Mindanao journalists push for freedom of information law
By Cheryll D. Fiel
Mindanao journalists are joining the call for the passing of a bill that will require government to release public documents fast and penalize violators of the public’s right to know.
Journalists, some of whom experienced being denied information related to the last elections, have committed to campaign among colleagues and lawmakers for the “Freedom of Information Act of 2007,” which, once passed into law, will require government to release public documents within specific number of working days upon receipt of a request and will eliminate the excessive cost of acquiring these data, which is imposed by government agencies.
Working journalists from all over Mindanao were gathered in Davao last month for the “Access of Information” forum, organized by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD).
The proposed bill, which was passed in the 12th Congress and has reached the Committee Report Level during the 13th Congress, also provides for clear administrative, criminal and civil liabilities for violators and possible courses of actions for citizens denied of information access.Read here for more.
ATIN is a network of organizations advocating for the people’s Constitutional right to information. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility is an ATIN member.
It is high time that the freedom of information bill be passed now. Not only it is in accordance with the people's right to information enshrined in the Constitution and the international covenants which the country has agreed to follow, it also shows how we value the people's rights in a democracy.