MANILA (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday welcomed the decision of a House of Representatives panel to adopt its suggestions on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill to speed up its passage.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) undersecretary Manuel Quezon III has already met with proponents from the Lower House to explain Malacañang’s position.
Valte noted that Malacañang had also previously worked with representatives in the 15th Congress on the FOI bill.
“…Sa kagandahang palad naman po in the 15th Congress, the Palace proposal was also adopted by the Technical Working Group of the Committee on Public Information,” she said.
“And even po sa Senate noon, noong 15th Congress, these proposals were also adopted by the Committee under Senator Gringo Honasan,” she added.
For this Congress, Valte said that Malacañang was pleased that its members were open to provisions or proposals from the Executive branch.
“Kasi naniniwala po tayo na ‘yung mga provisions po na ‘yon ay naa-address po niya ng buo ‘yung mga concerns ng Pangulong Aquino tungkol po doon sa paghabol ng burukrasya kapag nagkaroon na po ng FOI,” Valte said.
“We’ve always been open to engaging the legislators, especially on the provisions that we have proposed,” she said.
However, Valte said that the President remained to be “judicious” in exercising his certification of power on making the FOI bill urgent.
“So far, the President has been judicious in exercising his certification power,” Valte said.
“So iniingatan ng Pangulo na kung ano ho ‘yung nakalagay doon sa Constitution, kung saan ho posible ang certification power, ay doon ho na – doon lang po niya nae-exercise,” she added. (MNS)