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Gov’t agencies make FOI hard to implement

05:03 AM November 05, 2018

This concerns the letter from Eusebio S. San Diego, “FOI law: a hollow promise” (10/30/18).

President Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 2, Series of 2016, requiring freedom of information (FOI) in the executive branch. I strongly believe this EO is more than enough to start the fight against corruption while awaiting the passage of an
FOI law.

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But corrupt government agencies like the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Commission on Audit (COA), where I’ve had firsthand encounters, are so innovative that they have created their own implementing rules and regulations
(IRRs).

The IRR makes it harder to secure documents of government transactions.

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The most comical is the COA. I religiously completed its FOI request form regarding a suspicious project; I had it notarized as required on Nov. 10, 2016, and to this day, I have not received any of the requested documents so I can file the necessary charges against those involved in those transactions.

The COA has remained deaf, mute and blind!

While it’s true that the COA discovers numerous anomalous government transactions, it is obviously abetting corruption by not giving citizens the requested documents.

If Cabinet secretaries, especially of the DPWH, would issue an administrative order to regional and district offices to provide documents, maybe fighting corruption would be made easier. But, irony of ironies, government agencies make it extra hard to get such documents.

JUNIPER C. DOMINGUEZ,
Public Relations Officer,
Volunteers Against Corruption,
[email protected]

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TAGS: Eusebio S. San Diego, FOI, Freedom of Information, Inquirer letters, Juniper C. Dominguez, Rodrigo Duterte
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