tel : (632) / (632) Fax No.(632)


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